The Department of Trade and Industry is requesting the Philippine Competition Commission to look into excessive and unreasonable charges imposed by foreign shipping lines to importers and exporters, amid the growing concerns of business community about these surcharges which continue to undermine the competitiveness of local industries.

We are requesting the Philippine Competition Commission, through Chairman Arsenio Balisacan, to act on the concerns of business sector regarding questionable destination and origin charges imposed on local importers/exporters. These excessive charges and fees are recurring issues that have brought significant negative impact on our local industries,” DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

A joint study conducted by DTI- Export Development Council and National Competitiveness Council in 2017 detailed the pricing scheme of several international shipping lines and found out questionable destination and origin charges imposed to local importers and exporters. The study revealed that allegedly, some shipping lines have developed a scheme that makes freight cost less transparent in order to benefit the exporters overseas at the expense of our importers, costing the Philippine economy roughly US$ 2 billion to US$ 5 billion annually.

Philippine exporters are hit hardest by these excessive fees, making our products more costly. Filipino consumers also bear the impact as the additional costs of imported goods are passed on to them,” Secretary Lopez added.

The issue of exorbitant fees by foreign carriers was again raised by logistics service providers (LSPs) during the Ease of Doing Business Summit. The panel on Trading Across Border recommended that the DTI refer the issue to the Philippine Competition Commission since PCC appears to be the regulatory body that can best address this unfair practices by foreign shipping lines.