AFAB clears 2 firms over ‘fuel smuggling’

Published March 16, 2021, 5:30 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) expressed satisfaction over the responses of two of its registered firms alleged involved in fuel smuggling activities in certain ports.

In a statement, AFAB said Seasia Nectar Port Services Inc. (SNPSI) and Seafront Shipyard and Port Terminal Services Corp. (Seafront) both responded to the correspondence on March 3 assuring that they are strictly abiding by the established rules and procedures set by the Authority and are not allowing any illegal or nefarious activity inside its port terminals.

With this clarification, the AFAB expresses its gratitude to SNPSI and Seafront for their cooperation in shedding light to the issue. But AFAB said it is “vigilantly remains on the watch and is closely monitoring the Freeport to make sure that all FAB Enterprises operations are working under the rule of law.”

AFAB cited SNPSI’s response which stated that it follows the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) clearance mechanism in handling the discharging and withdrawal of cargoes. Therefore, it said, only cargoes cleared with proper documentations submitted to the mentioned government agencies especially the AFAB are discharged and withdrawn from its terminal.

In addition, SNPSI explained that its port is referred to as Mariveles Multipurpose Terminal (MMT) which handles dry bulk cargoes like cement, fertilizer and coal. SNPSI clarified that they do not handle any diesel fuel or any other similar cargoes. In addition, although they have select few clients using its port terminals, none is importing diesel or other fuel types.

AFAB also said that Seafront also vehemently denied the allegations citing the February 4, 2021 incident as circumstantial and non-conclusive due to lack of first-hand information. Seafront explained that the only trucks that can enter their port are legitimate service providers hired by its clients.

Likewise, it mandatorily requires the presentation of documents and other proofs such as the Statement of Settlement of Duties and Taxes (SSDT) and Special Permit to Discharge (SPD) issued by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for foreign vessels and entry permit issued by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) or the AFAB for local vessels.

 
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