By Maria Jaena Padilla Go-Aco / DTI-EMB, Market Innovation Division
THE Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB), together with the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PhilExport), conducted a workshop on “Unlocking the Potentials of FTA Markets through the Rules of Origin” last May 3 at the DTI International Building.
Philexport President Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis Jr. noted the seminar workshop played a relevant and important link to the Philippines, most especially to exporters, for it can capture a major share in the global trade.
The seminar aimed to continuously update the business sector on how to avail itself of preferential tariffs when trading with countries where the Philippines has free trade agreements (FTAs) by complying with the rules of origin (ROO).
Resource speakers were from the Bureau of International Trade Relations (BITR) Assistant Director Angelo Salvador M. Benedictos, Tariff Commission (TC) Senior Tariff Specialist Ma. Luisa D. Laborte, and Bureau of Customs (BOC) Export Coordination Division Customs Operations Officer II Glecee Mae R. Mamaril.
Laborte discussed the importance of knowing the correct tariff code of products.
She said on the discussion of products’ classification with new models, “If the classification is not 2017, then it is not updated. If it is a new model, the function might be different already from the previous model and a reclassification might be necessary. It is up to the BOC if they will honor the old classification.”
The seminar workshop was conducted under DTI-EMB’s Doing Business in Free Trade Areas (DBFTA) program, a nationwide information campaign on Philippine FTAs covering discussions on market opportunities, preferential tariffs, ROO, and customs procedures.
To date, the Philippines as member of the Asean has signed Free Trade Agreements, i.e., Asean Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA), Asean-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA), Asean-Korea Free Trade Agreement (AKFTA), Asean-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA), Asean-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (AJCEPA), Asean-India Free Trade Agreement (AIFTA), and Asean-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement.
The Philippines has also signed two bilateral FTAs, the Philippine-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (PJEPA) and the Philippine-European Free Trade Association (EFTA) covering Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.