BUREAU of Customs (BoC) Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon assured meat importers and consumers of a steady supply of meat products during the holiday season with the continued release of imported meat from the bureau despite the cancellation of import permits by the Department of Agriculture.
In a statement, the customs chief averred he has “not yet received” any official communication from the DA regarding the recall and suspension of all permits pertaining to agricultural products that include poultry and meat.
“We will not hesitate to comply with orders, and we will not contradict other regulatory agencies.
“But for this one, we have to clarify with them (DAO because no memo has reached my office yet. For now, we will continue with the status quo,” Faeldon said.
The agri department earlier said it has suspended and cancelled all import permits to curb smuggling thru the “recycling” of import permits by unscrupulous importers.
Faeldon issued the assurance amidst complaints that the BoC is “holding” shipments of meat and agricultural products due to the DA’s order.
Waterfront stakeholders expressed their concern of having to pay undue demurrage and storage fees due to the delay of releasing their cargoes.
Faeldon said all customs ports have been instructed to process all agricultural importations according to the current procedures being followed, provided that importers present all required clearances and permits.
He also gave assurance that “there will be no port congestion” and undue delay in customs operations and assured the public that the issue will not compromise the supply of meat products in time for the holidays.