NFA alerts BOC on smuggled rice from Vietnam

November 8, 2013 11:03 am 

MANILA, Nov. 8 — The National Food Authority (NFA) has formally notified the Bureau of Customs (BOC) about the possible entry of a huge volume of rice from Vietnam.

NFA Administrator Orlan Calayag informed BOC Commissioner Rufino Biazon in a letter last October 21 that an agreement between unidentified rice traders and the Vietnam Food Association was made for the procurement of 120,000 metric tons of rice from Vietnam without an import permit from the NFA.

“For your information, the planned importation is in violation of Republic Act 8178 and Presidential Decree No. 4, as amended,” Calayag said in his letter. “Rice cannot be imported in the Philippines without an import permit from the NFA.”

RA 8178 also known as “The Agricultural Tariffication Act” abolishes restrictions on the importation of agricultural products while protecting Filipino firms against unfair trade through the strict implementation of anti-dumping and countervailing measures. On the other hand, PD 4 empowers the NFA to require import permits for rice shipments.

NFA also informed BOC that rice have been smuggled into the country in container vans from Vietnam through ports in Thailand, Singapore or Taiwan.

The food agency has earlier recommended to the BOC to file the appropriate charges against five consignees of 243,000 50-kilogram bags of smuggled rice from Thailand at the Davao Port between July and September this year.

These consignees include Bold Bidder Marketing & General Merchandise, Jade Bros. Farms & Livestock Inc., Medaglia de Oro Trading, Silent Royalty Marketing, and Starcraft Trading Corporation.

Calayag has requested for the filing of charges to concerned BOC staff and officials who allowed the shipments to leave the port even with incomplete documents.

The NFA also asked for the seizure of a separate 69,500 50-kilogram bags of rice consigned to San Carlos Multipurpose Cooperative and Starcraft Trading Corporation which arrived in Davao Port. These shipments are currently on hold at the port on NFA’s behest. (PNA)

LAM/ABP/JSD

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