New fast patrol vessels to bolster Bureau of Customs border control
The Bureau of Customs now has more ways to deter smugglers, as well as inspect vessels of interest to check for any contraband making its way to the Philippines. Helping the BOC bolster its border control capabilities comes courtesy of new fast patrol vessels (FPV)
In a recent press statement, the BOC stated that the addition of the FPVs to its arsenal of enforcement assets significantly increases the agency’s water patrol capability. From January to September of this year alone, the Enforcement and Security-Water Patrol Division (WPD) and its district offices were able to conduct 265 maritime patrols, 60 search and survey operations, as well as boarded 50 Vessels of Interest, 2 of which were issued with Seizure and Detention (WSD).
The sample fuel oil taken from the suspected vessels failed to comply with the Fuel Marking test conducted by the BOC Fuel Marking Team. The said vessels left the Port of Limay without proper clearance from the concerned offices of the Philippine Coast Guard and the BOC. The officers of the vessels also failed to present proof of payment of duties and taxes.
The BOC currently has 20 units of FPVs deployed to various ports in the country. Two units each were deployed to the Port of Batangas, Port of Subic, Port of Limay, Port of Cebu, Port of Cagayan De Oro, and Port of Davao. Meanwhile, three units are stationed at the Port of Manila, four units are at the Port of Zamboanga, and one unit is at the Port of Iloilo.
All FPVs are equipped with Garmin navigation systems and other standard water patrol equipment necessary to enhance the BOC’s border patrol functions. The FPVs are also rated to endure sea state 3 conditions which means they can take on waves up to 1.25 meters high.
If you see any of the BOC’S FPVS doing patrols at any of the Philippine ports, do know that they are on the lookout for any smugglers or Vessels of Interest hiding contraband that could be smuggled into the country.