Author Archives: edcinforms

BOC mandates onboarding of TRGA’s to TradeNet by March 2021

EDC lauds the pronouncement made by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) AOCG Deputy Commissioner Edward Dy Buco that stakeholders can expect enhanced trade facilitation with the Bureau in 2021.  He added that the Commissioner assures its support towards export growth by prioritizing export-related activities in the Bureau’s 10-Point Priority Program for the upcoming year.

Hence, in collaboration with ARTA, BOC will lead the onboarding (by phase) of all 73 Trade Regulatory Agencies (TRGAs) on TradeNet by  03 March 2021.  Member agencies of the old Philippine National Single Window (PNSW) are prioritized in Phase 1 of the TradeNet onboarding process.  Steps for the Agencies’ onboarding activities to include the following: Continue reading BOC mandates onboarding of TRGA’s to TradeNet by March 2021

EDC recommends legislative priorities for the 18th Congress

The Export Development Council (EDC) through its Networking Committee on Legislative Advocacy and Monitoring (NCLAM) has prioritized the export sector’s legislative agenda for the 18thCongress to have a more competitive export industry.

EDC supports the amendment of the Public Service Act (PSA) to have a clear statutory definition of public utilities and public services.  Also, the measure aims to provide greater competition and investment and lower costs to support the flow of goods and services.

On transport and logistics, some of the recommendations include the Amendment of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Charter in order to separate the regulatory and operator functions of both agencies.

On trade financing, EDC advocates the amendments to Republic Act 9501 (Magna Carta for MSMEs) to provide an extension of the mandatory allocation of credit resources to set aside 10 percent of their loan portfolio for lending to MSMEs. The amendments will also strengthen the Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.), both in terms of capitalization and exemption from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ supervisory powers.

There is also a proposal for the amendment of Republic Act 8172 (ASIN Law). EDC acknowledges that there is a need to clarify an exemption in all salt incorporated in export food products.

The EDC- NCLAM as mandated in the Export Development Act aims to assist in the effective implementation of the Act through advocacy of necessary legislative actions that shall promote Philippine exports. The Committee is composed of members from both the relevant public and private sector. –MDGTD

DTI, DOTR, DOF to issue JAO regulating the international shipping charges

In a recent pronouncement, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez stated that the Departments of Trade and Industry, Transportation and Finance will issue the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) that will regulate local charges imposed by international shipping lines.

The draft JAO was already signed by the Trade Secretary and still need to be co-signed by the Secretaries of Finance and Transportation.

While the JAO is still to be signed, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has already issued orders resulting to normalizing utilization rate of container depots in Manila ports back to 70%.

Specifically, the BOC issued Customs Memorandum Order 13-2019 in February which “disallowed brokers, importers, truckers and other port stakeholders to return empty containers within the premises of Manila International Container Port (MICP) and Port of Manila (POM) beginning February, until further notice”.

On the other hand, the PPA issued a directive stating “all importers, consignees, owners, and shippers of containers already cleared by BOC are notified to withdraw said containers within fifteen (15) days and shall be compelled to transfer these containers to a designated port or inland container depot at their cost”.

Hence, this facilitated the transfer of overstaying containers to Batangas and Subic Ports with the cooperation of the port operators.

International Shipping Lines, for their part, are being required to promptly evacuate empty containers from the Manila ports within the prescribed period given by BOC, either by regular ship calls or sweeper vessels.

Secretary Lopez also assured the government is addressing the infrastructure needs of the country with its aggressive infrastructure program. MJAA

PHILEXPORT-Pampanga Chapter endorses Travel Tax Exemption for Region 3 Exporters

PHILEXPORT Region 3 (Pampanga Chapter) now endorses Travel Tax Exemption (TTE) applications of its members in Region 3 (Central Luzon). To facilitate the processing of TTE applications, the Technical Working Group on EO 589 approved the request of PHILEXPORT-NATIONAL for the additional signatories of its chapter in Pampanga.  PHILEXPORT-R03 now endorses TTE applications directly to the Export Development Council which monitors and oversees the implementation of the Executive Order.

