Customs alerts all ports: Prevent entry of new strain of swine flu virus

All ports under the Bureau of Customs were alerted Wednesday to prevent the entry of the new strain of swine flu virus through imported pork products into the country.


Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero has directed all customs port officials to be vigilant and examine carefully all reefer containers to ensure that dangerous pork and pork-related products will not be allowed entry.

Boarding formalities will be strictly enforced on vessels containing imported pork products upon arrival by the Customs bureau and quarantine officers of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

Food imports such as meat products shall undergo initial examination by the Department of Agriculture (DA) together with Customs examiners prior to its release from the ports, the bureau said.

After the initial examination, the reefer container must be sealed by BAI for 100-percent examination by the National Meat Inspection Service in its accredited storage warehouse.

"The bureau has been strictly monitoring agricultural and other food items and ensuring that proper procedures are followed to guarantee the safety of the consumers and prevent the entry of food that may contain diseases," Guerrero said.

Read more: BAI on alert against new type of swine flu with ‘pandemic potential’