Customs seizes sports car shipped as 'used bicycle'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 09 2015 01:40 PM | Updated as of Mar 09 2015 10:08 PM

MANILA – A Subaru sports car and several Honda motorcycles were seized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) at the Manila International Container Port after the shipment was found to be misdeclared as used bicycles.

BOC said the shipment, consigned to Panda Vine International Trading, arrived at the port from Japan and was declared as “873 units of used bicycles.”

However, a document and physical examination last month revealed that the shipment also contained a right-hand drive Subaru WRX 2000 cc sports car; 13 units of Honda and 2 units of Yamaha scooters; motorcycle parts; and other used car parts.

BOC said the motor vehicles imported by Panda Vine lacked the necessary permit from the Department of Trade and Industry-Bureau of Import Service, which is a requirement when importing motor vehicles.

Republic Act 8506 also bans the importation of right-hand drive vehicle included in Executive Order 156 as implemented by Customs Memorandum Order 4-2003.

Meanwhile, BOC said a container van consigned to Capas Pottery and Gen Merchandise was also misdeclared as computer parts but actually contained complete sets of computers. The shipment was also grossly undeclared.

“Under Section 2503 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, any discrepancy between what was declared and what was found that exceeds 30 percent is gross undervaluation, which constitutes prima facie fraud,” the BOC said.

The seized goods have an estimated value of P11.1 million.

“We will not let-up on our drive to go after these smugglers. Let this be a lesson to all importers and brokers that any misdeclaration or undervaluation made on import entries is a form of technical smuggling and will be dealt with accordingly,” said BOC Deputy Commissioner for Enforcement Ariel Nepomuceno.

The owners and licensed customs brokers of the shipments could face smuggling-related charges for the fraudulent importation.