Mailed anti-impotence pills seized by Customs

A total of 268 tablets of “sildenafil citrate,” a drug used to treat-impotence, was discovered by the Bureau of Customs in a parcel mailed from the United States to a certain Angelica Amor Vasquez, with address in San Juan City. The illegally imported drug was turned-over by operatives of the Bureau’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). By law, even mailed parcels and packages are inspected by the Bureau of Customs and are subject to the same restrictions and prohibitions for products allowed to enter the Philippines

A total of 268 tablets of “sildenafil citrate,” a drug used to treat-impotence, was discovered by the Bureau of Customs in a parcel mailed from the United States to a certain Angelica Amor Vasquez, with address in San Juan City. The illegally imported drug was turned-over by operatives of the Bureau’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). By law, even mailed parcels and packages are inspected by the Bureau of Customs and are subject to the same restrictions and prohibitions for products allowed to enter the Philippines

Operatives of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Intelligence Group intercepted a parcel mailed from the United States containing 268 blue-colored pills suspected to be sildenafil citrate, a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction and sold under various trade names like “Viagra.” The drugs, packed in four-tablet blister packs, have an estimated street value of over P40,000.

The parcel, which was declared as “assorted pharmaceutical products,” was mailed last January 6, 2014 to a certain Angelica Amor Vasquez with address at 171 Gomez Street, Barangay Addition Hills, San Juan City, The package arrived at the San Juan Central Post Office on January 18, 2014 where it remained unclaimed for the last eight months, prompting authorities to open the package. The parcel were seized by Customs officials for violation of Section 2530 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP)., as amended, in relation to Food and Drug Administration law, rules, and regulations and the Intellectual Property Code or Republic Act 8293.

“All products that come into the country—whether by ship, balikbayan box or even postal parcels, are subject to Customs inspection and maybe charged with corresponding duties and taxes or are outright prohibit or require special permits. Unscrupulous individuals sometimes try to use postal mail and express parcels to ship illegal or prohibited items to and from the Philippines because they think that there is minimal chance of being caught. Let this be a warning to the public that we are closely monitoring all mail, parcels, and packages,” said Customs Commissioner John P. Sevilla.

The sildenafil citrate pills have been turned-over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

The Bureau has confiscated over P500-Million of illegal drugs and other controlled chemicals. These include methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, marijuana, Ecstacy, Valium, Ativan, Dormicum, Rivotril, Alprazolam, Ritalin, and other unlabeled tablets.



Customs busts seller of fake BOC receipts

Operatives of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Intelligence and Enforcement Groups nab a woman selling falsified BOC Official Receipts in a buy-bust operation last October 10

Operatives of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Intelligence and Enforcement Groups nab a woman selling falsified BOC Official Receipts in a buy-bust operation last October 10

Operatives of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) nabbed a woman caught selling fake Bureau of Customs Official Receipts (BCORS) outside the Paircargo Warehouse, adjacent to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). The perpetrator, identified as Llana Cabangbang, 19 years old, with address at Greenpoint Homes Mambog 4 Bacoor, Cavite, was caught selling fake BCORs at the waiting shed outside the Paircargo warehouse last October 10 in a buy-bust operation.

Combined personnel from the Bureau’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service and Enforcement and Security Service port carried out the operation. Video documentation showed Cabangbang handing over the fake receipts and receiving the amount of P2,000 to a BOC informant right before she was apprehended.

Cabangbang was found to be carrying falsified BOC official receipt with OR no. 01854212287 under the name of Emmanuel C. Ragas and signed by Vivian Dayao; one blank receipt with OR no. 01852553489; and one photocopy of BOC receipt with OR no. 01854212283 stamped with Certified True Copy. The fake receipts were signed and initialed by a certain ‘JSF’ dated October 10. The receipts were confirmed to be fake by Vivian Dayao, Acting Chief of Collection Division of the Bureau’s NAIA Collection District. According to Dayao, BCOR no. 01852553489 is not included in the list of BCORs supplied by the Procurement Unit of the BOC’s General Services Division, while BCOR no. 0185421228 is an outright fake, as it had the wrong security code.

“We are closely monitoring all illegal activities happening inside as well as in the vicinity of the airport that is why when we received reports that scrupulous individuals are selling fake Customs official receipts we immediately acted on it,” said BOC NAIA District Collector Edgar Macabeo. “We would like to get to the bottom of this and weed out the syndicate selling fake receipts once and for all.”

