Philippines-European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
EFTA (composed of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) first conveyed its interest to have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the Philippines in February 2009. Following a series of high-level contacts, two expert group meetings were convened in June 2013 and November 2013 to discuss ways forward. At the Philippines-EFTA Ministerial Meeting in November 2013, both sides agreed to work towards signing a Joint Declaration as an initial step to FTA negotiations. The Joint Declaration on Cooperation between the Philippines and the EFTA States was signed on 23 June 2014 in Iceland. FTA scoping discussions were held subsequently and concluded during a high-level scoping meeting in November 2014 in Switzerland.
FTA negotiations were launched in Manila in March 2015 and in February 2016, FTA negotiations were concluded after five rounds. Ministers and Representatives of the Philippines and the EFTA Member States signed the Agreement on 28 April 2016 in Bern, Switzerland. The Agreement entered into force on 1 June 2018 for the Philippines, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland and on 1 January 2020 for Iceland.
Upon entry into force of the Agreement, exporters to the EFTA markets are no longer required to secure a Certificate of Origin from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) under the FTA’s self-certification/self-declaration system. All exporters are encouraged to register with the Bureau of Customs as an approved exporter under the FTA. Detailed guidelines on this can be found in Customs Memorandum Order No. 14-2018.
For more details, contact the Bureau of International Trade Relations-Bilateral Relations Division (BITR-BRD) at email@example.com.