BOC files smuggling raps vs cigarette importers

Two importers are now facing smuggling complaints for allegedly bringing in misdeclared shipments of cigarettes in the country in July this year.

SMUGGLING RAPS-- The Bureau of Customs files smuggling complaints against two importers for allegedly misdeclaring their cigarette shipments. (Photo courtesy of the BOC)

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) through its Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS) filed criminal complaints against the two importers of cigarettes before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Bonver Consumer Goods Trading was charged for alleged unlawful importation and misdeclaration of two containers of cigarettes amounting to P107,694,206.76. The shipments came last July 18 and 23, 2021 through the Port of Subic.

The second case is against LMRC 418 Direct Import Export Corporation due to the alleged misdeclaration of two containers of filtered cigarettes and premium filter kings worth P78,782,778.91. The shipment arrived in February 2021 at the Port of Cagayan de Oro.

According to BATAS, both respondents violated Republic Act No. 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) in relation to Customs Memorandum Order No. 20-2006; Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion Law; National Tobacco Administration (NTA) Board Resolution 079-2005; National Tobacco Memorandum Circular No. 03, s. 2004; and the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.

"The Bureau of Customs has strengthened its investigation and legal action against unscrupulous importers and customs brokers involved in illegal and irregular activities," the bureau said.