MANILA – Officers of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have seized 276 imported carnivorous plants worth PHP150,000 at a cargo warehouse in Pasay City earlier this week.
In a statement Wednesday, the BOC said the carnivorous plants identified as Drosera (sundew plant), Nepenthes (tropical pitcher plant), Dionaea (Venus flytrap), Sarracenia (trumpet pitcher plant), Pinguicula (butterworts), and Cephalotus (Australian pitcher plant) were discovered during the physical examination of 10 imported packages from the Netherlands on July 5.
Verification with the DENR revealed that the plants were unlawfully imported into the country without the required sanitary and phytosanitary import clearance and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) permit from the agency.
The BOC added that the intercepted packages were subsequently turned over to the DENR for rehabilitation and care pursuant to Section 11 of Republic Act 9147 (Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act) and Section 1147 of Republic Act 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) and Section 8 of Customs Administrative Order No. 10-2020.
Case records of the subject shipment will likewise be referred to the Bureau Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS), Legal Service of the BOC for further case build-up and prosecution for violation of Section 1401 of the CMTA.
Carnivorous plants have already been globally declared as critically endangered and are among the world’s rarest and most endangered plants.
The collection and trade of these insect-eating plants are restricted under RA 9147. (PNA)