THE BUREAU of Customs (BoC) said it confiscated P10.169 billion worth of smuggled goods from 557 operations in the first six months of the year, about the same as the year-earlier level of seizures.

The first-half seizure total is equivalent to 95.7% of the seizures recorded over the 2020 full year, according to the BoC’s mid-year accomplishment report posted on the bureau website.

Some P6.678 billion was seized through various enforcement operations while the remainder was discovered in the course of regular examinations and port inspections.

Fake goods topped the list of smuggled goods by value at P5.575 billion, followed by P1.97 billion in smuggled fuel, P1.869 billion worth of illegal drugs and P1.1 billion in illicit cigarettes.

The bureau issued 62 letters of authority to check suspicious inventories of imported goods in those six months, 57 of which led to enforcement action.

The BoC also condemned P4.243 billion worth of forfeited goods between January and June.

The sale of confiscated and forfeited goods through public auctions yielded P279.52 billion in revenue for the bureau.

Post-audit activities generated P483.33 million in additional customs duties and taxes.

The BoC collected P359.93 billion in the seven months to July, exceeding its target for the period by 4.15%. This was also 4.2% bigger than its year-earlier total.

The bureau is expected to collect P620 billion this year. — Beatrice M. Laforga