Philippine tuna canners enjoy EU zero tariff
Business Mirror
August 2, 2016

THE Philippines was included as a beneficiary country in the Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) of the European Union (EU) on December 25, 2014. Under this scheme, the Philippines is given duty-free treatment for 6,274 products. One of these products is canned tuna. The zero tariff can be availed of by Philippine tuna canners using raw tuna caught by Philippine vessels or caught in Philippine waters.

Local tuna canners can also use raw tuna caught by flag vessels registered under other GSP beneficiary countries, like Indonesia, under the “cumulation flexibility” of the EU GSP rules of origin. In this case, the Philippine tuna canner should request the Indonesian supplier of raw tuna GSP Form A as proof the raw tuna is of Indonesian origin.

The Philippine exporter, however, must process the Indonesian raw tuna by way of cleaning, cooking, flaking, canning and packaging. This substantially transforms the raw tuna from Indonesia with a tariff code in Chapter 3 into canned tuna with a tariff code under Chapter 16.  Under the Rules of Origin, or ROO, this is called “change in tariff classification,” which is a criterion for the grant of preferential tariffs.

When ready for shipment, the Philippine tuna canner should also request the Philippine Bureau of Customs for GSP Form A as proof the canned tuna is originating from the Philippines and, thus, can avail themselves of zero tariff under EU GSP+. □

Rafaelita Castro, Chief Trade and Industry Development Specialist, Market Innovation Division, Export Marketing Bureau, Department of Trade and Industry

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