11 container vans of coconuts seized

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014


THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) District 12 seized Tuesday 11 40-foot container vans filled with mature coconuts and seedlings at the Marianas Express Lines at the Tefasco Wharf in Tibungco, Davao City after they were deemed to be illegal exports.

BOC District 12 collector retired Philippine Army general Ernesto Aradanas, in an interview, said the shipments which were bound for export to Hong Kong were consigned to a certain Woodrich Lumber, a Davao City-based company.

He also suspected that the coconuts came from South Cotabato but the facts that they have are still inconclusive.

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"We communicated to them (Woodrich Lumber) yesterday telling them to clarify these container vans with mature coconuts, which are actually prohibited by law to be exported, had entered the Tefasco Wharf without appropriate export declarations or other documents needed in order to facilitate the exportation," Aradanas said.

But he said that although they may have already raised the concern to the consignee of the exports, BOC has yet to get the official reply from the lumber company.

When asked if there are corresponding criminal charges against the consignee, Aradanas said: "We are studying it. But basically what we do is to collect revenues and to stop illegal and fraudulent importations or exportations."

He added that they will be coordinating with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) to discuss the disposal of the seized coconuts.

BOC's Enforcement and Security Service (ESS)-Davao special agent Leonard George Carillo, in an interview with Sun.Star Davao, said: "On May 9, we requested the Marianas shipping line to hold the 11x40 containers of the Woodrich. Before that we received derogatory information regarding the exportation. So yesterday, Monday, we conducted an X-ray examination on the containers and we found out that the shipments contain mature coconut and seedlings."

Carillo also said that based on the PCA Board Resolution No. 053-2011, mature coconuts are prohibited from being exported thus, they seized the exportations.

The ESS-Davao special agent also said that their agency will not only try to increase the revenue collection by sorting importations, they are also running after erring local exporters.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 14, 2014.

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