Philippines joining ASEAN Single Window platform by year-end
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - October 14, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is expected to join by the end of the year an integrated online platform which seeks to ease trade and customs processes within the Southeast Asian region, the Department of Finance (DOF) said over the weekend.

According to Finance Undersecretary and anti-red tape czar Gil Beltran, the Philippines, along with Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos are planning to connect with the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) platform this year, which will enable them to exchange customs and other trade related documents with other countries in the region.

He said the Philippines will join the ASW via its National Single Window (NSW) called the TradeNet, which will  facilitate the online processing of permits, licenses and other clearances for the export and import of goods.

 “Once the ASW is streamlined and used across ASEAN, businesses will benefit through lower transaction costs and less time to export their goods to countries within the region,” Beltran said in a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez. “Lower transaction costs will, in turn, enhance ASEAN’s trade competitiveness.”

According to Beltran, ASEAN member-states, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Brunei, are already “live” on the ASW, and are exchanging over 460,000 customs documents annually at only 10 percent of the usual cost to traders.

Beltran said additional documents, such as the sanitary and phytosanitary certificates, animal health certificates, self-certification of product origin, and shipping documents, are expected to be exchanged within the ASW starting next year.

He said the US, Australia and New Zealand will also provide technical assistance to ASEAN to ensure that its members take full advantage of the ASW by 2020.

Earlier, the DOF’s Inter-Agency Business Process Interoperability (IABPI) Team said the Philippines is targeting to join the ASW through the TradeNet by November this year.

TradeNet was established to enable traders to apply for their permits online, and allow regulatory agencies to receive applications and send feedback in real-time.

The Duterte administration’s goal is to have all 75 trade regulatory government agencies across 18 government departments fully interconnected via this platform.

Beltran  earlier said TradeNet has already started processing permits for the importation and exportation of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and controlled chemicals under the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

He said it is also expected to streamline the application for the electronic Certificates of Origin (e-COs) from members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).




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