Butuan firm loses accreditation for illegal acid import
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) said it has stricken off a Butuan City-based chemical importer from its list of accredited firms for bringing in 300 drums of hydrochloric acid without a permit.
Under the law, importers have to secure documents such as an import permit which should indicate the type of material being imported and its uses.
In the case of Juchem Enterprises, it properly identified the shipment as “hydrochloric acid” to be used in mining, but it did not submit any document prior to importing the chemical from India. Hydrochloric acid is a controlled substance because it can be used to manufacture shabu. The corrosive chemical is also an ingredient in the manufacture of chlorides, fertilizers, dyes, among others.
The BOC said Juchem should have secured permits from such agencies as the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the Dangerous Drugs Board and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, before it brought in the chemical.
Juchem’s shipment was seized at the Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan in Misamis Oriental in February.
Neil Anthony Estrella, acting spokesperson of the Bureau of Customs, said Juchem was the latest to be removed from the agency’s list of accredited importers.
He said since early this year, the BOC had already delisted dozens of erring importers.
Violators, he added, would no longer be allowed to import and also face charges in court for not following the law.
Tomas Alcid, the Northern Mindanao Customs collector, said the seized shipment and those confiscated from Juchem’s warehouse in Butuan City would be turned over to the police for safekeeping. SFM/rga
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