THE Philippine government has paved the way to improve and ease the country’s trading of goods in the region.
The Philippines can now exchange shipment information electronically with exporters and importers in Asean countries to facilitate trade in the region.
President Duterte signed on June 28 the ratification of the Protocol on the Legal Framework (PLF) to Implement the Asean Single Window (ASW), which provides guidelines on the operations, interactions and electronic processing of transactions between Asean member states.
ASW is an electronic gateway which provides seamless and simplified information sharing among exporting and importing Asean countries to reduce clearance times and promote risk management. Asean member-states connect to the ASW gateway through their respective National Single Windows.
The country’s ratification of the PLF complies with its commitment under the Asean Economic Community Blueprint, and was based on the objectives, principles and obligations established by the ASW Agreement and other international standards. The PLF was signed in Hanoi, Vietnam, on September 4, 2015.
With the signing of the PLF ratification, the Philippines can now electronically send and receive information in the ATIGA Form D, which serves as proof of origin of traded goods for customs purposes. Other cross-border documents will also be exchanged under the ASW Gateway in the future.
This will facilitate trade between the Philippines and its Asean neighbors, and modernize customs techniques and practices through a seamless, standardized and harmonized routing and communication of trade and customs-related information and data.
In the Philippines, Asean connectivity will be covered by a newly built system called TradeNet.gov.ph, a system that will allow importers and exporters to apply for accreditation or permits, licenses and certifications online, and will enable all trade-related agencies to automatically receive applications and send feedback in real time.
The installation of the connection between TradeNet.gov.ph and the ASW gateway is expected to commence in August and the connection is expected to go live in December.
The country’s connection to the ASW will help increase the Philippines’s competitiveness in terms of ease of doing business (EODB). While the country climbed four notches in the global EODB ranking (from No. 103 in 2016 to No. 99 in 2017), the country remains low at No. 8 out of 10 economies in the Asean region.
This connection will increase transparency in cargo processing by providing more accurate, timely and cost-efficient exchange of information. It will promote the fast movement of cargoes (either by sea or air) from vessel to the market by providing advanced border protection capabilities to law enforcement agencies.
The Philippine ratification of the PLF was endorsed to the President by the Department of Finance and the Bureau of Customs.