Meiji Electric Philippines Inc. has been falsely accused by DTI of faking ICC and selling products that have not gone through ICC certification last October, 2009. The cases have been published in the newspapers and television during the said period. In defense of our company, we would like to state the facts publicly.
Meiji Electric has been in the business since 1981. The company sells only quality and safe electrical devices and equipment that have passed international and required Philippine standards for nearly 30 years.
The first case stems from a supposed spurious Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) presented to the Bureau of Customs in order to facilitate processing of the release of Meiji Electric’s shipment of wiring devices (switches and socket outlets). This was made without the knowledge and consent of the company.
Furthermore, the supposed spurious document presented to the Bureau of Customs was a mere facsimile/photocopy, and during one of the preliminary hearings, when requested by Meiji Electric to present the original copy of the said (spurious) document, the Bureau of Customs admitted that they cannot do so.
Additionally, the broker assigned to release the subject shipment of Meiji Electric admitted in writing that he takes full responsibility of whatever documents his company or staff may have presented to the Bureau of Customs, which were all done without knowledge or consent from the management of Meiji Electric.
The case was finally closed when DTI decided to impose a minimum fine due to the principle of ‘command responsibility’. Admitting that a facsimile/photocopy of a supposed spurious document will never stand up in court, plus the fact that the broker issued a formal document attesting to the innocence of Meiji Electric, DTI finally decided accordingly and closed the case.
The second case pertains to the unauthorized disposal/selling of mandatory electrical products, in this case wiring devices (switches and socket outlets) without the required period of testing by the Bureau of Product Standards and subsequence issuance of an Import Commodity Clearance (ICC).
During the sudden inspection by DTI on October 23, 2009 in the premises of Meiji Electric, the custodian/warehouse manager was absent. Also, since it was nearing the Christmas season, the company warehouse was occupied by many other shipments, mostly Christmas items.
Due to this situation, the warehouse was unusually disorganized and it was difficult to pinpoint the exact location of the different items, especially with the absence of the person in charge. Thus, some of the items were not located right away and was considered ‘missing’ by the DTI inspectors. This point was repeatedly explained to the DTI inspectors and the company pleaded for a delay in inspection due to absence of the warehouse custodian.
Also, based on DTI Department Order No. 48, a Notice of Violation should be prepared, signed by the head of the inspection team and received by the establishment being inspected. In this case, no such Notice of Violation was ever presented to Meiji Electric when the inspection team initially left the company’s premises. Instead, a team of DTI, police and media personnel came back with formal charges as stated above and confiscated all the subject items found in the warehouse at the time.
During the hearings for the second case, Meiji Electric repeatedly requested DTI to inspect the company warehouse again as all the supposed ‘missing’ items are fully accounted for. However, DTI explained that due to ‘lack of personnel’ they are unable to execute a re-inspection to verify the accounting of the ‘missing’ items in the company warehouse.
Subsequently, DTI allowed the drawing of samples at the DTI-NCR warehouse for testing by the Bureau of Product Standards.
Finally, on September 30, 2010, Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) certificate number NCR/2144/0901 for switches and NCR/2227/0910 for socket outlets were issued by the Bureau of Product Standards, certifying to the quality and safety of ‘Meiji’ switches and socket outlets.
The confiscated items were allowed to be returned back to Meiji Electric on December 3, 2010. The case was also finally closed and again, Meiji Electric paid an administrative fine ‘under protest’.