The reinvigorated anti-smuggling program of the Bureau of Customs has yet caused another filing of smuggling charges against two (2) traders and two (2) customs brokers today (October 17, 2013) for attempting to smuggle PhP 60 Million worth of “ukay-ukay” (used clothing), even as it sent the strong message that it will aggressively pursue smugglers, especially those illegally importing used clothing as it adversely affects the local garments industry.
In pursuing the smuggling cases against Farold International owner Jessie Carlos A. Dionisio and his brokers Jeff Eyros B. Juta and Nikov Ashley Vista and Great Circles Trading owner Luisa Villa Pascual which was led by Commissioner Ruffy Biazon and newly appointed Deputy Commissioner for Revenue Collection and Monitoring Group (RCMG) Edita Tan at the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Commissioner said all respondents are being charged for violation of Sections 3601, in relation to Section 101 of the Tariffs and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP) as amended and R.A. 4653 banning the importation of used clothing for health safety reason and maintaining the nation’s dignity.
According to Biazon, Farold’s shipment of seven forty-footer container vans of used clothing worth PhP 52.5 million arrived at the MICP in July 2013 and were misdeclared as tools, that of Great Circles Trading shipment of one forty-footer container van of used clothing worth PhP 7.5 million arrived at the MICP in June this year. Great Circle’s shipment was misdeclared as toys and merchandise.
According to Biazon, under the BOC’s new leadership team, its anti-smuggling campaign shall further be enhanced to raise revenues for the government and to protect the natio’secnomy.
“I am warning all importers and traders, especially those involved in the importation of agricultural products, to desist from smuggling and for them pay the right duties for their importations as, sooner or later, we will confront you in the court of law.”Biazon said, adding that “ We will never compromise the interest of our local industries and for that we will not allow illegal importation of used clothing.”
The BOC is now in the process of its most aggressive reform program. In close coordination with Malacañang and the Department of Finance, the Bureau recently implemented its most wide-ranging personnel revamp ever. From the total replacement of its six (6) deputy commissioners down to examiners and appraisers, the on-going customs personnel shake-up has affected more than half of the BOC’s personnel organization. Malacañang and the DOF expect the BOC’s anti-smuggling campaign and revenue generation initiatives to rev up to a higher gear under its new leadership team.
Today’s filing of smuggling charges brings to 105, the total number of cases filed by the Bureau of Customs during Biazon’s two years as Customs Chief. This also brings to 149, the total number of smuggling cases filed by the BOC at the DOJ during the administration of President Simeon Benigno Aquino III.******