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PIA Press Release
2007/09/11

NFA requires clearance in transporting rice

By Rose B. Palacio

Davao City (11 September) -- The National Food Authority (NFA) is requiring clearance in transporting rice and its by-products by water so it can monitor the position and movement of food stocks while forestalling illegal trade.

NFA assistant manager Ramon Cangrejo, during the ARENA-XI Forum aired over DXRP Radyo ng Bayan together with Loreta Suratos said the requirement is based under Letter Circular No. AO-2K 1-08-001 which also penalizes shippers who doesn't comply with the requirements with fine and imprisonment and the seizure if their stocks.

Water transport is not limited to vessels, boats barges and other watercraft. It can also be a full container load of rice stocks loaded on trucks on board ferry boats.

Unless otherwise amended, said Circular regulations states that application for a shipping clearance is a must and should be made five (5) days prior to loading.

The clearance itself is good for 15 days from date of issuance. It is issued on a per shipment transaction basis.

The NFA ruling requires both shipper and consignee to be duly licensed by NFA as wholesaler or transporter. In case the rice to be shipped is imported, the shipper or transporter should be a licensed NFA importer with an active NFA import permit.

If the transporter is not a direct importer and just occupied stocks from another wholesaler or importer, he should possess documentary evidence such as invoices issued by the importer and the corresponding NFA permits.

Absence of these documents would be ground for seizure and detention and eventual confiscation of the stocks by NFA or other enforcement agencies like the Bureau of Customs.

Before the issuance of clearance, stocks will be inspected by authorized NFA personnel to ensure compliance with quality packaging and labeling standards.

Unless amended, violation of the Circular can lead to imprisonment of six (6) months to one year or a fine of at least 1,000 pesos or both, depending on the court. (PIA XI) [top]

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