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CEZA Chief disproves smuggling at Cagayan Freeport.

Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) Chief Executive Officer Jose Marie Ponce denied yesterday accusations that CEZA officials are allowing smuggling and illegal gambling in Sta. Ana, Cagayan.

"It is unfair to accuse CEZA of allowing the proliferation of smuggling activities in our area where, in fact, it is the Bureau of Customs that imposes duties and taxes on items to be brought out of our jurisdiction," said Ponce.

He said goods and products bound for outside the economic zone are subject to inspection, assessment, duties and taxation by the BOC, which is always present during the importation proceedings. This policy also applies strictly to the importation of used cars through the Freeport.

"As a matter of policy and regulation, CEZA does not allow any equipment, goods and other products to be brought outside the Freeport without the necessary clearance from the BOC. We only allow the release of imported used motor vehicles upon the clearance of the BOC, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, and the Land Transportation Office," he added.

To guarantee compliance and clarity, Ponce said these agencies are invited to inspect and perform the inventory on shipments of second-hand vehicles arriving at the Freeport.

CEZA re-allowed the importation of used vehicles in its Freeport last December after a Cagayan court ruled that former President Gloria Arroyo's Executive Order (EO) 156, banning the importation of used vehicles, "impliedly repealed" this.

In his decision dated Nov. 12, 2013, Aparri Judge Neljoe Cortez said Arroyo's EO 418, which modifies the tariff nomenclature and rates of import duty on used motor vehicles, superseded EO 156.

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Title Annotation:Provincial
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Jan 16, 2014
Words:265
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