MANILA, Philippines : The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has apprehended the entry of nearly 500 units of solar panels from China due to misdeclaration of shipment and undervaluation of prices.
The Port of Cebu has confiscated a container with 470 panels of new solar modules from China worth more than P2.6 million, according to the BOC.
Declared as used solar modules, the shipment was referred to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for examination for possible risks to public health and the environment.
Upon assessment, the DENR told the Port of Cebu that the container has yet to apply for a pre-shipment importation clearance. The consignee said the solar panels should be exempted from DENR scrutiny, admitting the units are indeed new, not used as declared.
Port agents then confirmed the shipment contained new solar panels contrary to the declaration filed by the importer. Aside from misdeclaration, they found out that the units were undervalued by at least 155 percent and avoided taxes worth P190,282.
As such, the port issued a warrant to seize and detain the China shipment in violation of multiple provisions under the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
“The recent seizure is part of the efforts of the bureau to curb technical smuggling committed by importers to illegally evade payment of the correct amount of customs duties and taxes due on their importations,” the Customs said.