P15M luxury goods seized at NAIA

August 04, 2020

THE Bureau of Customs NAIA collection district yesterday, August 4, 2020, seized several "balikbayan" boxes containing high-end brand luxury goods worth around P15 million misdeclared as “personal effects.”

NAIA district collector, Carmelita ‘Mimel’ Talusan, in a report to Comm. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, said on an actual inspection, the purported shipment of “canned goods/personal effects” from Italy turned out to consist of ‘Chanel,’ ‘Hermes,’ ‘Christian Louboutin,’ ‘Valentino,’ ‘Louis Vuitton’ and ‘Prada,’ among others.

She added the 17 boxes arrived recently thru the ‘RRG Freight Service Forwarder’ and deposited at the Paircargo warehouse.

Talusan also praised the customs officers who scrutinized the freight manifest and commercial documents, leading to suspicion that the shipment is of “commercial quantity.”

The misdeclaration, she added, “is an apparent attempt to evade the payment of correct duties and taxes.”

Under the revised rules on ‘balikbayan boxes,’ shipments of “personal effects” are given tax and duty-free status, in compliance with the order of Pres. Duterte to lessen the burden on returning Filipinos, especially, the overseas workers.

Talusan also informed Guerrero that the entire shipment shall be forfeited in favor of the government.

She added the shipment’s records shall also be forwarded to the bureau’s ‘Action Team Against Smugglers’ (BATAS) under deputy commissioner Vener Baquiran for case build-up and the filing of appropriate charges against those involved in the smuggling attempt.