Cebu customs poised to order abandonment

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Saturday, December 7, 2013


BUREAU of Customs (BOC) District Collector Roberto Almadin said there are 1,371 cargo of imported goods, which are lying idle at Cebu International Port (CIP) and are now subject for abandonment proceedings.

“We are now identifying the kind of goods inside the containers, and the names of the importers and the consignees,” Almadin said.

In a press conference with business and customs beat reporters at Casino Español last Thursday, Almadin said the Port Investigation Division and the Oriental Port and Allied Services Corp. (Opascor) have started conducting the identification of the cargoes last Dec. 4.

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Some of cargo container vans are refrigerated because their contents are perishable items.

Almadin said he issued declarations of abandonment against at least 10 cargo container vans. “More declarations of abandonment will be issued soon,” he added.

Code

Under the Tariff and Customs Code, a cargo without import entry beyond the reglamentary period of 30 days from arrival shall be declared abandoned.

But an importer may file a motion to lift the order as part of due process. If the importer has valid reason, the declaration of abandonment will be lifted and he will be allowed to pay duties and taxes.

Almadin said the BOC has yet to conduct an inventory on the cargo so it still cannot come up with a value.

Port of Cebu chief of staff Dante Maranan said that once Almadin issues a declaration of abandonment, an interested party has 10 days to appeal.

If after 10 days no importer will file an appeal, the declaration of abandonment will become final.

Meanwhile, Almadin said the Port of Cebu will not release the 15,995 sacks of rice on board MV Queen of Joy now docked at Pier 2, Cebu City because the ship is still under investigation.

Relief

Earlier, Mayor Marcos Gregorio Cerillo and Association of Barangay Council president Ramon Tan of Isabel alleged that the rice shipment is consigned to Philippine Phosphate Corp. and is meant to be given as relief assistances to typhoon survivors.

But BOC became suspicious when the people who facilitated for the shipment’s release alleged that the rice will be unloaded in Cebu for repacking. They said the vessel could go straight to Isabel Port.

Officials became more suspicious when one of the cargo facilitators said that after unloading the rice, about 12,000 family food packs, which was requested by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, will be loaded and brought to Isabel for distribution to the neighboring towns.

A customs official, who asked not to be named, said that there is a possibility that the rice shipment is imported and will be swapped with the DSWD food packs to avoid detection.

Almadin said they submitted rice samples to the International Rice Research Institute in Los Banos to determine the rice variety.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 07, 2013.

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