Entry of imported Christmas lights strictly monitored

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Sunday, October 7, 2012


THE regional Bureau of Customs (BOC) is strictly monitoring the entry of imported Christmas lights in Davao Region now that the demand for these products has increased in time for Christmas season.

The BOC district collector Martiniano Bangcoy, in a text message, said the importation of Christmas decorations and its shipment to the region have been liberalized, except for Christmas lights where importers have to secure an import commodity clearance (ICC) from Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

"Rest assured, we are monitoring this kind of shipment," he said. Felix Mejorada, assessment division chief of BOC-Davao, said peak demand for Christmas decorations usually starts early September.

In fact, he said at least 30 entries of about 30-footer container vans of imported Christmas decorations are shipped to Sasa Wharf every week.

But he was quick to add there is no single incident of smuggling imported Christmas decors into the city, not even in the previous years
He said BOC 11 is intensifying its monitoring on the entry of such shipments in the region.

"I don't believe (there is smuggling of imported Christmas decors). It's already affordable no need to be smuggled," he said, adding that importers must submit a list of all the commodities in their cargos and secure an ICC from DTI prior to the entry of these cargos.

He also said BOC 11 will hold the entries of cargos if importers fail to provide necessary requirement, especially an ICC for electronic products.

"We don't contact DTI anymore. We're the last agency in which importers have to go through, provided they have the exact clearance requirement," he said.

Provided there is an ICC, he added Christmas lights are assumed to be of good quality and can already enter the Davao market.

But he said it depends upon the discretion of BOC 11 district collector whether to seize or not the products which failed to have an ICC prior to its importation.

If there are illegal importation of Christmas lights, Bangcoy said BOC 11 may impose seizure and forfeiture of shipment in favor of the government, which shall be eventually disposed through condemnation.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 11 Davao City Field Office director Teolulo Pasawa said monitoring on illegal vendors of Christmas lights with no ICC stickers in the city already started this month until December, but no violation recorded so far.

He said consumers cannot be assured of the quality of the Christmas lights without an ICC sticker, which may cause an electric shock or overheating that usually causes the fire.

Pasawa said malls are not exempt from the inspection. He added the last violators recorded selling Christmas lights without ICC stickers were three years ago along San Pedro St. this city.

"The penalty for violation is P25,000 for first offense," he said in text message.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 08, 2012.

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