The Bureau of Customs (BOC) Cebu-Subport of Mactan foiled an attempted release of 1.5 kilograms of various flower seeds from Indonesia concealed inside a pair of sport shoes last Thursday, 17 March 2022. The importation does not have a Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance from the Bureau of Plant Industry.
The package, declared to only contain sport shoes, was flagged by the X-Ray Inspection Project (XIP) Team after conducting a non-intrusive inspection which yielded suspicious images after its scan. Assigned Customs Examiner Pablito B. Geraldez and representatives from XIP Team, Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service, Enforcement and Security Service, DHL Cebu, Bureau of Plant Industry, and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency proceeded with the physical examination and found 41 sachets of flower seeds hidden inside the shoes.
After finding probable cause for deliberate misdeclaration, District Collector Charlito Martin R. Mendoza immediately issued a Warrant of Seizure and Detention for violations of Section 1113 (F), (I), and (L-3, 4, and 5) in relation to Section 1400 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act and the BPI Quarantine Administrative Order No. 2, series of 2008.
Mactan Port Collector Gerardo A. Campo reminded the public that importation of plants and plant products is allowed if covered with import clearance from the Bureau of Plant Industry. “Do not resort to misdeclaration and concealment to effect the release of your importation,” he warned.
The latest seizure is in line with the directive of Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero to continuously boost surveillance and monitoring efforts against the proliferation of illegal trade of wildlife species to protect the environment and preserve biodiversity.