THE Bureau of Customs (BoC) said it seized counterfeit and unregistered health products valued at P31.5 million from two warehouses in Santa Cruz, Manila.

In a statement on Monday, the BoC said the seizures took place last week.

The BoC’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service-Intellectual Property Rights Division coordinated a team that included representatives from the Port of Manila, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. One of the locations inspected was at Ongpin Street, and the other along Fernandez Street.

The seized goods carried brands like Lianhua Lung Cleansing Tea, Healthy Brain Pills, Gluta Lipo, Lidan Tablets, Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa, Vita herbs, among others. These goods require clearance from and registration with the Food and Drug Authority.

Goods seized at the Ongpin Street warehouse were valued at P9.5 million, while the goods at the Fernandez Street location were valued at P22 million.

The bureau said an investigation is in progress for possible violations of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act or Republic Act 10863, the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines or Republic Act 8293, which deals with the infringement of copyright, and the Food and Drug Administration Act or Republic Act 9711.

The BoC said in a separate statement on Monday that the port of Subic also destroyed counterfeit cigarettes worth P38 million last week.

The container bearing the cigarettes was found to also contain counterfeit clothing. The shipment arrived the year before and was forfeited by the port for violations of National Resolution No. 079-2005, Section 1113(f) of Republic Act 10863, and Section 155 of Republic Act 8293.

The BoC said that the destruction of the cigarettes was carried out at an accredited facility in Marilao, Bulacan.

The bureau seized P3.89 billion in smuggled goods and destroyed P7.70 billion worth of forfeited goods as of the end of March.

The BoC posted collections of P643.56 billion in 2021, exceeding the target by 4.7%. The BoC aims to collect P671.66 billion in 2022. — Tobias Jared Tomas