BOC seizes P10B smuggled goods

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    The Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized around P9.75 billion worth of smuggled items in 2020, the Department of Finance (DOF) said in a statement yesterday, more than half of which were illicit tobacco products.

    Rey Leonardo Guerrero, customs commissioner, said the BOC apprehended smuggled cigarettes and other tobacco products in 150 of the 792 operations conducted by the bureau in various ports in 2020.

    “For the anti-smuggling effort of the BOC, the consolidated estimated value of seized shipments last year is P9.746 billion, of which P5.217 billion are from seizures of cigarettes and tobacco, P1.85 billion are from drugs seizure and P1.02 billion from counterfeit items,” Guerrero said during a recent executive committee meeting of the DOF.

    The confiscated tobacco products made up 53.5 percent of the total amount of goods seized by the BOC during this period, Guerrero said.

    Aside from tobacco products and illegal drugs, the BOC also seized P32.59 million worth of various types of currencies from January to December 2020.

    General merchandise worth P403.89 million, vehicles and automobile accessories valued at P354.53 million, and agricultural products amounting to about P207.7 million were also apprehended by the BOC, Guerrero said.

    He said the BOC likewise seized personal protective equipment, medical supplies and cosmetics, P195.57 million; jewelry and other products, P69 million; foodstuff, P212 million; used clothing, P130.59 million; electronics goods, P31.07 million; steel products, P4.76 million; alcoholic beverages, P2.43 million; chemicals, P5 million; and firearms, P300,000.

    Meanwhile, Guerrero said the BOC last year filed 74 criminal complaints before the Department of Justice against 268 respondents suspected of smuggling, and another 52 administrative cases before the Professional Regulation Commission.

    As of December 4, the BOC also ordered the closure of 20 customs-bonded warehouses (CBWs) and 40 members of customs common bonded warehouses (CCBWs) for various violations, Guerrero said.

    “In 2020, the BOC already completed the inspection and investigation of a total of 150 CBWs and 247 Members of CCBWs,” Guerrero said.

    Meanwhile, the DOF yesterday reported that revenues collected by the government from duties and taxes slapped on fuel has amounted to P178.8 billion, since it began implementing its fuel marking program.

    Data shared by Carlos Dominguez, DOF secretary, to finance reporters showed the government has marked 18.29 billion liters of fuel from September 2019 to January 14, 2021.

    Duties and taxes collected by the BOC from fuel products totaled to P154.43 billion, while the excise taxes generated by the Bureau of Internal Revenue from petroleum products amounted to P24.37 billion.