THE Bureau of Customs-Port of Batangas seized vessel “MV SUNWARD” loaded with 4,000 metric tons of Thailand White Refined Sugar on January 14.
The vessel arrived in the Philippine contiguous zone without a Notice of Arrival as prescribed by existing customs laws, rules, and regulations.
Based on the information provided by the Sugar Regulatory Board, the cargo has no import permit. The sugar were packed in 80,000 bags.
District Collector Ma. Rhea M. Gregorio immediately issued a Warrant of Seizure and Detention in violation of Section 117 and Section 1113 (k), (f), and (l) of the CMTA in relation to the Department of Agriculture- Sugar Regulatory Authority and Bureau of Plant Industry rules and regulations and R.A. 10845, also known as the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016 and Food Safety Act of 2013.
As an ISO-Certified Port, Batangas has a full proof system that safeguards its area of responsibility against attempts to smuggle prohibited and regulated goods into the country.
This airtight system has yielded positive results for the Port.
In the past several months, the Port has tightened its control measures and strengthened coordination with other government agencies after receiving information on the apprehensions made by the Bureau in other collection districts. This showed a concerted effort to smuggle agricultural products across the country.
The Port has remained on guard pursuant to the directive of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr and Comm. Yogi Filemon Ruiz to curb agricultural smuggling.#