Exporters who will travel abroad to participate in international trade fairs and exhibitions, promotion and marketing activities of Philippine export products  can avail the  TTE incentives under EO 589.

Region 3 Exporters may download TTE application form at the EDC website (www.edc.net.ph) and submit  to PHILEXPORT R03 at Deco Central, Bldg., N3679 C.M. Recto Highway, Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga. Telephone numbers (045)599.6214/ 599.5170  Mobile No. 0917.6214758 or email at philexportr3@yahoo.com

NWPC  focuses on people- centric technologies & innovation  for MSMEs

As the fourth industrial revolution or Industry 4.0 gain momentum, the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC), an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE),  focused its 2018  National Productivity Conference on  people-centric technologies & innovation for MSMEs.  DOLE Undersecretary Ciriaco Lagunsad, III pointed out that  the on-going concern on inflation can also be addressed by improving the productivity of producers which will influence prices.  As such, he emphasized the need to embrace new technologies, but put people in control of technology.
Assistant Secretary Rafaelita Aldaba of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) supports the NWPC as she said that human capital is crucial for innovation and entrepreneurship.  DTI’s approach to implement Industry 4.0  is through the Inclusive Industrial Innovation Strategy  that aims to link the manufacturing sector with agriculture and services. Such links can be realized when there are regional inclusive innovation centers where government, research agencies, academe and industry collaborate for improved competitiveness.
Asian Development Bank’s Director of Development Economics and Indicators Dr. Rana Hasan confirms that technology increases incomes, contrary to the fear of many that  jobs will be  lost with the use of artificial intelligence (AI). He said that AI cannot be stopped as it is already here. Education, training and social protection such as unemployment insurance are necessary to cope with these new technologies. (EZM)

Bureau of Customs to form multi-agency unit to address port issues

Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña announced that the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will create a multi-agency body composed of government agencies and port stakeholders and users that will address issues hounding the private sector.

Various stakeholders discussed the recommendations and action plans for the implementation of the Terminal Appointment Booking System (TABS), the Anti-overloading Act, port congestion, turnaround time of trucks, return of empty containers, and issues with international shipping lines.

On TABS, the web-based booking platform for trucks at Manila International Container Port and Port of Manila, port users to extend the early arrival margin to three hours, and improve the system to promote transparency.

On Anti-overloading, stakeholders recommended the extension of moratorium period of 6 months on the implementation of the maximum Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) for Code 12-2 and Code 12-3. The stakeholders views that the law is inconsistent and not implemented properly because of redundancy of weighing exercises. It was proposed that there should be a mandatory weighing of laden containers prior to exit from the yards. Meanwhile, for long term solution, stakeholders recommend the amendment of the law’s implementing rules and regulations to increase the maximum allowable GVW.

On port congestion, multi-sectoral body is proposed to determine and declare any port congestion. Also, for overstaying of empty containers, stakeholders recommended to shorten the allowable stay of empties from 90 days to 60 days.

Other important recommendations are the following: (1) International Shipping Lines to put up or lease their own depots outside Metro Manila; (2) PEZA to possibly dedicate a space and designate a facility for the empty containers near to them; (3) International Shipping Lines to remove the unwarranted charges by specifying absolute container depot fees when returning empty containers; (4) BOC to initiate the implementation of rules and regulations to regulate the shipping lines.

To address the high cost of origin and destination charges of international shipping lines, the Export Development Council (EDC) together with other stakeholders endorsed a draft bill entitled “An act establishing guidelines for the application of local charges (origin and destination fees) imposed by international shipping lines to comply with existing laws and international standards (INCOTERMS)” to the House of Representatives Committee on Economic Affairs.

PHILEXPORT- Cebu now endorses Travel Tax Exemption applications

The PHILEXPORT-Cebu Chapter can now endorse applications of its members for travel tax exemption.   The Technical Working Group on EO 589 Exempting Exporters for Travel Tax Exemption (TTE) recently approved the request of PHILEXPORT-National for the additional signatories from PHILEXPORT- Cebu. This is to facilitate the release of TTE certificate by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA). PHILEXPORT-Cebu may now endorse TTE applications directly to the Export Development Council which monitors and oversees the implementation of the Executive Order.

