Averting another smuggling attempt, Bureau of Customs-Port of Cebu intercepted 694 bales of used clothing or “ukay-ukay” with an estimated market value of Php 4,585,000.00 on 01 September 2020.
The shipment arrived at the port from China on 20 August 2020 and was declared in the Inward Foreign Manifest to contain hotel supplies. The Manifest further indicated that the shipment was consigned to GRR Trading.
With the successive seizures of previous shipments from the same importer, the container was subjected to x-ray inspection which showed suspicious x-ray images.
On 28 August 2020, Acting District Collector Atty. Charlito Martin R. Mendoza issued a Pre-Lodgment Control Order (PLCO) against the shipment.
On 01 September 2020, Customs Examiner Jay A. Oyao conducted 100% physical examination together with representatives from Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service, Enforcement and Security Service, X-Ray Inspection Project Team, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc.—Cebu Chapter.
The examination yielded 694 bales of used clothing or “ukay-ukay” intended to be sold in the local market.
Subsequently, District Collector Mendoza issued a Warrant of Seizure and Detention (WSD) against the shipment for violation of Republic Act No. 4653 prohibiting the importation of used clothing to safeguard the health of the people and maintain the dignity of the nation.
This latest seizure of the Port of Cebu is part of the Bureau’s continuous campaign to curb smuggling and protect the country’s borders from the entry of prohibited articles of importation.
In a related development, the Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS) has instituted criminal charges against GRR Trading before the Department of Justice for the unlawful importation of various brands of cigarettes estimated to have a total street value of Php234.7 Million.
The Bureau’s Account Management Office (AMO) has also revoked the importer’s accreditation of GRR Trading.
Kiara Lauren Ibanez / BENJAMIN CUARESMA