Customs delists 14 suspicious rice importers-A A +A
Monday, February 18, 2013
MANILA -- The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has delisted 14 suspicious rice importers even if they were accredited by the National Food Authority (NFA), an official said Monday.
Since the start of the BOC's Interim Customs Accreditation and Registration's (Icare) list of accredited importers clean-up in the early part of 2012, Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon said that 14 rice importers were delisted for not having enough resources to warrant the importation of large volume of rice, making them suspicious companies.
He said the delisting was made even if these business establishments and cooperatives have been granted rice importation quotas by NFA.
The delisted companies and cooperatives were Conquistar Marketing, Dream the Dream Marketing, Happy Morning Enterprises, Kakampi Multi-Purpose Cooperative, KapatiranTakusa Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Malipampang Concerned Citizens Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Pinambaran Farmers Producers Cooperative, Samahang Magsasakang Kapampangan at Katagalugan Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Thunder Glutch Marketing, Ugnayang Magbubukid ng San Isidro, Inc., Vita Rose Marketing, Dragon Clash Enterprises, Masagana Import Export and King Casey Trading.
Some of these business establishments, Biazon said, may even have coming rice importations because of their having rice importation allocation quota from the NFA.
"But we will not allow their rice shipments to be unloaded since these companies have already been delisted by the BOC," Biazon said.
"We are on an all-out war against smuggling, particularly on the smuggling of agricultural products to safeguard the interest of our local farmers," added.
The delisting of these companies according to Icare Chief Rhea Gregorio was the result of their review of the financial status of these companies and physical inspection of their business addresses, warehouses and operations.
"Some of these companies, based on their submitted records, do not have sufficient capitalization and facilities to import large volumes of rice, while some cooperatives were not actually functional," Gregorio said.
She explained that since the Icare accreditation is independent of that of NFA's and there is no data sharing arrangement between the NFA and BOC, this becomes a problem as some importers, after being registered as a general importer with Icare upon compliance of minimum requirements, would go to NFA and seek allocation quota as a rice importer.
"We have been doing pre-emptive and proactive measures to curb smuggling, especially on agricultural products, since the early part of my leadership at the BOC," Biazon said. (SDR/Sunnex)