The Bureau of Customs’ campaign against smuggling and other fraud, has resulted in the seizure of over P10.629 billion worth of smuggled goods in 2020.
Customs recorded 997 seizures from January 2020 to December 2020 due to its increased intelligence and enforcement operations as well as its strengthened examination and inspection at the ports nationwide.
Imported cigarettes and tobacco products topped the list corresponding to about 204 seizure cases worth P5.774 billion, the Customs statement said.
Next on the list is P1.855 billion worth of illegal drugs seized through tne combined efforts of the Bureau of Customs and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
Various counterfeit goods amounting to P1.056 billion were also confiscated during the year. The Bureau also seized P32.585 million worth of various types of undeclared foreign currencies. Likewise, Customs busted several smuggled personal protective equipment, medica supplies, and cosmetics with an estimated value of P196.580 million.
General merchandise worth P406.377 million, vehicles and automobile accessories valued at P356.532 million, and agricultural products amounting to P284.622 million without permits and clearances were likewise seized by Customs in 2020.
Other goods seized include P236 million worth of foodstuff, P168.285 million worth of used clothing, P95.174 million worth of electronic products and P66.433 million worth of wildlife & natural resources, steel products worth P11.820 million, alcoholic beverages worth P2.434 million, jewelry worth P7.280 million, chemicals worth P5 million, firearms worth 303,000.00, and other products worth P73.949 million.
Apart from its consistent anti-smuggling operations, the BOC is also persistent in filing appropriate criminal charges against unscrupulous importers and customs brokers.
From January 1 to December 31 last year, 126 cases were filed, comprised of seventy-four criminal cases before the Department of Justice and fifty-two administrative cases in the Professional Regulation Commission.
In 2020, the accreditation of 575 importers and 148 customs brokers was also revoked for violation of Customs and other related laws.
Moreover, the BOC already completed the inspection and investigation of a total of 152 Customs Bonded Warehouses and 255 Members of customs common bonded warehouses (CCBWs). These resulted in the closure of 20 customs-bonded warehouses and 40 members of CCBWs for various violations.