April 12, 2017 – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Tuesday denied a motion filed by Mighty Corporation (MC) to lift a suspension order against it after the cigarette firm failed to present documents to identify and examine shipments that already arrived prior to the suspension.
The order denying the motion and signed by BOC Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon stressed the purpose of a preventive suspension which would prevent and suppress smuggling.
On April 3, a month following the preventive suspension of its importer’s accreditation, MC filed a motion for the temporary lifting of the suspension. The motion was limited to “those shipments that had arrived prior to the suspension” and “those that were in transit.”
MC argued that the shipments would deteriorate and would substantially hamper its operations. The cigarette manufacturer then undertook steps to pay duties and taxes due on the shipments and to post a bond to cover any damage on the part of the BOC.
Government prosecutor Danilo Campos, however, opposed the motion, saying that while MC offered to pay the rightful duties and taxes and to post bond, it failed to present supporting documents, particularly the Bills of Lading (BL).
Without the BL, the BOC would not be able to identify and examine the shipments that MC wants to be processed.
Because of MC’s inability to present the BL, the bureau could not identify the ports where MC shipments are now being stored pending their release.
Faeldon said ordering the preventive suspension was part of the bureau’s function to prevent smuggling and other instances of customs fraud.
“We will not slow down in our anti-smuggling operations, “ said the BOC head. “The bureau will continue to go after people and companies involved in smuggling.” #