BOC-NAIA and DENR seized smuggled 276 carnivorous plants

Bureau of Customs-NAIA (BOC-NAIA) together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) seized illegally imported 276 carnivorous plants at Paircargo Warehouse in Pasay City.

The seized carnivorous plants were discovered during the 100% physical examination of imported ten (10) packages from Netherlands. Verification with the DENR revealed that the said plants were unlawfully imported into the country without the required Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance and CITES Permit from the said agency. The carnivorous plants were later identified as Drosera, Nepenthes, Dionaea, Sarracenia, Pinguicula, and Cephalotus, with an estimated value of P150,000.00.

Carnivorous plants have already been globally declared as critically endangered and are among the world’s rarest and most endangered plants. The collection and trade of these insect-eating plants are restricted under Republic Act (RA) No. 9147 otherwise known as the Philippine Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

The intercepted packages were subsequently turned over to the DENR for rehabilitation and care pursuant to Section 11 of RA 9147 and Section 1147 of RA 10863 known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) and Section 8 of Customs Administrative Order No. 10-2020.

Aside from criminal prosecution by the DENR for violation of RA 9147 against the personalities behind the foiled smuggling attempt, case records of the subject shipment will likewise be referred to the Bureau Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS), Legal Service of the Bureau of Customs for further case build-up and prosecution for violation of Section 1401 of the CMTA.

The intensified border protection efforts against illegal wildlife trade serves as a warning to offenders that the Bureau of Customs and the DENR are serious in upholding wildlife protection and conservation.

The Bureau of Customs-NAIA, headed by District Collector Carmelita M. Talusan, in full support to Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero’s directive on strengthened border control, and in active collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, continuously boosts surveillance and monitoring against the proliferation of illegal trade of wildlife species as part of its civic duty to protect the environment and preserve biodiversity.