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Customs agents seize P4M worth of 'smuggled' refrigerant chemicals

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 10/9/2019 Gorgonio, Luis
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Bureau of Customs personnel have intercepted refrigerant chemicals worth P4 million, the agency said Wednesday.

In a statement, the BOC said the 20-foot container  loaded with refrigerant chemicals was held last Monday because it has no clearance from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).

“Based on reports, the 1,150 units of Koman Refrigerant chemicals worth P4 million arrived on September 7, 2019 at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) from China,” BOC said.

Also, the bureau said that the 20-foot container was consigned to Barcolair Philippines, Inc. and was processed by Customs broker Alex Talaboc Bayot.

DENR records showed the importers did not even renew their registration as an importer or secure a Pre-Shipment Importation Clearance (PSIC),  which is a violation of some law and regulation.

Customs' move to hold the shipment is pursuant to Section 117 in relation to Section 1113 of the Republic Act No. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) and Customs Memorandum Order No. 9-2015 in relation to RA 6969 and EMB Memorandum Circular Order No. 2005-03.

“EMB MC 2005-03 requires all importers of chemicals that are alternatives to ozone-depleting substances to register with EMB and must secure a PSIC before the entry of such chemicals into the country,” BOC noted.

The EPCD, created through the Customs Memorandum Order  No. 38-2019 issued on August 2019, is a permanent and specialized unit that monitors and controls the entry of hazardous substances and other wastes into the country, BOC said. —Joviland Rita/LBG, GMA News

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