The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has ordered the country’s 17 ports to inspect all abandoned shipments and dispose of them accordingly to avoid port congestion.
In a memorandum issued by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero last Aug. 12, all district and sub-port collectors were directed “to examine all overstaying shipments within their respective collection districts.”
Guerrero said this move would help the BOC control and supervise better all import and export cargoes in order to collect correct import duties and other taxes from shipments passing through air and sea ports. This would also prevent the entry of contraband and smuggled items and suppress customs fraud.
In the case of overstaying imported shipments “found to be in order” or without issues, Guerrero said ports should issue decrees of abandonment for the goods.
In case agents found the shipments to have violated the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act and other related laws, “a warrant of seizure and detention should be issued,” Guerrero said.
The warrant would cover prohibited, regulated and restricted goods, and shipments lacking in mandatory clearan¬ces and other required documents, Guerrero added.
Latest BOC data released on Saturday showed that as of Aug. 14, yard utilization, or the occupancy rate of cargoes inside ports, at Port of Manila was 68 percent; 65.8 percent at Manila International Container Port; 8.8 percent at Davao’s Sasa Wharf; 82.2 percent at Davao International Container Terminal; 38.9 percent in Batangas; and 30 percent in Subic. As of Aug. 13, Cebu’s yard utilization was at 56 percent.