Cabangbang faces charges for alleged violation of Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines (RPC) and Section 3602 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP) as amended.



Customs posts record revenues in September

Customs Commissioner John P. Sevilla (2nd from right) speaks before business leaders at the 40th Philippine Business Conference and Expo on Thursday (October 23). On top of the various reforms in processes and adaptation of technology at the agency, Sevilla also disclosed that the agency collected a record P32.87-Billion in revenues last month

Customs Commissioner John P. Sevilla (2nd from right) speaks before business leaders at the 40th Philippine Business Conference and Expo on Thursday (October 23). On top of the various reforms in processes and adaptation of technology at the agency, Sevilla also disclosed that the agency collected a record P32.87-Billion in revenues last month.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) posted revenues of P32.87-Billion in September 2014, the highest-ever single-month collection of the agency, on the back of continuous improvements in valuation and an increase in the volume of imported goods. September’s collection is up 27.2% versus the same month last year.

For the month of September, volume of imports grew 15.7%, driven by the growth in imports of petroleum products; motor vehicles; iron and steel products; as well as electrical machineries and equipment, which accounts for about 72% of total customs revenue. Valuation of imported goods also improved, offsetting a decline in the prices of petroleum products. Reports from the Department of Energy[1] showed that Dubai crude decreased by about US$6.10 per barrel in September, while imported diesel and gasoline went down by US$7.10 and US$3.00 per barrel, respectively in the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS). The P0.98 depreciation of the Peso versus the US Dollar also helped defray the decline in the price of petroleum products, which accounted for about 27% of total imports last month.

On the average, every P1.00 movement in the exchange rate of the US Dollar against the Philippine Peso has an estimated P2.7-Billion impact on the Bureau’s revenue collection.

September’s milestone in revenues is also supported by a growth in imports of motor vehicles, which grew 31%, as well as record sales of cars and trucks, which surged 41.72%[2]. Following the Bureau’s strong performance in September, total revenues for the third quarter of 2014 reached P92.39-Billion, up 15% year-on-year, tracking improvements in the country’s economy.

From January to September 2014, total revenue collections of the BOC reached P265.787-Billion, 18% over the same period last year. Improvements in the Bureau’s system for the valuation of goods, coupled with enhanced enforcement and apprehension efforts, yielded an 18.23% hike in the customs value for imported products and a 19% increase in the duties and taxes collected, offsetting a slight decrease in the average tariff rate.

At the Port level, revenue collections by the Bureau’s 17 Collection Districts nationwide for the first three quarters of 2014 grew by an average 18.23% year-on-year. The ports of Batangas, Iloilo, Cebu, Davao, Subic and Aparri exceeded their collection target for the period.

For October 2014, the BOC has a collection goal of P36.810-Billion from the inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee.

Report as of September 2014 of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA)



Customs’ anti-smuggling campaign scores

Courts junk petitions, uphold sentence for traders

Customs Commissioner John P. Sevilla (3rd from left) led the filing of smuggling-related cases against Silent Royalty Marketing for the illegal importation of rice in 2013 last October 16, 2014 The cases were filed under the Bureau’s Run After The Smugglers (RATS) program, under Deputy Commissioner Maria Edita Tan and Legal Services Director Alexis Medina (2nd and 1st from left, respectively)

Customs Commissioner John P. Sevilla (3rd from left) led the filing of smuggling-related cases against Silent Royalty Marketing for the illegal importation of rice in 2013 last October 16, 2014 The cases were filed under the Bureau’s Run After The Smugglers (RATS) program, under Deputy Commissioner Maria Edita Tan and Legal Services Director Alexis Medina (2nd and 1st from left, respectively)

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) scored a major victory against smuggling as the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) junked the petitions of the motion for reconsideration of three traders accused of smuggling. The tax court upheld the convictions of Roel Paquit-Sayson, Francisco Billones and Mary Lucille Billones for their illegal importations.

Sayson, owner of Trex Eve Auto Sales and Services, is sentenced to up to 12 years in jail plus an P8,000 fine for the illegal importation of vehicles from South Korea to the Philippines. He was charged for misdeclaring 12 units of Kia Sportage and three Hyundai Gallopers as used truck replacement parts with estimated taxes and duties amounting to P1,779,770.61. Sayson was found guilty by Third Division of the CTA on December 12, 2012. The accused however filed his Motion for Reconsideration and Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration on December 26, 2012 and January 15, 2013, respectively, both of which were denied by the CTA.

