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50 freight containers of trash traced to Valenzuela City firm

/ 01:53 AM February 12, 2014

A firm based in Valenzuela City is under investigation by the Bureau of Customs after it was identified as the consignee of 50 40-foot container vans full of garbage from Canada.

The BOC said in a statement that Chronic Plastics, which had declared the shipment as “scrap plastic materials for recycling,” violated the Tariff and Customs Code and Republic Act No. 6969, otherwise known as the “Toxic Substances and Hazardous Wastes Control Act of 1990.”

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It added that the shipment came from Chronic Inc. which is based in Ontario, Canada.

According to the BOC, the 50 container vans arrived at the Manila International Container Port last year, prompting the issuance of alert orders “because the consignee had submitted incorrect documents for the importation which has a declared value of over $220,000.”

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A spot check of the shipment last Jan. 21 revealed that it contained garbage materials, it added.

Ariel Nepomuceno, customs deputy commissioner for the enforcement group, warned that “these junk dumped in the Philippines could pose biohazard risks to our people.”

“While we will investigate further, it is clear that the importer violated the country’s tariff and environmental laws,” he said.

“Under the Basel Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal, the exporting country must take back the waste materials if the receiving country refuses to accept them,” Nepomuceno added.

The Philippines and Canada are both signatories to the international treaty which took effect on May 5, 1992. More than 180 countries are parties to the agreement.

Meanwhile, customs agents have seized over P1 billion worth of counterfeit goods in cooperation with the National Bureau of Investigation and Intellectual Property Office during raids conducted on 17 warehouses in Manila, Pasay City and Parañaque City over the past four days.

The interagency operation was “part of the government’s enforcement operations against the proliferation of fake goods,” the BOC said yesterday.

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In a statement, the Department of Finance-attached agency said the seized items included counterfeit Havaianas sandals and Ipanema flip-flops; Nike, Converse and Skechers shoes; Nike Team Pacquiao, Puma and Honda jackets, as well as imitations of leading brands of shampoo and other personal care products at the Roligon warehouse in Tambo, Parañaque.

“The consignees of the fake products face charges for violation of Republic Act No. 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines as well as the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines,” the BOC added.

Stressing the need to stop smuggling, Customs Commissioner John Philip Sevilla said the seizures “highlight the need for more aggressive intelligence-gathering and inspection of shipments, as well as systematic solutions that prevent the entry of fake products in the local market.”

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TAGS: BOC, Bureau of Customs, Canada, Chronic Plastics, Smuggling, Tariff and Customs Code, Valenzuela City
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