Sinag: Smuggling of agri-products continues

July 30, 2017 at 11:03 pm Leave a comment


By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

 ROSALES- A year after the passage of Republic Act No. 10845 or the Anti Smuggling of Agricultural Commodities Law, the smuggling of agricultural products continue to flourish and remains unabated.

The Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) said those who have been benefited and those who allowed smuggling to prosper have never been punished despite the enactment of new laws to combat the smuggling of agricultural products.

 Sinag observed the same modus operandi and the same personalities involved in smuggling, undervaluation, misdeclaration, and technical smuggling in the trade/importation of pork, rice chicken, onion and garlic.

 Five years ago, Sinag in its research revealed that close to P200 billion worth of agricultural products were smuggled into the country.

 Last year, Sinag has been “pushing to let the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to review importers applying for accreditation, since the agency has the updated data of sales and equity of the importer that is operating for at least two years.”

 Taking garlic as an example, Sinag noticed the disparity in the reported volume of imported garlic into the country in 2016.

 According to Sinag, trade partners in the country reported some 62.7 million kilos, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reported that 58.7 million kilos of garlic were imported, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) reported 72.5 million kilos, some 10 million kilos over the United Nations (UN) record.

 The disparity, Sinag said, is due to technical smuggling such that what was declared as garlic was something like onions.

 Sinag has claimed that the unscrupulous traders  and smugglers are in cahoots with erring officials of the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) for the series of garlic price spikes since 2014.

 Local garlic producers are still struggling from the 25-year policy of wanton garlic importation and smuggling in lieu of domestic production.

 On this, Sinag said that with only 7.5% of the country’s garlic requirements produced locally, importers/smugglers and traders forming the garlic cartel continue to dictate prices since there is no significant local production to counter the “steep price of imported/smuggled garlic.”

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Entry filed under: News.

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