Cargo of 5,000 MT of China steel probed
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is looking into a shipment of 5,000 metric tons of deformed steel bars that arrived here starting on April 21.
Lawyer Ernelito Aquino, BOC Subic district collector, on Monday said personnel of the Port of Subic were notified about the shipment amid suspicion that the steel bars were being smuggled into the country.
Roberto Cola, president of the Philippine Iron and Steel Institute, had asked the agency to suspend the processing of the import entry documents of Mannage Resources Trading Corp., the consignee of the steel bars.
In an April 25 letter to Aquino, Cola said the steel bars had not been subjected to quality inspection and lacked the required import commodity clearance.
Cola also asked Aquino to issue a warrant of seizure and detention (WSD) for the shipment “to ensure [the] safety of the general public and consumer protection from substandard steel products in [this] seismic region.”
But Aquino said a government agency has to determine the quality of the steel bars before he could act on Cola’s request.
“I will invite the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) to confirm the compliance [of the steel bars] to quality standard,” Aquino told the Inquirer.
He said the issuance of a WSD would only be carried out once the DTI and BPS ruled that the steel bars were substandard. He said the government would subsequently seize the shipment. Allan Macatuno, Inquirer Central Luzon
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