BOC seizes 38 used cars imported through Cagayan Freeport

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Friday, February 21, 2014


THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday issued warrants of seizure on 38 used vehicles imported through the Port Irene in Santa Ana, Cagayan.

Customs Commissioner John Sevilla said the apprehended automobiles are composed of Nissan Serena (2000 model) Hummer H2 (2003 and 2005 models), Honda Fit (2003), Toyota Alfard (2002 model), among others.

He identified the importer as Fenix (Ceza) International Inc., one of two accredited used cars importers at the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport (CSEZF).

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The seized vehicles, which were valued at P1.2 million as declared by the importer are part of the more than 800 second-hand cars imported through the said port in three batches.

The first shipment came in last December 14 with 347; followed by 266 units that arrived last January 3 and the last batch entered the port with 234 units on January 27 from South Korea.

Sevilla said the importer had filed an import entry for the 38 vehicles, which signified the firm's intention to bring the used cars outside the Freeport zone and into Philippine customs territory.

"We immediately send team to examine the vehicles. The legal basis for the seizure is Executive Order 156, which prohibits the import of used vehicles except for certain special type of vehicles, when they filed the entry, they did not indicated there what kind of vehicles… As a result of the examination they did not fall under the exemptions. That is why we issued a warrant of seizure," he said.

The motor vehicles that are exempted from the ban are ambulances, fire trucks, and heavy trucks.

The BOC chief noted that they would strictly implement the ban on the importation of used cars in all Philippine ports of entry under the Executive Order (EO) 156 issued in 2002 by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that prohibits the importation of used cars except light trucks, buses and special-purpose vehicles and reiterated in 2010 through EO 877-A.

He cited a Supreme Court ruling in 2006 (Executive Secretary v. Southwing Heavy Industries Inc.), which imposes a partial ban on the importation of used cars, noting that imported used cars cannot be taken out of the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport (CSEZF) and sold in the local market.

Sevilla added that according to law, the vehicles cannot be brought out of the free port without clearances from the BOC, the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Land Transportation Office. (FP/Sunnex)

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