Portal to eliminate discrepancy in trade data to go live in December—DOF

THE Department of Finance (DOF) said the TradeNet platform, which will enable the government to eliminate trade-data discrepancy, will be fully operational in December.

Based on the latest economic bulletin of the DOF, the implementation of the TradeNet online platform will help further reduce discrepancies related to the country’s imports and exports data.

“Automation of trade processes through the TradeNet, which will go live in December, will further reduce trade-data discrepancy, improve revenue collectors’ capabilities and, at the same time, facilitate trade,” the DOF said.

A comparison between trade data reported in the International Monetary Fund Direction of Trade Statistics and the Philippine Statistics Authority shows that trade data discrepancy in the country declined to 33.1 percent in 2017, from 40.8 percent in 2015.

Also, import data discrepancy declined to 27.5 percent in 2017, from 40.9 percent in 2015, while export data discrepancy also dropped to 33.1 percent in 2017, from 40.8 percent in 2015.

Citing a report, titled “Accounting for Discrepancies in Bilateral Trade: The Case of China, Hong Kong and the United States,” the DOF said there are six reasons discrepancy occurs in line with trade data cross countries.

These are: timing differences; smuggling; valuation differences; differing treatment of reexports and transshipment; wrong attribution; and misinvoicing.

According to the DOF, trade data discrepancy occurs when trade data reported by a country differ from those reported by its trading partners.

The TradeNet is an online platform that aims to allow traders of commodities to apply for their import and export permits online, it is envisioned to connect 66 trade regulatory agencies and 10 economic zones in the country.

It is an operations-management platform that will speed up all processes in line with trade facilitation, and it will also serve as the country’s connecting platform to the Asean Single Window. Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia are currently connected to the ASW.

Finance Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran said government agencies that will be connected to TradeNet before its rollout include the Bureau of Animal Industry, National Tobacco Administration, Fair Trade and Enforcement Bureau, National Food Authority, Bureau of Plant Industry, Food and Drug Administration, National Meat Inspection Service, Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs (BOC).

In March this year, the DOF instructed the BOC to set up data-exchange arrangements with South Korea, Japan and the United States to ensure the seamless exchange of trade-related information between the Philippines and these major trading partners.

The DOF also instructed the BOC to replicate the data-exchange arrangement it forged with China and forge tie-ups with other major trading partners of the country.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said he wants the BOC to work closely with the country’s trading partners in terms of monitoring shipments and checking discrepancies in trade data.

The data-exchange parameters include data on the volume and value of goods exported by these countries to the Philippines and the import volumes from these countries reported by revenue authorities in the Philippines to check against possible illegal trade practices.

In February, the BOC and its Chinese counterpart agreed to set up a data-exchange system to facilitate the timely sharing of trade information and aid them in their respective campaigns against smuggling and tax evasion.

Last year, Dominguez said official trade data show that the estimated discrepancy between registered Chinese exports to the Philippines and registered Philippine imports from China has been declining but is still very large, with the gap reported at 57 percent in 2015; 48.7 percent in 2016; and 48 percent in January to July 2017.



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