AUTO INDUSTRY NEWS

Bureau of Customs: 600,000 car license plates stuck in Manila port

Bureau of Customs: 600,000 car license plates stuck in Manila port  image

Text: Martin Aguilar / Photos: AutoIndustriya.com | posted March 03, 2016 12:15

Abandoned license plates now with the Bureau of Customs

Are you still waiting to claim the license plates you paid for?

They're technically in government custody. The license plates did arrive in Manila and are now with the Bureau of Customs (BOC). However, the license plates are stored in 11 shipping container vans which have been 'abandoned' by the private importer.

The 11 shipping container vans, containing a combination of new and replacement license plates amounting to 600,000, arrived at the Manila International Container Port last year.

The BOC revealed that the shipment for Dutch-Filipino consortium Knieriem BV Goes and Power Plates Development Concept Inc. (JKG-PPI) was decalred abandoned after failing to pay PhP 40 million in duties and taxes. This has prompted the agency to take hold of the cargo.

The BOC confirmed to AutoIndustriya.com that the 600,000 license plates are currently under the custody of the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) in Manila. The agency added that the license plates will be put up for auction if JKG-PPI fails to pay the duties and taxes.

JKG-PPI was awarded a PhP 3.8 billion contract to supply the Land Transportation Office (LTO) with vehicle license plates in 2013.

Last July 2015, the Commission on Audit (COA) revealed that the PhP 3.8 billion license plate deal is in violation of procurement law and has told officials of the Department of Transport and Communications (DOTC) to settle PhP 477.9 million initial payment made to the plate supplier, JKG-PPI.

COA added that the license plate deal is not in compliance with Republic Act 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act. The agency deemed former LTO chief Alfonso Tan Jr. and DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya liable for the transaction.

Moreover, JKG-PPI failed to submit documents for government contracts. COA said that the Dutch-Filipino company did not submit their tax clearance, latest income and business tax returns as well as a certificate of Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System registration.

Going further back, the LTO issued Memorandum Circular No. AVT-2014-1895 requiring operators and owners of four-wheeled motor vehicles renewing their registration to apply for the replacement of old license plates, amounting to PhP 450, with the new standardized LTO-approved plates last January 2015. However, the collection of the extra fee has been disallowed by COA last December 2015