The Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Port of Manila (POM) seized a foreign registered vessel docked off the coast of Zambales and its cargo of 25,000 metric tons of nickel ore on January 17.
The vessel was docked near the DMCI Wharf in Bolitoc-Longis, Sta. Cruz, Zambales, which is under the jurisdiction of the subport of Masinloc. It is loaded with nickel ores without permits from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The shipment was consigned to Yinglong Steel Corporation.
District Collector Michael Angelo Vargas issued a Warrant of Seizure and Detention (WSD) upon the recommendation of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) of the port against the vessel and its cargo for violation of Sections 1113 and 1401 of the Republic Act No. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), in relation to Customs Administrative Order 10-2020 and DENR-Environmental Management Bureau rules and regulations.
Before the issuance of the WSD, lawyer Wilfredo Moncano, director of Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), suspended the issuance of the Mineral Ore Export Permit and immediately recalled the Extended/Renewed Mineral Ore Export Permit of Yinglong Steel Corporation.
The CIIS-POM, in coordination with the Sub-Port of Masinloc, Pier and Inspection Division-POM, and the Philippine Coast Guard officers stationed in the areas of Sta. Cruz and Masinloc, Zambales served the Notice of Suspension.
Both the vessel and cargo are now in the custody of the POM Auction and Cargo Disposal Division to undergo further inventory.
Under the guidance of Customs Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz, the Port of Manila remains steadfast in the fulfillment of the BOC’s mandate of border protection, in line with the directive of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to stop smuggling while ensuring environmental protection in the country. #