BOC seizes P29M worth of 'COVID medicine'

Personnel of the Bureau of Customs at the Port of NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) seized some P29 million worth of imported medicine which is believed to be helpful in treating the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

photo: BOC-NAIA

Based on the report, the six shipments containing 146,640 boxes of Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang came from Hongkong and was found to have no clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for medical use in treating COVID-19.

The Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang, traditional Chinese medicine, is believed to be helping COVID patients recover from the effects of the virus infection but it is regulated by the FDA.

photo: BOC-NAIA

After receiving a derogatory report, the shipments were subjected Pre-Lodgement Control Order and physical examination in the presence of Chamber of Customs Brokers Inc. (CCBI), CIIS and ESS representatives.

During the the examination, the shipments were found to contain boxes of Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang.

BOC officials then launched follow-up operations to locate the consignee but to no avail.

The seized medicines will be subjected to seizure and forfeiture proceedings for violation of Section 1113 (Property Subject to Seizure and Forfeiture) in relation to Section 117 (Regulated Goods) of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), and the Food and Drugs Act.