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The Philippines Goes Live on ASEAN Single Window Platform

ASEAN Single Window Platform

The Department of Finance has announced that the Philippines had officially joined the live operations of the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) since 30 December 2019.

About the Initiative

According to the recent press release, Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran shared that the Bureau of Customs (BOC), together with its Export Coordination Division (ECD) and Export Divisions in three pilot ports are now using the electronic Certificate of Origin (eCO) through the country’s National Single Window (NSW), which is the TRADENET.gov.ph platform.

The three aforementioned pilot ports are:

  1. The Port of Manila (POM)
  2. The Manila International Container Port (MICP)
  3. The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)

TRADENET aims to facilitate online the processing of permits, licenses and other clearances for the export and import of goods across the region.

TRADENET will be connected and integrated to the NSWs of the other ASEAN members to expedite cargo clearance and promote regional integration.

The target is to simplify import and export documentary processes covering an initial 7,400 regulated products.

The issuance of eCOs is in compliance with Customs Memorandum Order (MO) No. 15-2019 signed by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero in March 2019 and shall be done by the Philippines initially with Indonesia and Malaysia.

A benefit of going live on the ASW is lowering communication costs to as low as 10% of the original amount.

Additionally, it also encourages small enterprises to take advantage of preferential tariffs under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA).

Other Plans

During the meeting of the ASEAN Committee of the Whole in Hanoi Vietnam, last 11 January 2020, USec Beltran reported that the ASW Steering Committee will add three documents to be exchanged via the platform. These are:

  1. The e-Phyto-Sanitary Certificate
  2. e-Animal Health Certificate
  3. The e-ASEAN Customs Declaration Document (ACDD)

Furthermore, the ASW Steering Committee will also develop a roadmap to enable dialogue partners to join and exchange trade documents online with the ten (10) ASEAN countries.

It will also develop guidelines to handle cancellation or revision of documents exchanged and set Business Process Specifications (BPS) using the Common Header.

Moreover, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC) agreed to help disseminate information on these activities to the private sector.

The goal is for the Philippines to eventually have all 76 trade regulatory government agencies under 18 government departments fully interconnected, which is in line with the government’s thrust to further improve the ease of doing business in the country.

Who are Involved?

OpenGov Asia earlier reported on Philippine Government Agencies Work Together for TradeNet Portal.

The Philippines’ Department of Finance (DOF) and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) are working closely with the Department of Agriculture (DA) on the full rollout and development of the Philippine government’s online trading facilitation portal called TradeNet.

The DA is a key component of TradeNet as it is among the regulatory bodies that process permits for imports and exports.

They are in charge particularly of agricultural products such as rice, which is now freely imported under the rice tariffication law, subject to the compliance by traders of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements.

They have created project teams for integrating SPS certificates in TradeNet and the ASEAN Single Window (ASW).

These teams will work with the DOF and DICT in developing TradeNet modules for the ASW exchange.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) will handle the e-Phyto Sanitary certificate, while the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will handle the e-Animal Health certificate.

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