Customs seizes P9M worth onions, carrots
MANILA --- With the Bureau of Custom’s intensified campaign against agricultural smuggling, agents of the Bureau of Customs busted four 40-footer containers of red and white onions, and one 40-footer container of carrots worth P7.2M and P1.8M, respectively. The shipments consigned to V2Y International Marketing Co. with office address at Madrigal Bldg., Escolta, Manila, came from China and arrived at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) on July 7 and 13. MICP District Collector lawyer Vincent Philip Maronilla said the five 40-footer containers were examined on August 7. “The shipment’s declaration said it contains fresh garlic and apples, however, upon examination, red and white onions, carrots, and garlic were found inside the container vans,” Maronilla said. The declared garlic was covered by a valid import permit from the Bureau of Plant and Industry (BPI) while the red and white onions and carrots were misdeclared and have no import permit prompting BOC to issue warrant and seizure for detention. According to reports, “The consignee, V2Y International Marketing Co., wrote a letter informing Customs Intelligence that the shipments do not belong to them,” said Commissioner Isidro Lapeña. “This is actually a protection to our farmers since they also produce red onion. Importing onions is regulated by law because they will be a strong competitor to our local farmers who also produce onion. For the carrot, it will also be seized for misdeclaration,” Commissioner Lapeña said. In violation of a provision in the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act and Republic Act No. 10845, otherwise known as the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016, Commissioner Lapeña said the shipment will undergo condemnation to prevent its entry into the public market. “It’s such a waste however, we cannot set aside the health and safety of the public so this will be destroyed by the bureau,” Lapeña added.