DA restores 60-day SPSIC validity for meat imports

The Department of Agriculture (DA) reverted the validity of sanitary and phytosanitary import clearance (SPSIC) for imported meat products to 60 days, arguing that problems hounding the global supply chain have already eased.

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar issued Administrative Order (AO) 11 that revoked his earlier order of extending the 90-day validity of SPSIC for imported meat.

Dar cited the better global Covid-19 situation as the reason behind the revocation of his earlier orders that extended SPSIC validity for imported meat.

He earlier issued AO 2, Series of 2022 that maintained the 90-day SPSIC validity until revocation “due to the chain issues and logistical difficulties brought about by the global Covid pandemic.” (Related story: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2022/02/01/da-extends-anew-validityof-sps-ics-of-meat-imports/)

“The current global Covid situation has subsided in many parts of the world, resulting in an easing of the supply chain and logistical restrictions,” Dar argued in AO 11 dated May 23.

“DA AO No. 2 Series of 22…is hereby revoked; thus, returning the SPS validity of imported meat back to 60 days,” he added.

Dar’s latest order took effect immediately.

The BusinessMirror broke the story last year that meat importers count among the sectors hardest hit by the global shipping and logistical problems that arose from Covid-19 pandemic.

The Meat Importers and Traders Association (Mita) last year urged the government to extend the SPS-ICs for meat imports by 30 days to ensure the arrival of the meat supply.

Mita explained that shipping schedules last year were in “disarray” as a result of Covid-19-related mobility restrictions, container imbalance and lack of vessels.

The group argued that an extension of validity for SPS-ICs is meant “to account for delayed sailings” while the proposed extension of the MAVICs’ validity is “to account for delayed arrivals.”

The importers face additional costs should the two documents go beyond their validity dates, which could be passed on the value chain—with consumers ultimately paying for it.

The country’s meat imports in the first quarter expanded by almost a quarter to 262,806.442 metric tons (MT) from 211,173.642 MT driven by higher pork, chicken and beef purchases abroad.

Last year, total meat imports reached a new record-high of 1.165 million MT, driven by higher pork purchases abroad as the country plugged the shortfall in domestic supply due to African swine fever. -30-

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