Brokers groups support drive vs smuggling

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012


TWO organizations of Customs brokers in the country signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Bureau of Customs (BOC) to support the bureau's fight against smuggling.

Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon welcomed the support of the Professional Regulatory Board for Customs Brokers (PRBCB) and the Chamber of Customs Brokers Inc. (CCBI) as they vowed to help in the government's anti-smuggling program.

"We are now in the process of re-aligning our resources to maximize efficiency and to plug loopholes. Moreover, the Bureau’s anti-smuggling program, particularly the Run-After-The Smugglers (Rats) program, is being enhanced to get convictions for those charged with smuggling," he said.

He said the group's support could be a big help since customs brokers are usually involved, whenever an attempt to smuggle goods into the country is undertaken.

Under the MOA, the BOC shall, within five days from date of filing of smuggling charges against customs brokers, provide a complete set of case documents to the PRBCB and the CCBI to allow both organizations to conduct their own assessment and evaluation of the case and to enable them to impose the appropriate sanctions to affected brokers.

The PRBCB, for its part, shall, upon coming up with a decision, whether suspension or cancellation of a broker’s license, provide the BOC commissioner and CCBI president copy of said decision to enable them to enforce the sanctions imposed by the PRCB on affected brokers.

PRBCB chairman Ferdinand Nague said his group decided to support the bureau's anti-smuggling program as it feels the sincerity in the BOC's current leadership to undertake real reforms.

"We don't only want to give it a chance, we also want to play our part in these reforms," he said.

The bureau currently files at least two cases each month against importers and brokers caught attempting to slip illegally imported goods into the country.

Under Biazon's five months leadership, 10 cases have already been filed at the Department of Justice.

The MOA was signed by Biazon, Nague, CCBI president Girlie Perez and PRBCB members Silverio Montalbo and Felipe Bartolome last February 14, 2012. (FP/Sunnex)

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