Customs orders inspection of overstaying cargoes in all ports

Overstaying shipments in all ports under the Bureau of Customs have been subjected to  stricter inspection in an attempt to get rid of smuggled goods possibly staying in the ports unchecked.   

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero has ordered all district and sub-port collectors to examine all overstaying shipments within their jurisdiction to check whether smuggled items have been staying in the ports.

Guerrero said that the massive inspection aims to prevent the entry of smuggled goods and contraband, suppress customs fraud, supervise and control all import and export cargoes in the ports.

The massive inspection covers all import and export cargoes landed or stored in piers, airports, terminal facilities, including container yards and freight stations.

Guerrero ordered that overstaying shipments must be declared abandoned through a decree of abandonment while cargoes found to contain smuggled goods must be issued with warrant of seizure and detention (WSD).

"Once there exists a probable cause for any violation of the CMTA (Customs Modernization and Tariff Act) and other allied laws, such as but not limited to the goods being prohibited, restricted, regulated, or when required clearances and other documentations are lacking, a warrant of seizure and detention should be issued," a memorandum signed by the commissioner read.

The memorandum was signed on August 12, and ports around the country have been inspecting abandoned and overstaying containers and auctioning them to collect more revenues.

In June, the Bureau of Customs gained close to P19 million from abandoned and seized shipments at the Port of Manila and Port Davao.

According to the Customs- Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group (AOCG), a total of 271 overstaying containers from May 22 to June 5 were disposed through auction, condemnation, and donation.

In May, seven of the 17 ports under the bureau had taken actions to dispose of overstaying and abandoned cargoes within their respective jurisdiction by public auction, which resulted to P375,796,466.77 revenue.

A total of 1,317 containers were disposed of during that time.