The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has seized from three warehouses in Metro Manila nearly 10,000 bottles and cans of counterfeit Chinese beer that was illegally imported into the country.
The beer, contained in 780 cases, was valued at over P395,000 with unpaid duties and taxes of P221,362, said Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon.
The fake Tsingtao beer was also declared “unsafe for consumption” following an inspection and testing by authorized distributors of China’s second largest brewery, Biazon said.
The customs chief said the distributors declared the beer unfit for consumption due to the disparity in container sizes, particularly the bottled beer.
The beer was contained in 320-ml bottles but genuine Tsingtao beer comes in 340-ml bottles, Biazon said.
“The owners of these warehouses will be answerable for violation of certain provisions of the Tariffs and Customs Code of the Philippines and for violation of the country’s property rights law,” he said.
“We will not allow counterfeit commodities from abroad, especially food and beverages, to reach local markets in order to safeguard the health of Filipinos,” he added.
The fake beverage that was seized by the customs bureau’s Intellectual Property Rights Division on Wednesday was hauled off to a secure warehouse for disposal.
Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Group Danilo Lim said the discovery of the counterfeit beer was a result of weeks of surveillance after the bureau received information on activities at the warehouses.
“We are really glad for the cooperation we are now getting from nontraditional sources of information,” Lim said.