P3M smuggled onions seized in Navotas storage-A A +A
Friday, March 22, 2013
MANILA -- The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has seized P3-million worth of smuggled red and white onions contained in 5,000 bags.
Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon said that the goods were confiscated at the Marcelo Cold Storage at North Bay, Navotas City.
The BOC chief issued last Monday the letter of authority and a warrant and seizure order for the hot onions after the surveillance operations of the Customs operatives on the Navotas cold storage confirmed the presence of the agricultural products.
"The operators of the Marcelo Cold Storage could not show import documents or proof of payment for the duties and taxes on the imported onions stored in its cold storage. So we had to seize the illegally imported onions to avoid its getting into the local market," Biazon said.
"This is to protect the interest of the local farmers from the ill effects of agricultural products smuggling, particularly onions," he added.
The local onion raisers are partly blaming smuggling as one of the reasons for the local onion industry’s stagnant growth.
Biazon stressed that the BOC is closely monitoring the importations of agricultural products, whether within or outside BOC premises to ensure that only legally imported products like onions are able to get to the local markets.
Onion importation is regulated by the Department of Agriculture and is allowed only during lean production months of onions in the Philippines to ensure the absorption of locally produced onions by the local market and to avoid price distortion as well.
The seized onions will be destroyed and disposed in accordance with the law and legal action will be taken to those involved in bringing the 5,000 bags of onions into the country without the required import permit from the DA, the BOC said. (SDR/Sunnex)