BOC suspends accreditation of 101 importers and brokers

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has temporarily suspended the accreditation of 101 importers and brokers due to “questionable shipments”.

Customs Commissioner Nicanor E. Faeldon on Tuesday ordered companies, including a cigarette manufacturer, to provide proof that their alleged misdeclarations were not intentional.

He noted that the black-listed importers, companies and brokers failed to pursue their appeal with the Customs, as they were not able to submit proof of declaration and evidence to absolve them and, eventually, restore their firms to the list of accredited companies, brokers and importers.

The BOC has served a notice of suspension to Mighty Corp. and 50 others, and were asked to respond within three days after their shipments were seized for misdeclaration.

Faeldon said the cigarette company’s exports of cigarette materials did not match their imports documents, and claimed it purchased 2.05 kilos of acetate tow, or equivalent to 13.7 billion cigarette sticks, but only exported 2.218 billion sticks, translating to a discrepancy of 11.49 billion sticks.

The company also declared prices of their imports of acetate tow, a raw material used for cigarettes, at $0.36 per kilo, below the actual price of its suppliers of $5 to $6 per kilo.

The BOC vowed to continue to publicly release the lists of traders with alleged violations and audit the paper trail to identify those who violated customs laws.

“There are currently 11,000 accredited importers, companies and brokers on the bureau’s list, and all of these will be examined to find out who violated the customs laws,” Faeldon said in a news statement issued on Tuesday.

He revealed they were able to generate P2.2 billion in their anti-smuggling efforts between August 2016 and January 2017.

On the other hand, Faeldon also ordered to conduct probe on other local cigarette manufacturers that were allegedly producing fake branded cigarettes being sold in Metro Manila and nearby areas at very low price.