Thursday, September 4, 2014

Ukay-Ukay Worth 22 Million Pesos In Baguio City Seized By The Bureau Of Customs

The ukay-ukay industry in Baguio City received a hard wallop in the gut last September 2 when the Bureau of Customs seized nearly 2,800 bales of used clothes, comforters and other garments from nine separate warehouses in the city. Most of these are apparel from Canada and the United States. According to a statement released by the BOC, the seized bales may have entered the country via locators at the Subic and Clark Freeport zones or via the Cavite Export Processing Zone in Rosario, Cavite. The total worth of the items seized is estimated to be about 22 million pesos.

An investigation conducted by the Intelligence Group of the BOC found out that some locators inside Subic and Rosario are using a privilege given to them as a front to import used clothing. The importation of used clothing in the Philippines for commercial purposes is prohibited under Philippine laws. To get around these laws, some locators disguise the used clothing they smuggle as scrap fabric. Disguising the items as scrap fabric allows the locators to bring these into the country without paying taxes and duties.

The BOC statement also noted that the proliferation of ukay-ukay business has significantly hurt the local garments and clothing industry. Read the full BOC statement here. Below are photos from the operation which led to the seizure of the 2,800 bales of used clothing. All photos courtesy of the BOC.