BoC boosts border protection patrols

The Bureau of Customs said Saturday it is enhancing its border control capabilities through the utilization of the agency’s modernized Fast Patrol Vessels.

The BoC’s ability to conduct water patrols was considerably improved by the inclusion of FPVs in the agency’s collection of enforcement tools. The Enforcement and Security Service-Water Patrol Division and its District Offices performed 265 maritime patrols, 60 search and survey operations, boarded 50 vessels of interest, and issued warrants of seizure and detention to two of them between January and September of this year.

The sample of fuel oil taken from the vessels issued with WSDs failed to comply with the fuel marking test conducted by the BoC Fuel Marking Team. In addition, the said vessels left the Port of Limay without proper clearance from the concerned offices of the Philippine Coast Guard and the BoC.

The officers of the vessels also failed to present proof of payment of duties and taxes.

WSDs were issued against the vessels for violating Republic Act No. 10864, also known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, Sections 103 (When Importation Begins and Deemed Terminated) and 1401 (Unlawful Importation or Exportation).

The FPV is a sea-tested high-speed interceptor with smooth navigation that can endure a sea state of 3. In order to improve the Bureau’s board, it also has Garmin navigation systems and other conventional water patrol equipment for patrol functions.

Currently, the BoC has 20 units of FPVs deployed to various ports nationwide. Two units each of the FPVs were deployed to the ports of Batangas, Subic, Limay, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, and Davao; one unit to the Port of Iloilo; three units to the Port of Manila; and four units to the Port of Zamboanga.

The BoC vows to continue its unceasing efforts in defending the nation’s borders against the entry of illegal products by enhancing its intelligence and enforcement capabilities and by enhancing its port surveillance and water patrol capabilities.

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