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House, Customs tie-up foils technical smuggling try

Those thinking of pulling another fast one on the Bureau of Customs and avoiding payment of the proper duties and taxes on shipments should seriously reconsider their dark schemes.

Revived cooperation between the House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means (HOR-CWM) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) under newly appointed Commissioner Isidro Lapeña resulted yesterday in the discovery of an allegedly underdeclared importation of a 40-ft. container of PVC wall boards from Nanjing, China.

According to Quirino Representative Dakila Carlo E. Cua, HOR-CWM Chairman, information on the importation surfaced when the designated trucker, Aquair Cargo Movers Company, made an erroneous delivery to BF Metal Corporation, a business entity owned by his colleague, Marikina 1st District Rep. Bayani Fernando, in Cainta, Rizal.

Cua narrated that Rep. Fernando, upon learning that BF Metal Corp. was the wrong recipient of the subject cargo, promptly coordinated with the HOR-CWM, which, in turn, requested the BOC to conduct physical inspection.

Acting on the matter, Commissioner Lapeña assembled a team of examiners that, together with a contingent from the HOR-CWM, went to Cainta, Rizal to check on the shipment.

The examination revealed that there was a discrepancy of 10,300 kgs. between the actual net weight of the shipment, which was 32,200 kgs., as against the declared 21,900 kgs., which amounts to more than 30% of underdeclaration, warranting initiation of forfeiture proceedings.

As reflected in the bill of lading, the shipment was processed by customs broker Paolo R. Trinidad and consigned to 68 ATV Trading with declared address at Unit B VAG Complex, Brgy. Patubig, Marilao, Bulacan. It was tagged “red” though entitled to exemption from duties by virtue of its being covered by the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA).

The cargo arrived on August 18, 2017 at the Port of Manila and was released by the Customs bureau only upon payment of Value-Added Tax in the revised amount of P54,022 from the initial P35,275.

After the successful collaboration between the HOR-CWM and the BOC, Cua said he looks forward to having more interactions between the two offices as this would certainly produce positive results in the fight against smuggling.

Commissioner Lapeña echoed the sentiments of the lawmaker from Quirino as he vowed to rid the Bureau of corruption and safeguard the country’s borders against the entry of contraband, especially illegal drugs. (END)

Source: Office of the Speaker/Press and Public Affairs Bureau

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