We have been informed that due to the recent poor harvest caused by the 'El Nino' problem sugar, whether in a raw or refined condition, is presently in very short supply in the Philippines. The subsequent rise in the price of this commodity has resulted in sugar being smuggled in commercial quantities into the country. Philippine custom officers are presently taking a very strong stance against this form of "organised crime" and as a result have seized a number of ships carrying sugar to the Philippines on suspicion of smuggling.
We are concerned that customs officers are being over zealous because of the seriousness of the situation. We would therefore recommend all ships carrying sugar bound for the Philippines to ensure that all pertinent documents - especially the cargo manifest and bills of lading - are in order and immediately available for inspection by boarding customs officials. The Philippine Authorities will allegedly seize the ship and its sugar cargo if any errors, no matter how small, are found to be in the relevant documentation.
Source of Information :
Del Rosario & Del Rosario (Manila Correspondent)
- through Peter Jackson (L3)