MANILA - Smuggling charges were filed by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Thursday against a Valenzuela City-based firm for the importation of waste materials from Canada misdeclared as scrap plastic materials for recycling.
Charged before the Department of Justice (DOJ) were Adelfa Eduardo, owner of Chronic Plastics, engaged in the sorting and sale of recyclable materials from Canada, and the company's licensed customs brokers Leonora Flores and Sherjun Saldon for violations of the Tariff and Customs Code as well as Republic Act (RA) No. 6969, also known as the Toxic Subtance and Hazardous Wastes and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990.
RA No. 6969 prohibits the importation of hazardous materials.
Eduardo and Chronic Plastics also face charges for falsification and use of falsified documents as penalized under the Revised Penal Code.
The shipment, loaded in 50 container vans, arrived in six batches from June to August 2013 at the Manila International Container Port, and subsequently seized by the Customs Police and Enforcement Group. 19 of the containers were declared a total value of P3.9 million.
The shipment consisted of "used mixed and unsorted or 'heterogeneous' plastic materials, including household garbage and even used adult diapers, and not homogeneous or recyclable plastic scrap materials as declared by the importer."
Customs Commissioner John Sevilla cited at least two instances in the past when waste materials were also illegally shipped into the Philippines. The shipments were later shipped back to the countries of origin at the cost of the importers.
The BOC will also direct respondents to ship their waste materials back to Canada.
The complaint against Eduardo and Chronic Plastics is the second filed by the BOC since Sevilla was appointed to the bureau's top post on Dec. 9, 2013, and the 161st smuggling case filed during the term of Pres. Aquino.