Almost 5,000 metric tons of deformed steel bars are entering the Philippines from China, but may not be on a par with the Philippine national standards and “pose a threat to security and safety.”
In an April 21 alert order forwarded to the media on Monday, the Bureau of Customs reported deformed steel bars in bundles were aboard the MV Well Faith was supposed to have docked in Subic port last Thursday.
|Steel bars from China (File photo by Reuters)|
The 4,929.38 MT of deformed steel were consigned to a certain Mannage Resources Trading Corp.
The alert order noted the shipment was red-flagged in the absence of an appropriate import permit, potentially in violation of Section 2503 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines which lists imported properties “subject to forfeiture.”
In a letter to the Subic Bay Freeport Zone and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) office in Zambales, the Philippine Iron & Steel Institute (PISI) wants the Subic and trade authorities to move against the shipment based on the Customs alert order. "...[W]e request for your assistance in holding the processing of the import entry of Mannage Resources Trading Corp. until the Bureau of Philippine Standards has conducted a complete inventory, thorough examination and testing of physical, chemical and mechanical properties of the product...” Roberto Cola, PISI president, said in the April 21 letter.
“We ask for your assistance on this matter to ensure that these imported reinforcing steel bars are in conformity with the Philippine National Standards and do not pose a threat to the security and safety of our Filipino consumers,” he added. (Kristyn Nika M. Lazo, The Manila Times)
'THOU SHALT NOT [DUMP] STEEL' | BoC tags China cargo for 'lack of permit' but strong lobby is on
MANILA - A group of stakeholders in the iron and steel sector is asking local Customs officials in Subic to hold processing of a shipment of steel bars from China, which the BoC's Intelligence Group had earlier tagged for "lack of permit."
The Philippine Iron and Steel Institute has written the District Collector of Subic, Atty. Emelito G. Aquino, asking for help in holding the processing of the import entry of Mannage Resources Trading Corp., for 4,928.38 metric tons of what are called "deformed steel bars," and asking authorities to first ensure these comply with Philippine National Standards. It's important to ensure the bars from China -- which in recent days has been accused by several countries of dumping steel products as it deals with a glut -- do not pose a threat to the "security and safety of Filipino consumers," said the Iron and Steel Institute's president, Roberto M. Cola, in the letter to Subic district collector Aquino.
The consignee, Mannage Resources Trading Corp, lists its address at Unit 1203-1204 One Global Place in Bonifacio Global City.
The appeal from Cola's group was lodged amid information that certain "well-connected" Filipino-Chinese businessmen have lobbied the Department of Trade and Industry to give the shipment a clean bill of health in order to facilitate release. InterAksyon sources said local steel manufacturers are subjected to some 200 tests for every 5,000 mt of steel products, and they expect a "level playing field" with respect to the imported steel bars from China.
So-called "deformed steel bars" are not necessarily sub-standard, but are categorized as such because they are not as polished as the others. Still, they need to be subjected to tests to ensure consumer safety. Â The Iron and Steel Institute has asked Subic collector Aquino to hold release of the cargo until the DTI's "Bureau of Philippine Standards has conducted: a complete inventory; a thorough examination; and testing for physical, chemical and mechanical properties" of the steel bars.
It was learned that on April 21, Deputy Customs chief, retired general Jessie Dellosa, had issued an "alert order" for the shipment from Hangzhou for "lack of permit," in violation of Sec. 2503 in relation to Section 2530 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines.
The 2,461 bundles from the Hangzhou CIEC Group Co. Ltd. were loaded on the Well Faith vessel, with registry number OPL 0005-16, which left the port of Shanghai April 14.
Sources said the steel bars have since been unloaded from the Chinese boat, but are stored in Subic, while the influential Filipino-Chinese businessmen are lobbying DTI to fast-track the clearances from the Bureau of Product Standards. One source said it had been issued already an import commodity clearance. (InterAksyon.com)