Customs sets tariff guidelines under RCEP

THE Bureau of Customs (BoC) has issued the guidelines for the implementation of preferential tariffs on imported goods under the newly implemented Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.

THE Bureau of Customs (BoC) has issued the guidelines for the implementation of preferential tariffs on imported goods under the newly implemented Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.

Customs Commissioner Bien Rubio issued Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 12-2023, providing the specific procedures for the issuance and acceptance of the certificate of origin for the grant of preferential treatment under the RCEP agreement.

Customs sets tariff guidelines under RCEP

Customs Commissioner Bien Rubio. Photo from Bureau of Customs

The CMO was dated May 26 but it took effect last June 2, when the RCEP agreement entered into force in the Philippines.

The 15 signatory countries to the agreement are the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia.

The BoC said the trade pact aims to eliminate tariffs on a minimum of 90 percent of the commodities traded between the member countries, and strengthens regulations for non-tariff measures.

The bureau noted that within the trade agreement, the Philippines retained existing preferential tariff rates for 98.1 percent of the 1,718 agricultural tariff lines, as well as for 82.7 percent of the 8,102 industrial tariff lines.

Out of the 1,685 agricultural tariff lines that are being preserved at present rates, 1,426 will be maintained at a zero rate, while 154 will continue to be charged at their existing most-favored nation rates, and will therefore not be included in any form of tariff concessions, according to the BoC.

"In cases where the RCEP preferential tariff rate is higher than the applied rate at the time of importation, the importer shall be allowed to apply for a refund of any excess duties and taxes paid for originating goods," it said.

Under the agreement, the certificate of origin must be with the goods being transported among member countries.

The document will allow customs authorities, importers and exporters to monitor the movement of goods within the RCEP bloc.

To qualify for RCEP tariff rates, importers must obtain this certification along with a declaration of origin from exporters who have been authorized by the Philippines, as specified by the BoC.

The BoC tasked its Export Coordination Division (ECD) to scrutinize all submitted certificates of origin and applications for Approved Exporter status.

"The ECD shall carry out verification of the originating status of the goods upon request of the RCEP-importing party or based on risk-analysis criteria.

"Verification can be made through the documents requested from the exporter or producer or by inspection at the exporter's or producer's premises," the CMO read.

The BoC, however, clarified that the final determination on the rate of duty shall be based on the assessment of the submitted documents from the importers.

Exporters must submit an application with the ECD for the issuance of a Certificate of Origin for RCEP.

The application shall include all necessary supporting documents such as an export declaration, commercial invoice, bill of landing/airway bill, and other relevant permits.

Source: manilatimes.net
www.manilatimes.net

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