The Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized more than P20 million worth of carrots and onions at Port of Subic in its continuing crackdown against smuggled agricultural products.
BOC Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz said the intercepted agricultural products arrived in the country on Dec. 1 and were misdeclared as other products which bolstered the intelligence reports that the items were part of smuggling activities.
In coordination with the Department of Agriculture (DA), Ruiz said the items were inspected on Dec. 6 at the Port of Subic over reports of the misdeclaration of items inside two container vans.
According to the BOC statement, the first container van was declared as assorted foodstuffs but turned out to be frozen carrots.
The second container van, on the other hand, was declared to be containing frozen lobster balls and crab sticks but ended up to be fresh red and white onions.
The operation came amid the continuous rise in the price of onions and other agriculture products. Last year, local farmers were forced to throw away thousands of peso worth of carrots, tomatoes and other agricultural products due to the abundant supply of imported products.
Port of Subic District Collector Maritess Martin said they will issue Warrants of Seizure and Detention (WSD) against the shipments after the conduct of complete examination and inventory.
The consignee allegedly violated DA Administrative Order No. 18 series of 2000, DA Circular No. 4 series of 2016, and Section 1400 in relation to Section 1113 (f) of Republic Act (RA) 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).
Ruiz said they have already intensified border control and operation to deter and prevent the smuggling of agricultural products, especially for the Christmas season when arrival of shipments containing various products is expected to increase.