The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued a revised Department Administrative Order (DAO) on cement importation to ensure consumer protection through compliance on quality standard procedure. This allows pre-shipment test in select and accredited testing centers from the country of origin to facilitate ease and fast importation process, while ensuring standard compliance.

“The pre-shipment testing will avoid delays in import supply which augment the cement requirement for the ongoing infrastructure projects. However, there will still be local verification tests, including sampling prior to its release to the market,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

In the revised DAO, the distinction between the regular trader importers from integrated cement producer (ICP) importers was removed and both are now subject to the same import procedures including the option to do pre-shipment testing.

“We are also helping the importers avoid unnecessary freight through the pre-shipment test. Right at the country of origin, they will be informed if their products will be acceptable or not in the Philippines (PH),” the trade chief added.

The local verification test or the post-shipment test will confirm the compliance to the standards of the products. Importers whose shipments passed the pre-test but would fail the local verification test will be disqualified from doing pre-shipment testing in the future. Likewise, the foreign testing center from the country of origin involved in the approval of the products will be blacklisted.

“These amendments will ensure that quality cements get into the PH market and support quality infrastructure development under the Build Build Build program,” Sec. Lopez concluded.♦