Agents from the Bureau of Customs – Port of NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) have seized a total of 2,032 pieces of live ornamental plants for not having the required plant quarantine permit prior to the items’ importation.
A statement from BOC-NAIA on Monday, May 24 revealed that the quantity of the items were also underdeclared. The live ornamental plants were just said to be 100 pieces when they arrived at Paircargo warehouse on May 19.
However, a physical examination of the shipment yielded various kinds of ornamental plants including Alocasia, Aglaonema, Pothos, Calathea, Philodendron, Crimson, Monstera, Cactus, Sanseveria, and Rubber Plant. There were 2,032 pieces in all.
Aside from Section 1113 in relation to Section 1400 (misdeclaration) of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), the shipment also violated Department of Agriculture (DA) Department Circular No. 4, Series of 2016 and DA Administrative Circular No. 5, Series of 2020.
Importations of live ornamental plants must come with a Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance (SPSIC) from DA’s Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), the BOC-NAIA underscored.
The seized items were immediately turned over to the BPI for quarantine and immediate disposal to prevent the spread of possible plant diseases and pests that can severely affect local agriculture.
BOC-NAIA, under the leadership of district collector Mimel Talusan, has been steadfast in protecting the local industry from any possible agricultural epidemic.
This is in line with BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero’s directive to continuously monitor and safeguard the country’s borders.