The Bureau of Customs has filed charges against two importers for the misdeclaration of their food and agricultural shipments that arrived in the country last year.
Through the Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS), the Customs bureau filed criminal charges before the Department of Justice against the Santo Nino Marketmarket Co. (SNMC) and Navotas Fish Traders Association Market (NFTAM) on October 23.
Charges were filed against Santo Nino Marketmarket Co. for allegedly misdeclaring a shipment containing squid balls, peking duck, and chicken wings at the Port of Manila on June 16, 2019.
“For this reason, one count of violation of Section 1401 (Unlawful Importation) of Republic Act No. 10864 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) in relation to other sections of the act, Sections 3, 4, and 5 of R.A. No. 10845, known as the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016, and Article 172 in relation to Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), is filed against the alleged violators,” the bureau said.
The Navotas Fish Traders Association Market was also charged with a criminal complaint for alleged misdeclaration of shipment of Frozen Bonito which arrived at the Manila International Container Port in October 2019.
“One count of Section 1401 (Unlawful Importation) of CMTA in relation to Sections 2, 8, 11, and 12 of the Fisheries Administrative Order 195, series of 1999, Sections 61, 67, and 100 of R.A. No. 8550, known as the Fisheries Code of the Philippines, as amended by R.A. 10654, and Sections 3, 4, and 5 of R.A. No. 10845 otherwise known as the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016, is also filed against the alleged violators,” the Customs bureau added.
According to BATAS, 41 cases have already been filed before the DOJ against importers and customs brokers for violation of customs laws, rules and regulations.