The Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (Philexport) has again asked the Senate to ratify the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Philexport President Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis Jr. has repeatedly rallied in support of the ratification of the Regional Trade Agreement and noted that of the organization’s more than 2,000 active members, approximately 1,000 export to RCEP economies. pointed out.
“Opening up and expanding market access to Member States will create a positive knock-on effect for jobs and livelihoods, which is especially needed as we recover from this pandemic and seek to prosper again.” Ortiz Ruiz said in a statement. On Friday he was released by Philexport.
The Philippine Senate has yet to ratify the regional trade agreement. According to the Philippine exporters umbrella organization, this has caused dismay among relevant agencies and private sector stakeholders.
Meanwhile, in a recent webinar, Robin Flint, First Secretary of the Australian Embassy in Cambodia, highlighted the chapter on customs procedures and trade facilitation in regional trade agreements, stating that RCEP will engage customs authorities, We pointed out that it is one of the most important chapters of RCEP. To release a product within a certain period of time.
Flint said Chapter 4 of the RCEP on Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation (CPTF) is an important step designed to provide a level playing field for all member states to conduct cross-border trade. I said it was something.
The 21-article CPTF is important, according to international trade officials. Because “we need very strong rules on how customs enforces free trade agreements such as his RCEP.”
“Good rules facilitate trade, build business confidence and facilitate cross-border trade in goods,” Flint added.
During the virtual event, Flint said the CPTF chapter has several key provisions, including one on pre-arrival processing, allowing RCEP members to submit trade and customs documents before goods arrive. He said he promised
“This form of advanced document submission significantly reduces the time it takes for goods to clear customs,” said the trade official.
Another key provision, Flint said, concerns advanced arbitration, which commits member states to be able to provide customs rulings to traders as required by the tariff classification of goods.
Traders, whether importers or exporters, may apply to customs authorities for an advance ruling to determine how the goods will be treated (whether manufactured under RCEP, tariff How much is it worth?) so that you can calculate taxes and fees. .
Flint said the advance ruling provision would give customs authorities greater certainty about how they would treat traders’ products, reduce border conflicts and make the entire import and export process faster. .
International trade officials added that provisions on the release of goods, which require member states to maintain procedures for clearing goods from customs within a specific timeframe, are equally important.
For general goods, Customs promises to release the goods within 48 hours of their arrival, as long as all necessary requirements are met. On the other hand, for perishable goods, RCEP promises customs authorities to “release the goods from customs within 6 hours of arrival”.
Flint said the inclusion of specific timeframes is “beyond” the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement commitments, speeding up the entire shipping process, reducing costs for the business community and also reducing customs administration costs. He said he would.
This gives food and agricultural traders greater certainty that their products will be released as soon as they arrive, with proper planning and reducing the potential costs of using bonded warehouses for storage, He explained that it would allow them to manage the risk of corruption from being detained at customs.
In June, Ortiz-Luis noted that exporters experienced a shipping crisis due to shortages of ships, scheduling problems and high freight costs.
RCEP is a free trade agreement between ASEAN countries and their trading partners namely Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. Touted as the world’s largest trade pack, RCEP accounts for 30% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The Regional Trade Agreement entered into force on January 1, 2022.