DTI imposes preliminary safeguard duty on ceramic floor, wall tiles

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - May 20, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is imposing a provisional safeguard duty on imported ceramic floor and wall tiles to provide relief to local players hurt by increased imports.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in Department Administrative Order 19-06 dated May 7 that a provisional safeguard measure in the form of a cash bond amounting to P3 per kilogram shall be imposed on imported ceramic floor and wall tiles. 

He said the provisional safeguard duty would be implemented as “the DTI, acting under Section 7 of RA (Republic Act) 8800, the Safeguard Measures Act, found after preliminary determination that increased imports of ceramic floor and wall tiles have caused serious injury to the domestic industry.” 

Under the Safeguard Measures Act, the country is allowed to impose safeguard measures or higher duties on imported goods  when it is found that there is an increase in imports of a certain commodity and such has hurt the local industry.

Based on DTI’s preliminary probe, the volume of imports of ceramic floor and wall tiles increased in absolute terms from 2013 to 2016. 

In addition, the DTI concluded that the domestic industry has suffered serious injury caused by increased imports of ceramic floor and wall tiles as the market share of domestic manufacturers declined to 15 percent in 2017 and 2018, from 96 percent in 2013. 

The share of imports also grew to 87 percent in 2016 from four percent in 2013. 

Earnings before interest and tax of the domestic industry also showed declining trend of 71 percent in 2014 and 203 percent in 2015. 

While there was an increase of 92 percent in earnings in 2016, the declines were seen again in 2017 at 1,067 percent and last year with 157 percent.

The provisional safeguard duty on ceramic floor and wall tiles would be in place for a period of 200 days from the date the Bureau of Customs releases the relevant memorandum order or 15 days after DTI’s order is published in two newspapers.

Imports from developing countries in East and Southern Africa, West Africa, North Africa and South Asia would not be subject to the provisional safeguard measure.  

While the provisional safeguard duty is in place, the Tariff Commission would be conducting a formal investigation to determine if it is necessary to maintain the measure beyond 200 days.

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