Customs confiscates P3-M imported onions
MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Customs seized 5,000 bags of illegally imported red and white onions worth P3 million from the Marcelo Cold Storage in North Bay, Navotas City.
The imported onions were seized by operatives from the agency’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) and Intelligence Division (ID) on Friday, March 22.
“The operators of the Marcelo Cold Storage could not show import documents or proof of payment for the duties and taxes on the imported onions stored in its cold storage. We had to seize the illegally imported onions to prevent it from getting into the local market.” said Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon.
“This is to protect the interest of the local farmers from the ill effects of agricultural products smuggling, particularly onions.”
Local onion producers have partly blamed smuggled onions for the industry’s stagnant growth. Onion importation is only allowed during lean production months to prevent price distortion.
“We are very much concerned about the interest of the local farmers. This is the reason why we maintain a zero tolerance policy for agricultural products smuggling. We will seize all illegally imported products, particularly agricultural, no matter who are the people behind it and no matter where these illegally imported agricultural products are.” Biazon said.
Danilo Lim, the deputy commissioner for the agency’s intelligence group, said that the imported onions will be destroyed. He added that the agency will pursue legal action against the people involved in bringing the shipment into country. - Rappler.com