BOC forms body to monitor hazardous wastes’ entry

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MANILA — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday said it created a permanent and specialized unit to monitor and control the entry of hazardous substances and other wastes into the country.

The Environmental Protection and Compliance Division (EPCD) was formed through Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 38-2019 issued by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero.

The EPCD will be under the Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) of the Enforcement Group (EG) and shall monitor the processing of shipments of hazardous substances, waste products, nuclear wastes, recyclable products or substances under the regulatory control of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The division shall also recommend the issuance of alert orders and pre-lodgement control orders against shipments suspected of containing goods in violations of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) and environmental laws.

The unit is also tasked to investigate cases and to make recommendations for the prosecution of violations of CMTA, in relation to environmental and other applicable laws, rules, and regulations.

The BOC, being one of the regulatory agencies, is mandated to assist the DENR in monitoring and preventing the entry of hazardous and nuclear wastes into the country in compliance with Republic Act 6969 or the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1999.

Some 2.56 tons of electronic wastes were shipped back to Hong Kong on June 3, four months after the trash arrived in Mindanao Container Terminal in Misamis Oriental.

The 69 containers of Canadian garbage, which had been in the Philippines in the last six years, were also sent back to Canada last June.

The shipment contained a mixture of paper, plastics, electronics, and household waste, including kitchen trash and diapers. (PNA)

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