The CTA also affirmed the sentences of Francisco and Mary Lucille Billones, both officials of Rubills International for illegally importing 510,000 kilograms of refined sugar from Singapore which they misdeclared as 306 kilograms of soy beans. The accused were found guilty of violating provisions of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, the Bureau of Food and Drug Rules and Regulations, and Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code and were meted out two consecutive nine-year jail terms plus a P20,000 fine. The accused also have to pay duties and taxes amounting to P5.073-Million.

“The favorable rulings from the courts have encouraged us to strive even more in our fight against smuggling. Our renewed vigor has given us new directions as far as our investigations and litigation goes so that each case we file has a high chance of conviction,” said Customs Commissioner John P. Sevilla.

RTC convicts Indonesian drug-mule

The Regional Trial Court of Pasay, Branch 116 found Francesca Jovian, an Indonesian national, guilty of bringing 3.7 kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride or ‘shabu’ worth P29.896-Million into the country. Jovian was apprehended by authorities in May 2012 following her suspicious behaviour upon arrival from Hong Kong at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. Customs and airport police found the cache of drugs hidden inside a secret compartment in Jovian’s hand-carried bag. She was found guilty of violating Section 3601 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines and section 4, Article II of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) and was meted a maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment and a fine of P5,000.00. After serving her sentence, the accused will be deported back to Indonesia.

The Bureau of Customs has filed 182 smuggling-related cases before the Department of Justice (DOJ), of which 130 are pending preliminary investigation at the DOJ, and 38 have been elevated or filed as cases before the courts. The Bureau has also taken significant steps to improve its Run-After-The Smugglers (RATS) program, which includes capacity-building for more effective investigation, case profiling, and case build-up. Established by the Bureau in July 2005 and formally launched in 2006, the RATS program is mandated to detect and prosecute smugglers and other customs and tariff law violators.



Customs Watch! In focus: Watch Industry



PH’s largest Customs port sets record for auction proceeds

Rice auction yields P73-Million

The Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Manila International Container Port (MICP) Collection District sets a record in revenues generated from public auctions following the sale of 70 container vans of rice on Friday (October 17). Year to date, total revenues generated from auctions of illegally imported goods forfeited in favor of the government by the BOC-MICP reached P542.6-Million.

In a public auction yesterday (Friday, October 17), the BOC-Manila International Container Port successfully sold 70 20-foot container vans of white rice to Victor R. Del Rosario Rice Mill Corp for P73.51-Million. The winning bid price for the rice, totaling an estimated 1.82-Million kilos of rice packed in 36,400 50-kilogram bags, translates to about P40.39 per kilogram of rice. All demurrage and storage charges for the rice are waived and the winning bidder has five days to claim the rice.

Sixteen bidders submitted bids for the rice, which fetched a bid amount that was 64% higher than the minimum floor price set of P47.03-Million or P25.84 per kilogram.The auctioned rice was originally consigned to Jade Bros Farm and Livestock, Inc and was seized by the BOC in November 2013 for lack of required import permits and valid quota allocation from the National Food Authority.

A total of 420 container vans of rice have so far been auctioned-off by BOC-MICP, with another 1,047 more on hold. MICP is the country’s largest port in terms of trade volume and revenues.

Officials of the Bureau of Customs-Manila International Container Port led by Deputy Collectors  Geraldine Cortero and Rupert Bustamante; District Collector ElmirDela Cruz (1st to 3rd from left, respectively); and Auction and Cargo Disposal Division Chief Gerry Macatangay (right) supervise the public of auction of seized smuggled white rice on Friday. The rice was sold for P73.5-Million, or 64% over the minimum floor price, bringing total revenues from auctions generate to over P542-Million, the highest for any of the BOC’s District offices.

Officials of the Bureau of Customs-Manila International Container Port led by Deputy Collectors Geraldine Cortero and Rupert Bustamante; District Collector ElmirDela Cruz (1st to 3rd from left, respectively); and Auction and Cargo Disposal Division Chief Gerry Macatangay (right) supervise the public of auction of seized smuggled white rice on Friday. The rice was sold for P73.5-Million, or 64% over the minimum floor price, bringing total revenues from auctions generate to over P542-Million, the highest for any of the BOC’s District offices.

