Customs raises P400 million from sale of overstaying cargoes

Elijah Felice Rosales – The Philippine Star

October 5, 2021 | 12:00am


MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has raised more than P400 million from the sale of overstaying cargoes in an effort to eliminate port congestion and speed up trade flow.

The BOC said it has disposed of 814 overstaying containers, bulk of which were either auctioned or condemned, at the ports in the third quarter.

Broken down, P134.64 million were generated from the sale of 336 cargoes of assorted goods in accordance with its mandate to collect revenues from abandoned or seized imports.

Further, the Customs donated 35 containers of broadcasting equipment, health supplies, Islamic books, among others, to national agencies and local governments. The remaining 443 cargoes of mostly used clothing, used furniture and used oil were destroyed by the agency.

In total, the agency tasked to man the ports has collected around P414 million from the auction of overstaying containers as of end-September. In the process, it freed up the yards by at least 1,855 cargoes during the period.

Under the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), cargoes abandoned by their owners or confiscated by authorities should be disposed of, either through sale or condemnation, based on the conditions provided under the law.

Cargoes left at the ports within 30 days after payment of taxes and duties, for instance, shall be considered abandoned by the Customs, which will then assess how to do away with the imports.

According to the Customs, overstaying containers need to be disposed of to facilitate the flow of goods, as allowing them to take up port space will block the arrival of new cargoes.

As the second largest revenue agency, the Customs tries to improve its collection this year in an effort to beef up the state’s resources during the pandemic. In September, the agency posted its highest monthly take at P59.9 billion, beating by over five percent its target of P56.9 billion.

Aside from recording an all-time high, the September figure marked the ninth consecutive month that the Customs surpassed its collection goal. For the year, it has collected P472.2 billion as of end-September, reaching nearly 77 percent of its 2021 target of P616.74 billion.

Last year revenues fell by around 15 percent to P537.68 billion from P630.31 billion in 2019, as global trade declined due to containment measures enforced by governments.

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, for his part, vowed the Customs will sustain its work in doubling collection efforts and adjusting valuation systems to account for the increasing volume of imports with the recovery of world trade.

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