Saturday, October 20, 2012

Custom uses profiling to fight smuggling

Custom Commissioner Rozzano Rufino B. Biazon (Extreme Right) and Deputy Com. Danilo Lim of the Bureau of Custom inspect one of the container vans suspected to hide smuggled goods.
By Mortz C. Ortigoza

 MANILA – Deputy Commissioner Danilo Lim of the Bureau of Custom (BoC) said it was physically impossible to open every container van suspected to contain smuggled goods like imported pork in the warehouses of the BoC. He said the leadership of Custom Commissioner Rozzano Rufino B. Biazon uses profiling by using a color coding of red, green, and yellow. “Hindi lang nag-aapply ito sa frozen (meat). Profiling sa lahat ng element; red, yellow, green. Kung green kampante tayo. Kung yellow meaning ready inspection natin iyong document; red talagang (inspection) iyong mga documents and others,” he stressed. Rosendo So, Director of Swine Development Council, said it was really hard to physically open every container van. He said smugglers of imported pork there can put offal near the van’s door to deceive inspectors to conclude that it contains only offal. “But the bulk of it contains choice pork cuts,” he stressed. Offal is an internal organs and entrails of a butchered animal that has less tariff compared to choice cuts. So said his group had been badgering Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima to furnish Agriculture SecretaryProceso Alcala with Inward Forward Manifest (IFM) so BoC’s inspectors could accurately pin-point which vans are used to hide the “hot” meat. IFM is a mandated document requiring the complete listing by bill of lading number or airway’s bill numbers of an arriving carrier's cargo. It should give the commercial particulars of the goods including: consignors, consignees, marks and numbers, number and kind of packages, their weights or measures, descriptions and quantities of the goods, their port of loading and intended port of discharge. So, chair of Abono Party-list group, said the United Nations records of Philippine importation of pork cited that in 2010 countries like the United States and Canada exported 105 million kilos of prime cut pork while DA of the Philippines recorded only 73 million kilos of the same meat the UN listed. He said that the same countries exported 56 million kilos of offal while the DA declared that BoC received 105 kilos of imported offal. Aside from IFM, So said stake holders in the unabated smuggling of pork needs an H.S Code where there is a code if a van contains offal or a good cut meat. Lim said he did not know if Purisima had already furnished Sec. Alcala of the IFM. He said the IFM can have implication to the national security of the State.

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