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The Philippines Automation of Import Procedures for Perishable Goods

Florian A. Alburo
Center for the Advancement of Trade Integration and Facilitation 249 School of Economics University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City Philippines

Outline
Context Import Procedures for Agricultural Products Automating Import Procedures Features of Automation 2010 Results Challenges

Context: Regulation and Facilitation


Regulatory functions in agriculture includes protection of consumers from unsafe products; prevent entry and spread of plant, animal, fish pests and diseases; protect public from risks in use of chemical, biological production and posharvest inputs. Facilitation functions include fast release of agricultural products upon arrival.
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Release of imports of agricultural products requires submission of necessary permits from controlling government agencies. Preliminary results of a time measurement study indicate some improvement in the time it takes for imports of food items (including perishable products in reefer containers) to move from arrival to release between 2003 and 2010. These food items had a mean release time of 6.3 days (152 hours) at MICP in 2010.
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Breakdown of the time between arrival and release show 50 hours (2.1 days) or 33 % delay between goods arrival and lodgement. Part of the reason for length of time for submission is delay in securing necessary permits (as well as other reasons). The automation of the processing of issuing import permits for agricultural products would help in trade facilitation.
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Import Procedures for Agricultural Products


Imports Product Registration Establishment Accreditation Licensing of Importer Issuance Import License Import Inspection at Border Exports Product Registration Establishment Accreditation Licensing of Exporter Issuance of International SPS Certificate Port of Exit Inspection
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General Import Process

13 steps
(12 documents)

19 steps
(22 proofs)

Each of the function at the right opens up different processes

15 steps
(17 documents)

12 steps
(15 documents)

23 steps
Source of Basic Data: SPS Administration Manual (Department of Agriculture, July 2007) 8

Paper-based documentation Manual processing of Permit Submission of Permit to supplier at origin No advance info on the arrival of goods (eg manifest, AWB/BL and import declaration) Receipt of Health/Phytosanitary Certificates from origin Provision of copies of approved Permits to offices at the Port of discharge Issuance of clearance after inspection, quarantine Limited laboratory facilities, eg Los Banos Reports on findings at the Port, laboratory 9 Closure

Automating Import Procedures


Scope of Automation Product Registration Accreditation of Establishments Licensing of Imports Issuance of Import Permits Trade System at the central offices of the Department of Agriculture through a hub provided by a VASP.
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BPI Plant, Plant Products BAI Live Animal BAI Animal Products BAI Veterinary & Biologicals
DA Trade System

Importer

InterCommerce

BFAR, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources BPI, BAI, BFAR Quarantine Office DA ITCAF

Source: INS 2010


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Features of the Automation


Electronic registration of importers and imported products Harmonized forms: Internet electronic application and submission (data fields determined by agencies) Auto debit of fees and payments (through advance deposits with authorized banks) Eliminate other manual steps (manual typing of import clearance, physical signature)
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Individual secure login for approval of permits by DA Director At ports, quarantine officer secure login to view import clearance ahead of arrival of goods, tags SPS as used, record data and actual inspection Database of accredited importers/importable products improves risk analysis in agriculture trade Safety concerns are attended to through authenticated permit, secure electronic signature of approval (secure login), conditions for entry noted in approval, and permit is unique (bar code)
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2010 Results of Automation of Import Procedures in Agricultural Goods Manual processing of permit applications takes 2-3 days; cash payment for fees and manual issuance of receipt; import permit submitted to quarantine officer at port upon arrival of goods. Electronic on-line processing takes 2-3 hours; payments are auto-debit; on-line printing of import clearance, advance clearance available to quarantine officer before arrival of goods 15

The implementation of automating import procedures for agricultural products has moved from pilot stage to cover all transactions. The number of both registered importers and list of importables have expanded since pilot although skewed towards the animal products coverage.

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Status SPS IC
Registered importers
Registered With LIVE Transactions
Submitted Rejected For Approval Approved

: 704 : 162 (104 or 64% from BAI)


: 36,687 : 4,004 : 11,698 : 20,917 57% (18,878 or 90% from BAI) : : : : : 2,143 246 : 18 : 1,855 265 100.0% 11.5% 24 0.8% 0 74.2% 12.4% 100% 11% 32%

Items in Lists of Importables

Number of SPS IC
Submitted Rejected Under Review For Endorsement For Approval Approved Used 1.1% 0%
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Status BAI SPS IC


Registered BAI importers
Registered With LIVE Transactions Submitted Rejected For Approval Approved : 440 : 104 : 23,676 3,362 : 1403 : 18,878 :
: : : :

Items in Lists of Importables


100% 14% 6% 80% 100.0%
11.7% : 15 : 1,467 169 0 74.9% 11.5%
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Number of SPS IC
Submitted
Rejected Under Review For Endorsement For Approval Approved Used

1,697
199 16

0.9% 0.9% 0%

Status BPI SPS IC


Registered BAI importers
Registered With LIVE Transactions Submitted Rejected For Approval Approved : : 168 13 100.0% 5.1% 90.7% 3.8% 100.0%
10.4% : : : : 2 : 76 10 0 77.1% 8 2.1% 0% 8.3%

Items in Lists of Importables


: 10,854 558 : 9,848 : 413 :
:

Number of SPS IC
Submitted
Rejected Under Review For Endorsement For Approval Approved Used

96
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2.1%
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Status BFAR SPS IC


Registered BAI importers
Registered With LIVE Transactions Submitted Rejected For Approval Approved : 96 : 45 : : : :
: : : :

Items in Lists of Importables


2,157 84 447 1,626 350
37 : 1 : 312 43 0 72.2% 0 0.3% 0%

100% 4% 21% 75% 100.0%


10.5% 0%

Number of SPS IC
Submitted
Rejected Under Review For Endorsement For Approval Approved Used

26.9%
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Challenges
Automation should reduce the time it takes between arrival of goods and lodgment. At the same time regulatory functions become more secure and transparent. Interface with the National Single Window without compromising primary functions of the Department of Agriculture. Interconnect all ports into the Trade System.
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End

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