MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs recently seized some P14 million worth of illegally imported onions at the Manila International Container Port.
Five container vans, consigned to RSG Marketing, were seized last July 26. Another container van, consigned to Adier Enterprise Trading, was seized last August 2.
Importation of onions is currently banned in the Philippines, in an effort to boost the local market.
"To circumvent the existing ban on the importation of onions, RSG marketing declared its onion shipment in their entry as fresh pears while Adier Enterprise Trading declared its shipment as household decors," Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon said in a statement.
Customs Deputy Commissioner Danilo Lim, meanwhile, said the consignees of the onions violated Section 101, in relation to Sections 2503 and 2530 of the Tariffs and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP) when they misdeclared their onion shipment.
"Had these container vans of illegal onion shipment been released and had it reached the local market, thousands of our local onion raisers could be spending a bleak Christmas," Lim said.
Lim said the bureau is stepping up its operations against the importation of illegal products with the holiday season approaching.