MANILA, Philippines – Smuggling-related charges have been filed against officials of two import firms and their licensed brokers for the alleged illegal importation of counterfeit shoes and steel coils worth over P120 million.
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) filed charges against Ma. Rosalia Quiambao, owner, proprietor and general manager of Fort-Jhorel International Trading, and customs broker Henry Villa in relation to the firm's importation of three 40-foot container vans with footwear bearing faked brands such as Nike, Havaianas, Abercrombie, Hush Puppies, Sandugo, Nathaniel, Sanuk, Disney and Happy Feet.
BOC said the shipment was declared as packages containing eye glasses, paper box, stationery pads, Happy Feet rubber shoes, men's and ladies' leather shoes and slippers.
Quiambao and Villa were charged for violating the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP), Republic Act 8293 (Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines) and the Revised Penal Code.
Charges for violating the TCCP, Republic Act 4109, and Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code were also filed against Jose Alingasa Jr., owner and proprietor of Titan Movers Enterprises, and customs broker Mon Carlo Inciong.
The case stemmed from the importation of three 20-foot container vans of what the firm declared as "steel coils" imported from Australia last February 2014.
BOC said that further examination revealed that two of the containers had "Bluescope Steel with Galvalume markings" while the other container had "Bluescope Steel with Zincalume markings."
Bluescope Steel is a publicly-listed steel producer in Australia while Galvalume is a specialized type of galvanized steel made using flat-rolled steel sheets coated with aluminum-zinc alloy by a continuous hot-dip process.
"Titan obviously misdeclared, misdescribed and misclassified its importation of specialized steel products to avoid paying the correct duties and taxes. Futhermore, Titan did not obtain the required Import Commodity Clearance certificate for its importation. Even if the firm imported specific types of steel products, it does not exclude them from complying with the law to get your product tested and certified first," said Customs Commissioner John Sevilla.
In March, Titan was one of 70 firms suspended by the BOC for failure to comply with rules and procedures on filing import documents.