Saturday, February 11, 2017

DA liaises with BoC by using VQC to avoid smuggling – SINAG

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

Rosales – The Department of Agriculture should coordinate with the Bureau of Customs about the correct product and tonnage of imported goods that enter the country to avoid smuggling at the expense of local products, urged by an agriculture group.
SMUGGLING. Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura  (SINAG) Chairman
Rosendo So during an inspection of a seized smuggled agricultural
products by operatives of the Bureau of Customs in one of the
ports in Metro Manila. 

Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura  (SINAG) Chairman Rosendo So said that DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol should use the Veterinary Quarantine Clearance (VQC) as basis to determine the tonnage of goods exported from other country to see if they jibe with the declaration of the importers at the ports of entry in the Philippines.
He cited these goods as pork, chicken, onions, and others that have been favorite products the smugglers have been mis-declaring since time immemorial.

"VQC is issue by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) if one importer apply for importation (of animal related products), then a plastic seal is place in a container," according to So.
The Sinag Chairman explained that every time a container that arrived in a port of entry, officials from the BoC and DA come in. He said the DA would assign a quarantine officer to check for the incoming shipment. 
"But the problem the importer had already paid the import before a quarantine officer could check if the product has Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) clearance" he stressed.

He said that people at the the DA and BoC were lax on the entry of mis-declared imported goods.

Another problem he saw was the quarantine officer's propensity to open and close its inspection to farm products like meat ,chicken, beef, or duck.
  “Pagdating dito hinde rin nagbabantay ang tao rito. Bukas, sara, labas. Ano ang na-che-check nila wala. For example iyong declaration mali, ang papel tama. Hinde naman nila ni check ang laman so important diyan ang VQC na tingnan ang kargamento. Dapat dito para double check and paglabas naman papunta sa National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) sa loob ng second boarding ang inspection dapat i-check,” he stressed.
He said Secretary Piñol should task NMIS, an agency under the DA, how to deal on the cargoes that enter the port.
“Iyong VQC at NMIS pagdating ng kargamento sa first boarder sila na ang nakabantay. Iyong second boarders sila ang naka bantay”.

He cited as example 100 containers of agricultural products released by BoC that did not undergo double checking with the VQC and the NMIS.
 “Medyo nagugulat kami na tinututulan namin na wala iyong VQC saka iyong NMIS,”he quipped.
He said the DA should also coordinate with the Philippines Port Authority to minimize smuggling at the BoC.
DA Administrative Order No. 09 enumerated that the second or final boarder of inspection is the last form of inspection and clearance of agriculture products, fish, fishery products including the agricultural inputs being undertaken by the Department of Agriculture Border Inspection (DABI) assigned at the border control to ensure that such imported products/commodities have finally satisfied the DA safety, quality and environmental requirements before the distribution for domestic use.
Recently, Bureau of Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon warned suspected smugglers of imported cigarettes, luxury cars, and oil products that their days are numbered under an intensified investigation on their activities that had been costing the government lost revenues equivalent to a tenth of the agency’s annual collections target. According to him, smuggling of cigarettes, oil, and luxury vehicles were the “top sources of revenue leaks,” with foregone revenues reaching over P50 billion annually – or about 10.7 percent of the annual revenue target averaging P467.9 billion
He said he would want to end during his term the “prevalent” misinvoicing of imported goods as well as fraudulent misrepresentation or misdeclaration – both underdeclaration and overdeclaration – of the real value of imported items.

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