Singapore shipping firm sues Customs
Owners of the chartered vessel of trading firm Glencore Singapore Pte Ltd. has sought relief from a local court citing inaction by the Bureau of Customs over its urgent appeal to be released from what it described as “unwarranted seizure and detention.”
Customs authorities earlier seized MT Alpine Magnolia at the port of Limay, Bataan province, on charges that it was carrying smuggled fuel. The cargo, consisting of bunker fuel worth more than P700 million, was consigned to SL Harbor Bulk Terminal Corp, a unit of conglomerate San Miguel Corp. SL Harbor earlier filed a similar case before the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA).
The vessel’s owners, in their appeal filed before the CTA, said the “unfounded allegation and wrongful seizure” made by the bureau “without due process” besmirched its reputation in the international business community.
The firm said it caused a major client, UK’s BP Group—one of world’s biggest energy companies—to put its business with MT Alpine Magnolia on hold “until BP Shipping is satisfied that adequate measures have been taken” regarding the incident.
BP Shipping took note of the matter after it learned about Customs’ allegations that the vessel was seized for carrying smuggled fuel.
MT Alpine Magnolia is a foreign vessel owned by Magnolia Shipping Pte Ltd. and operated by ST Shipping of Singapore.
It was chartered by Glencore Shipping Pte Ltd. and ST Shipping to discharge the bunker fuel consigned to SL Harbor Bulk terminal Corp., the shipping unit of San Miguel.
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