BOC blacklists 71 brokers, importers
Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon has made good of his threat last December to blacklist misfits dealing with the BOC and cancelled yesterday the accreditation of 71 customs brokers and importers.
“We will be delisting importers and brokers who practice illicit trade in the Bureau of Customs for the past six years,” Faeldon said. He admitted, though, that it would be a difficult task to trace these illicit transactions
way back to 2011.
These illicit practices include the undervaluation and misdeclaration of shipments.
Meanwhile, the list of 71 blacklisted by Faeldon contained the names of Customs brokers and importers from the Port of Manila (POM) and the Manila International Container Port (MICP) who had been involved in illicit trade since July, 2016.
“We have 11,000 importers. We have to clean them. Sila ang gumugulo sa image ng Bureau of Customs (They’re the ones tarnishing the name of the Bureau of Customs),” he said.
“Part of the cleaning is the people transacting with the Bureau, ’di lang yung mga tao dito (and not only the ones who work here).”
He added that they will also be checking the transactions of these offenders abroad but said their illicit practice in the country is already enough to delist them.
Banned for life
Faeldon said the 71 offenders are now banned from transacting or doing business inside the Bureau.
“They are permanently delisted until proven otherwise. They have to prove that the malpractice is unintentional,” he said.
He said these offenders were already informed that they were getting blacklisted last Tuesday and will only have three days to appeal and explain their side. However, only five from the list submitted their appeal.
They are Coco Technologies Corporation, Harbinger International Trading, Manhattan Chemical Corporation, Richo Marketing, and Unifine Enterprises.
The Customs chief added that the offenders can still be reacreddited but they have to deliberate first after they come up with the complete list starting 2011.
“Pag-aaralan namin ng six months. ‘Pag isang beses lang nagkamali baka pwede pa pagbigyan (We’ll deliberate for six months. If he has only done the illegal practice once, then we might give another shot),” he said.
Cases on hold
Faeldon said they would only ban these offenders for now, but did not discount the filing of cases against them.
“We would start collecting evidence on possible filing of cases against them. If the evidence against them warrants the filing of criminal cases, why not?” he said.
The Bureau’s legal department would be the one to review the possibility of filing criminal charges against the offenders.
“Administratively, this is our function. We have to comply with our mandate.”
The public should know
Faeldon said he chose to reveal the list because the public is entitled to know who these offenders are.
“Suspetsa (kasi ng mga tao) we are protecting them (People are suspecting that we are protecting these offenders). Why would we protect them? I want to protect the welfare of the people. Not these few people who are making money out of illicit trade,” he said.
He added that the list is intended to help the public, especially the millions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), avoid transacting with the offenders.
“We have to warn the public because they go to them for importation activities. OFWs wll use them for forwarding [baka hindi nila alam] ’yun pala naka ban na (they may not know that some of them are already banned),” he said.