Under EO 589, exporters who will travel abroad to participate in international trade fairs  and exhibitions are entitled to TTE.

Exporters in Cebu may contact PHILEXPORT-Cebu at telephone numbers (032)254.4333/ 254.9266/254.433 or email at info@philexportcebu.org

Regulatory agencies must apply Regulatory Impact Assessment – World Bank, Malacanang

It is therefore necessary for regulatory agencies to undertake the RIA process which involves problem definition, setting the objectives, identifying options (from doing nothing or status quo to other options), impact analysis (cost-benefit analysis), comparing options, and implementation and monitoring.

World Bank strongly suggests that regulatory agencies must subject any proposed regulation to the regulatory impact assessment (RIA), a tool that ensures the quality of regulations through a rigorous, well-defined and evidence-based analysis.

RIA is a process and a document to “clean” the rules particularly those involving high regulatory risks that reduce investment and competition; high transaction costs due to a complex, multi-layered, often arbitrary rules that are vulnerable to corruption; too little market regulation, poor enforcement, and under-institutionalization in policy areas as consumer and environmental protection; and checks and balances, such as  an effective judiciary which are weak, harming new entrants.

In a recent training on RIA, World Bank emphasizes that a good regulation should be  focused on policy problem,  introduced when necessary and proportionate to the risk posed by the policy problem, accountable  to those affected by  the regulation and those who confer regulatory authority, transparent  or consultation based, and consistent,  taking into account existing rules and regulations.

Corollary to this, the Office of the President issued Memorandum No. 27, series of 2017 which, directs among others, the NEDA to promote among regulatory agencies the use of RIA and other related tools.  In Turn, NEDA now implements the Program on Modernizing Government Regulations (MGR) in cooperation with the Development Academy of the Philippines.

Travel Tax Exemption Certificate now in new TIEZA office

Exporters are advised to claim their travel tax exemption certificates from the new office address of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) at the 6th floor, Tower 1 Double Dragon, Meridian Tower Diosdado Macapagal Avenue cor. EDSA Extension, Pasay City.

For more inquiries and concerns please email traveltax@tieza.gov.ph or call telephone numbers 257-8136/ 463-9857/ 551-3736/ 551-3945.

Philippines loses $2B- $5B annually due to international shipping surcharges

Destination fees and surcharges imposed by international shipping lines cost the Philippine economy an estimated US$2 billion to $5 billion in losses annually, according to the joint report by the Export Development Council (EDC) and National Competitiveness Council (NCC).

This report entitled “Potentially Avoidable International Shipping Cost and Other Charges” was initiated by Dr. Enrico Basilio, Chair of the joint Committees on Transport and Logistics of EDC and NCC, and Mr. Michael Raeuber, CEO of Royal Cargo Group of Companies and former President of the European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (ECCP).

Highlights of the report were presented during the public hearing conducted by the House Committee on Transportation (COTr) last 17 January 2018 that tackled the Container Deposits and Related Charges imposed and collected by Agents of International Shipping Lines.

The document, based on a series of forums and a survey conducted last year, disclosed that for imports, freight accounts for an average of only 39% of the total amount paid to international shipping lines, while the so-called “destination charges” levied on Philippine importers by the carriers account for 61%.

For exports, freight costs accounts for an average of 25% of the total amount paid to international shipping lines (Carriers) while the so-called “origin charges” levied to Philippine exporters by the Carriers account for 75%.

The report said such costs undermine the country’s export competitiveness by increasing the cost of importing raw materials and intermediate goods. It noted that the hardest hit by these costs are the small exporters and importers (SMEs) because larger and regular importers and exporters are able to negotiate for better rates and terms with international shipping lines.

The report also undermines the competitiveness of domestic producers by increasing the cost of imported raw materials and intermediate products. Surcharges are also seen to make domestic consumers pay higher prices for imported products (for final consumption) since the “added” import cost is passed on to them.

COTr Chairman and Catanduanes representative Cesar Sarmiento said that with these claims and result of the report, the next hearing will be a joint meeting with the House Committee on Economic Affairs to find the best solution for the situation.