By Rodelio A. Torre / Senior TIDS, DTI-EMB
THE export of coffee in the form of green beans and roasted beans is still under the terms and conditions of the International Coffee Agreement (ICA) to which the Philippines is a signatory. Hence, Philippine exporters are required to be accredited and secure Coffee Export Clearance (CEC) and Certificate of Origin (CO) from the country’s Department of Trade Industry’s (DTI) Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) for their shipment to other countries.
The implementation of the ICA was undertaken by the DTI as the certifying agency through the creation of the International Coffee Organization-Certifying Agency. The ICO-CA’s main responsibilities are to oversee the negotiations and implementation of the ICA between the Philippines and other countries and act as the export marketing and promotional arm of the Philippine coffee industry. However, the ICO-CA was deactivated when the government streamlined its processes for an efficient and effective public service under its rationalization program.
With the deactivation of ICO-CA, the EMB continued its functions and facilitated the export documentation of coffee shipments. Currently, the following are the services for coffee exporters and producers offered by the EMB: coffee exporter accreditation; CEC; CO; and coffee export exemption.
Regulated coffee for export comes in the form of green beans, roasted beans, and soluble. Coffee mixes such as 3 in 1 and other coffee drinks are exempted from the regulation and do not need a clearance for export.
All exporters of coffee are required to be accredited by EMB for the assignment of the Unique Reference Number. The URN is a permanent number code of the company and will be used in all their coffee-export transactions, including their registration to the Company Profile Registration System of the Bureau of Customs (BOC). Also, the accreditation is a requirement for securing the CEC and the CO.
The requirements for the coffee exporter accreditation are the following: letter of intent addressed to EMB Director Senen M. Perlada; Securities Exchange Commission or DTI business name registration; mayor’s permit; company profile; and latest audited financial statement or balance sheet (for newly established companies).
Beverages are required by the Food and Drug Administration to have a certificate of product registration and the processor/company to have a license to operate. Since soluble coffee is classified as a beverage by the FDA, copies of the LTO and CPR are additional requirements for applications of accreditation intending to export soluble coffee.
For Metro Manila applicants, the processing of an application for coffee exporter accreditation shall start after the day of the plant visit. The certificate will be available for release within seven days after the visit. For applicants outside Metro Manila, the processing starts upon receipt of the inspection report submitted by the DTI provincial offices to the EMB.
Applications for CEC and CO are processed and released within the day. The requirements for the CEC are the following: completely filled-up Export Declaration (ED); proforma bill of lading; packing list; and commercial invoice.
The information in the ED form should be consistent with the other documents submitted.
The application for CO should be filed only after the ED has been approved and marked with the date of approval and “authority to load” by the BOC. The requirements for the CO application are photocopy of the following: processed ED; bill of lading; packing list; and commercial invoice.
As a member of the ICO based in London, the Philippines through DTI-EMB submits to the ICO a monthly report of the export shipments transactions as evidenced by the COs. The CO for coffee is an ICO specialized form in five copies for BOC processing. After the CO is processed by the BOC, the applicant/exporter is required to return to EMB the green and blue colored copies of the COs.