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Goods abandoned for almost a decade destroyed in Laguna

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By Betheena Kae Unite

Shipments that have been abandoned for almost a decade at the Port of Manila were destroyed in Laguna Wednesday.

(screengrabbed from Bureau of Customs PH / Facebook live)

(screengrabbed from Bureau of Customs PH / Facebook live)

Two 20-footer container vans of cheese powder and used clothing which have been abandoned in 2009 and 2011 were destroyed at Tritek Reverse Logistics Corporations in San Pedro, Laguna.

The shipments, according to Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapena, were only destroyed many years after being declared as abandoned shipments because there were only two contractors in charge in the destruction of goods.

“The destruction was pushed back to a later date because years back, there were only two contractors in charge of the hauling and destruction of the hundreds of overstaying cargoes at the Port of Manila,” Lapena said.

The destruction of overstaying goods are done “not by the Bureau of Customs, itself but by accredited rendering companies without a fee for the Bureau of Customs,” according to Port of Manila District Collector Erastus Sandino Austria.

“It will be the shipping lines that will be charged by the rendering company. So it is also subject to the coordination between the rendering company and shipping lines because it will be the latter that will pay for the services that are being conducted,” Austria said.

It was disclosed that the consignees Monde M.Y. San and JISA Marketing failed to file an entry on the goods resulting to the forfeiture of the Bureau of Customs pursuant to Section 1129 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

The CMTA provides that imported goods are deemed abandoned when the importer failed to file the goods declaration within the prescribed period.

“The cheese powder was not auctioned off because it is not covered by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permit. Foodstuffs not covered by FDA permit are prohibited to enter the market because they did not undergo food safety inspection. More so, the ukay-ukay being a prohibited good under RA 4653 must be shredded,” Lapeña said.

Further, Austria said that the shipments do not have a certificate of product registry, which means that if the importers file the entry it will be seized anyway.

“In instances like this, the importers opt to simply just leave the container in the yard. And after a lapse of a certain period — after 15 days — it is considered abandoned. The government takes ownership and there is a legal process,” Austria explained.

A forfeiture order will then be issued against the shipment and will be subject to the proper mode of disposition.

Meanwhile, Lapena directed all district collectors to facilitate the disposal of all forfeited goods and show its disposal to the public.

“This is to dispute the common notion of the public that we are recycling the goods that have been seized,” Lapena stressed saying, that there will be more disposals of forfeited goods in the coming days.

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