Customs eases e-CO processing with ASEAN
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - March 26, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) said yesterday it has released new guidelines to facilitate the processing of electronic Certificates of Origin (e-CO), a move which is seen to ease trade regulations between the Philippines and other member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Customs commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero issued last March 18 a customs memorandum order which provides the rules and regulations on the application, submission, and processing of all e-CO through the government’s online platform, TradeNet.

Guerrero said the new issuance seeks to facilitate the practically paperless  acceptance of e-CO among the ASEAN Member States (AMS) pursuant to the protocol on the legal framework to implement the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) and the amended ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) operational certification procedure.

“Our objective in implementing this measure is to facilitate the transmission of e-CO for export products and the receipt of e-CO for imported products using available technologies and international best practices, in compliance with the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA),”Guerrero said.

According to Guerrero, ATIGA grants zero or reduced tariff rates on certain goods originating from Southeast Asian countries, which would help the creation of an ASEAN single market, and strengthen an economically integrated ASEAN region.

In line with this, the Philippines was connected to the ASW to allow the electronic transmission and acceptance of cross-border documents, including the e-CO form, which certifies that the goods originated from AMS.

The country’s connection to ASW was made through TradeNet, which was developed and established by the Department of Finance’s Inter-Agency Business Process Interoperability and Department of Information and Communication Technology.

TradeNet is the online portal where the automated licensing, permit, clearance and certification systems of Trade Regulatory Government Agencies are integrated.

The platform is seen to minimize the cost of doing business and cut the processing time for the issuance of import and export permits.

The Duterte administration’s goal is to have all 76 regulatory government agencies across 18 government departments fully interconnected via TradeNet.

As of November 2018, a total of 24 agencies have completely identified the tariff classification and codes for all their regulated commodities.

According to BOC, TradeNet will be tested live in certain BOC major ports, such as the port of Manila, Manila International Container Port and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

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