BOC steps up drive vs smuggling of agri products

Published August 14, 2022, 3:53 PM

by Aaron Recuenco 

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has vowed to intensify the campaign against smuggling of agriculture products amid reports that the modus still continues which eventually affect local farmers.

BOC Acting Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz said he had already ordered all offices and Collection Districts to guard ports of entry against contaminated agricultural products from countries banned by the Department of Agriculture (DA).

photo: BOC

Based on the Memorandum Circular issued by Ruiz, all offices and ports were given the list of prohibited agricultural products from banned countries.

These include domestic and wild birds and their products, including poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs, and semen from affected countries of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza; live cattle, meat, and meat products derived from cattle that come from countries with cases of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; domestic and wild pigs and their products, including pork meat, pig skin, processed animal proteins, and semen from countries with cases of African Swine Fever; foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)-susceptible animals and their products and by-products from banned countries; and other fishery commodities that are not allowed for importation include piranha, janitor fish, knife fish, and blackchin tilapia.

Ruiz earlier said that the BOC has started profiling suspected smugglers as a preventive measure to suppress agroculture smuggling.

“Intensified intelligence and enforcement operations and consistent examination and inspection of containers in various ports of entry nationwide were also put in place,” said Ruiz.

The official said the BOC also started conducting administrative investigations against BOC officials and personnel allegedly involved in illegal and irregular activities.