The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it aims to reduce the documentary requirements as it finalizes the new rules on sea freight forwarding accreditation, which is expected to take effect early next year.
At a public consultation for the proposed Department Administrative Order (DAO) on Wednesday in Pasay City, DTI-Assistant Secretary Mary Jean Pacheco and Officer-in-Charge of the Consumer Protection Group (CPG) said the Trade department is “committed to replace and streamline the guidelines on sea freight forwarding and make it faster and easier for new and renewing freight forwarders applicant in securing accreditation.”
As the DTI aims to comply with the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) law or the Republic Act No. 11032, Pacheco said the number of documentary requirements will be reduced to five compared to the old rule with 22 required documents and the processing time will be reduced from three days to one day.
Pacheco told reporters on the sidelines of the public consultation that the objective of this DAO is to provide “quality and more professional” rules on sea freight forwarding accreditation to avoid “fly-by-night” companies, which she said do not usually contain standards.
“As I said, tandaan natin ang isang objective nitong DAO na to ay maging quality…quality, more professional, yung iniiwasan talaga natin yung mga fly-by-night na marami nagrereklamo maganda to, mas mura, yun pala….wala naman siyang standards ‘no. Hindi pala sya tunay na freight forwarder na nakakaalam ng rules,” the Trade official said.
According to DTI, the proposed DAO aims to lay down the minimum standard and requirement for the recognition of the freight forwarders, upgrade the quality of service and capabilities of the covered firm to meet the demand of the global and domestic trade as well as curtail act and practices inimical to the fast growth of the freight forwarding sector.
The DAO applies to categories such as Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC), International Freight Forwarder (IFF), and Domestic Freight Forwarder (DFF).
Pacheco noted that there would likely be an increase in paid-up capital in the new DAO.
For the NVOCC category, minimum paid-up capital requirement will increase from P4 million to P5 million.
For the International Freight Forwarder category, it will increase from P2 million to P3 million.
For the Domestic Freight Forwarder category, the minimum paid-up capital requirement will increase from P250,000 to P1 million.
“It’s true that we imposed increase in the minimum paid-up capital requirement kasi nga para sign of the times na rin at tsaka alam natin na ang magiging freight forwarder na magsisilbi sa atin ay talagang may kakayanan na mag-conduct ng tests in that area,” Pacheco noted.
DTI said there are almost 800 freight forwarders in the Philippines.