Since last year, The Bureau of Customs was asked place under “alert status” all incoming shipments declared as agricultural products. — PHILIPPINE STAR/EDD GUMBAN
CUSTOMS OFFICIALS posted to the Manila International Container Port (MICP) seized P15.5 million worth of food shipments from China which were misdeclared, the Bureau of Customs (BoC) said Thursday.
One of the four shipments was declared as 3,300 boxes of fresh apples which the BoCs discovered were red onions after X-ray and physical inspection. According to BoC, the onions were valued at P1.8 million at market price.
Two of the shipments were declared as red beans but turned out to be 5,300 sacks of refined sugar worth P9.6 million.
One shipment, meanwhile, was declared as 1,058 packages of clothing but instead contained 200 sacks of rice, 1,300 packs of other food products, 30 packs of medicine and 425 packs of non-perishable items. The goods were valued at P4.1 million, BoC said.
According to the BoC, the goods arrived at MICP on separate dates in June.
“BoC heightened its efforts against the smuggling of agricultural products in a bid to improve revenue collection and protect our local farmers,” the bureau said in the statement.
Earlier this month, the BoC seized 800 grams of Kush, a strain of cannabis, valued at P1.4 million, hidden in tortilla chip packages.
In February, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said that imported fruit, vegetables and meat brought into the country without proper sanitary permits will be confiscated to protecting the farm sector from the possible entry of animal and plant diseases. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio