UN agency cites BOC Port of CDO for re-exportation of illegally imported wastes

Published November 7, 2020, 10:12 PM

by Ariel Fernandez

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) Port of Cagayan de Oro was cited for its continued commitment to address global transboundary environmental crime as evident in the successful re-exportation of illegally imported wastes from South Korea on Aug. 4.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

In a letter to District Collector John Simon on Oct. 30, Dechen Tsering, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) regional director and representative for Asia and the Pacific, recognized the importance of international collaboration to disrupt environmental crimes, advance the protection of the environment, and support cooperation between Customs and other agencies.

The UNEP serves as a secretariat to the Green Customs Initiative (GCI), which is an informal partnership of international organizations to prevent the illegal trade of environmentally sensitive commodities and substances, and facilitate legal trade.

Tsering added that the full cooperation between the Korean government and the Philippine government resulted in the success of the operation.

Aside from the UNEP, the World Customs Organization (WCO) through its Deputy Secretary General Ricardo Treviña Chapa also congratulated the BOC for successfully completing the return of the South Korean waste despite the pandemic.

In a statement, Simon underscored that the international recognition has elevated the efforts of the bureau in the area of global anti-smuggling.

“We are translating our vision, which is to be a modernized and credible customs administration that will be among the world’s best,” Simon said.

The seizure of the Korean waste is considered the biggest volume of illegal waste apprehended in the Philippines.