“We are pleased with the strong interest from bidders and the favorable prices we are getting for the goods we auction. We intend to expedite the disposition of forfeited goods not only to generate incremental revenue but to free-up much-needed space at our ports,” said BOC-MICP District Collector ElmirDela Cruz.

On top of the public auctions, the BOC-MICP also condemned 1,091 container vans of seized goods that can neither be sold through public bidding nor donated to the Department of Social Welfare and Development. These include pirated or fake goods, food items and medicines that are expired and have no permits from the Food and Drug Administration.



Customs intensifies drive against technical smuggling

As part of BOCs step-up campaign against smugglers, BOC officials led by Cagayan de Oro District Collector Ruby Alameda (center), Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) Port Collector Samson Pacasum (right), and Intelligence Division Acting Chief Nestor Añonuevo (left) inspect the seized brand new Toyota Land Cruiser that arrived illegally through the MCT.

As part of BOCs step-up campaign against smugglers, BOC officials led by Cagayan de Oro District Collector Ruby Alameda (center), Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) Port Collector Samson Pacasum (right), and Intelligence Division Acting Chief Nestor Añonuevo (left) inspect the seized brand new Toyota Land Cruiser that arrived illegally through the MCT.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) intensifies its campaign against smuggling as it continues to seize undervalued, misdeclared, and misclassified shipments coming into the country.

“Our findings show that eight out of every ten shipments we place under Alert Order has findings of misdeclaration or undervaluation. But to put things in perspective, over 90% of the average 80,000 container vans that arrive in the country each month have no problems. Only a minority of importers and brokers are not complying with the laws,” says Customs Commissioner John P. Sevilla.

“We will not apologize for doing our job.”

In past days, operatives of the Bureau’s Enforcement and Intelligence Groups seized several shipments that had been found to be technically smuggled. These include an estimated P1 million worth of illegally imported ‘ukay-ukay’ items and garlic that arrived at the Manila international Container Port (MICP) last August. The “ukay-ukay,” consigned to a Sparta Biotekhnological Solutions, comprised 342 boxes of used clothes, shoes, toys and office equipment like calculators that was misdeclared as door window frames. On the other hand, two 40-foot container vans of garlic consigned to Ocean Eighteen Enterprises were seized for lack of the required import permit and phytosanitary clearance from the Bureau of Plant Industry.

An operative of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service of the Bureau of Customs inspects sacks of used handbags seized at the Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

An operative of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service of the Bureau of Customs inspects sacks of used handbags seized at the Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

The Bureau also seized over 30 container vans of smuggled shipments containing various items ranging from agricultural products like rice and garlic to ‘chop-chop’ vehicles to television sets and computer parts with an estimated value of P40-Million at the Mindanao International Container Terminal in Tagolon, Misamis Oriental.

The container vans comprised 19 shipments that were subjected to alert orders by the BOC based on derogatory information. Upon spot-checking, it was found out that the contents of these were misdeclared. Some of the seized shipments include 10,800 bags of Thai White Rice; 705 brand new sheet piles; 2 units brand new Toyota Land Cruiser sports utility vehicle; 6,000 units of used television sets of late models and old computer parts; cooking oil; porcelain jars of various sizes; over 500 packages of used clothing, bedsheets, and handbags; used tires and wheel rims of various sizes; and 27 units of ‘chop-chop’ vehicles (Honda Fit, Suzuki Multi-Cab, etc.). The cargoes arrived in the country from December 2013 to September 2014 and consigned to the following: ERS Surplus Ventures, Daebak Wholesale Corporation, Esther David Trading, Gwear Jam Imports Trading, GNA Eximport Trading, Squareview Trading Corporation, Greener Pasture Marketing, TSJ CDO Corporation, Psalms Eight Trading, Malingas Multipurpose Cooperative, Algaba Trading, and Mamsar Construction and Industrial Corporation.

Warrants of Seizure and Detention were issued by the Bureau against these smuggled shipments for violation of Section 2503 (Undervaluation, Misclassification and Misdeclaration in Entry) of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines. All of the seized items will be subjected to forfeiture proceedings in favor of the government. Follow-up operations are now on going to identify and file cases against the erring importers and traders.



Customs Advisory: Over P800M worth of goods seized in Parañaque City

Your Bureau of Customs seized over P800M worth of goods last Tuesday, February 18. Click on the subject line to see the infographic.Customs ng Bayan_Seized Goods_022014-01 (1)