ITC: 94% of procedural obstacles to trade imposed by government
Export Development Council
July 11, 2016

In a survey on Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) in the Philippines conducted by the International Trade Centre (ITC), results revealed that 94% of the procedural obstacles (PO) faced by both importers and exporters are imposed by the government agencies in the country and half of them concern delays and fees.

The survey details unusually high fees and charges, informal payments, delays in the issuance of certificates/licenses/permits and redundant documentary requirements. These are encountered in: 1. Product requirements and conformity (exports): Technical compliance expense; 2. Customs clearance and control (imports and exports) and; 3. Rules of Origin (ROO) and other trade rules (imports and exports).

To address the aforesaid issues, multisectoral stakeholders recommend to review, rationalize and streamline government regulations, intensify inter-agency coordination in consultation with private sector and to conduct information dissemination campaign for importers and exporters.

These findings come in time with the implementation of the “Strategy 2: remove unnecessary regulatory impediments to the movement of foods and delivery of services” of the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2015-2017 and the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte in his inaugural speech directing all government agencies “to reduce requirements and the processing time of all applications, from the submission to the release” and “to remove redundant requirements and compliance with one department or agency, shall be accepted as sufficient for all”.

The Export Development Council (EDC) through its Technical Working Group (TWG) on NTMs shall advocate with specific government agencies to address these issues.□