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Monday, July 22, 2024

Customs vows to intensify efforts against smuggling amid record haul

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The Bureau of Customs (BOC) vowed to be more aggressive in stopping smuggling in the country amid the bureau’s high record of seized and confiscated smuggled goods which reached P43.295 billion in 2023.

Customs Commissioner Bienvenido  Rubio also declared an all-out war against all forms of smuggling in the Philippines during the World Customs Organization Asia/Pacific (WCO-A/P) Regional High-Level Roundtable on the Enhancement of Data/Intelligence Analysis and

Regional Cooperation Network held in Tokyo, Japan.

In his statement, Rubio underscored the BOC’s unyielding pursuit to curb smuggling in all forms, marking the highest record on apprehension in history in cooperation with its foreign counterparts.

The BOC chief expressed confidence in preventing smuggling in the country with the full support of  WCO- A/P by providing its members with operational and reach-back intelligence support, implementing target-oriented analysis projects, fostering collaborative information exchange, and providing capacity building, modern tools and platforms for information exchange.

The majority of the items seized by the bureau were counterfeit items such as shoes, bags, and clothes. Aside from fake items and agricultural products, also included in the list were smuggled cigarettes and illegal drugs.

The WCO A/P aims to establish a Global Intelligence Network, providing member countries with timely and accurate information through its extensive database and network, ultimately enhancing the effectiveness of intelligence and enforcement operations.

The three-day assembly is comprised of various sessions that convene officials from various nations in the A/P. The opening ceremony also received remarks from principal officials of the WCO and the Japanese Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida.

Rubio not only successfully arranged a bilateral meeting with the Director General of the Japan Customs Tariff Bureau but was also invited to serve as a

panelist for Session 5 on “Expectations for RILOs as WCO regional

bodies.” with Darwin G. Amojelar

During the said session,  Rubio shared how their cooperation with RILO A/P has led them to achieve favorable outcomes in the BOC’s anti-smuggling drive and expressed commitment to supporting RILO A/P’s initiatives to reinforce information gathering and exchange within the A/P region. With Darwin Amojelar


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