The controversial containers full of misdeclared garbage will be returned to South Korea not later than the end of this month.
Customs Commissioner Leonardo Guerrero announced this yesterday following bilateral meeting between representatives of the Korean government and the Bureau of Customs (BoC) at the Sub-Port of Mindanao International Container Terminal, in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.
During the meeting, it was agreed that 51 containers will be re-exported on 9 January while the bulk of the shipment consisting of 5, 197.91 tons of waste garbage will be returned on or before 30 30 January.
The Korean representatives expressed full cooperation and support to the return of the imported garbage and agreed to shoulder the shipping cost of $47,430 without the arrastre and demurrage charges.
“We welcome this positive development and thank our counterpart in their swift response to our demand for the re-exportation of this shipment of garbage. I commend the Bureau personnel for their immediate action upon my instructions. But anybody found to have aided in the commission of this act will be dealt with severely,” Guerrero said.
The re-exportation order was pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act 10863 (Customs Modernization and Tariff Act), Republic Act 6969 (Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act), and the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, the BoC emphasized.
The truck-load of trash from South Korea arrived in Tagaloan, Misamis Oriental in July last year without prior import clearance from the Derpartment of Environment and Natural Resources. It was incorrectly declared as “plastic synthetic flakes.”
The shipment contained plastic, used batteries, diapers and dextrose tubes, among other hospital wastes.
According to documents shown by the BoC, the garbage shipment was consigned by South Korean company Verde Soko Philippines Industrial Corporation.