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Group threatens to take legal action against fake customs brokers

CEBU, Philippines - The Chamber of Customs Brokers Inc. (CCBI) has warned that they will not hesitate to initiate appropriate legal actions against anyone to protect its legitimate members against any unauthorized use of the title "customs broker."

CCBI National President Ferdinand Nague, in a statement, said that their group is an accredited and integrated professional organization of Filipino customs brokers with about 9,000 members in the country.

The CCBI has noted that the public’s perception toward the customs broker profession has been affected by the ongoing inquiry on the P6.4 billion worth of smuggled illegal drugs, as legislative witness Mark Ruben Taguba has allowed anyone to believe that he is a legitimate customs broker.

"For the information and guidance of the public, Taguba is not a customs broker and is not a member of the customs broker profession. Accordingly, we request the members of Congress and media practitioners not to continuously address him as customs broker," the statement reads.

In filing charges against those who illegally claimed as customs broker, Nague cited Section 28 of Republic Act 9280 otherwise known as the Customs Brokers Act of 2004.

Section 28 provides that no person shall practice or offer to practice the customs broker profession in the Philippines or offer himself/herself as customs broker, or use the title, word, letter, figure, or any sign tending to convey the impression that one is a customs broker, or advertise or indicate in any manner whatsoever that one is qualified to practice the profession unless he/she has satisfactory passed the licensure examination given by the Board, except as otherwise provided in this Act, and is a holder of a valid Certification of Registration and Professional Identification Card or a valid special/temporary permit duly issued to him/her by the Board of Commission. (FREEMAN)

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