BOC to auction P250M smuggled rice
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is looking to auction the Thai white rice shipment worth P250 million which was intercepted at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) on Thursday.
“After forfeiture and warrant of seizure and detention (proceedings), considering that these are perishable items these would be auctioned immediately,” Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said in an interview during the inspection of the shipment consisting of 200 containers loaded with 100,000 sacks of rice.
Lapeña noted that the shipments were seized after its consignee, Sta. Roxas Farm Products Corp. of 2025 Ipil St., Sta. Cruz, Manila failed to show import permit from the National Food Authority (NFA), which covers the shipment.
“The duties and taxes of the 200 containers were assessed at PHP31,428.699, however, because of the lack of permit and the failure of the consignee to pay the duties and taxes within 15 days from the date of final assessment, the shipment is subject to seizure,” he said.
He added that they would be coordinating with the National Food Authority (NFA) as to the value of the rice shipment.
“We would coordinate with the NFA, what is the selling price in the market. We would inform the NFA if it would be auction or action from NFA to have this rice if it would be utilized for other pruposes to augment our rice supply these would all be considered,” the BOC head said.
Lapeña also explained that aside from auction, there are other modes of disposal of such shipment.
“We have a procedure while a forfeiture has been made. There are three modes of disposal, auction, destruction and donation.If there would be a request on this that would be considered as a mode of disposal. But immediately, the mode of disposal is through auction,” he added.
The importer will be charged for violation of Section 1113 under Customs and Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTC) in relation to NFA Letter Circular No. AO-2013-04-002 and under Republic Act No. 10845, which penalizes agricultural smugglers with life imprisonment, and a fine twice the fair value of the smuggled agricultural products and the aggregate amount of the taxes/duties/charges avoided.
Also on Thursday, the BOC also destroyed PHP22 million worth of smuggled goods at the said port.
The items that were shredded to pieces are 800 cartons of fake Mighty and Philip Morris cigarettes, office supplies, rubber shoes, clothing apparels, slippers, stationery, bags, motorcycle parts and accessories, make up tools and drinking glasses.
The BOC said that the shipments have been abandoned as the consignees failed to claim the items within the prescribed period provided in the law, thus, prompting the agency to declare a writ of abandonment for their lack of interest to claim.
“After due process of law, the shipment is deemed property of the government after the consignee abandoned the shipment pursuant to Section 1129 of the CMTC,”” Lapeña said. (PNA)