In line with its mandate to prevent the entry and exit of prohibited and restricted commodities, the Bureau of Customs – Port of NAIA seized and turned over 3 export shipments misdeclared as “Lego Toys” and 2 undeclared import shipments containing harmful black ants concealed in 396 specimen tubes to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on January 24, 2022 and February 04, 2022, respectively.
Like in other countries, the importation and exportation of non-native black ants are strictly prohibited in view of the danger it poses not only to human health but also environment. Studies in China show that non-native black ants are carrier of virus, bacteria and diseases inimical to local ecology, including agriculture and forestry. However, despite common perils and hazards, Black Ants are also beautiful in appearance.
Records show that the 3 intercepted export parcels declared as “Lego Kid’s Toy” bound for France, Singapore and Italy were sent by a certain “Shin Yap”. The subject parcels yielded a total of twenty one (21) small cups and twenty one (21) specimen tubes containing assorted black ants concealed in a Lego Box.
On the other hand, the 2 similarly suspicious imported shipments from Poland were also subjected to mandatory non-intrusive inspection and physical Customs examination . The same yielded a total of 375 specimen tubes containing black ants.
The seized black ants were immediately turned over to the DENR and subjected to seizure and forfeiture proceedings for violation of Section 11 and 27 of RA 9147 otherwise known as “Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act”, and Section 117 in relation to Section 1113 (f) of RA 10863 also known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).
The Port of NAIA under District Collector Carmelita M. Talusan remain steadfast and committed to support the directives of Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero to enhance border security and prevent the entry and/or exit of prohibited, restricted and hazardous goods, including harmful and inimical wildlife species.