• MSMEs urged to adopt self-certification scheme


    MORE companies, including the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), are encouraged to adopt self-certification scheme to enhance their competitiveness in the international market.

    Denise Cheska Enriquez, senior trade and industry development specialist at the Bureau of International Trade Relations (BITR), said that a certified exporter can enjoy greater convenience, generate more cost savings and improved timeliness when they avail themselves of self-certification.

    “Asean devised the scheme to make it easier for exporters to avail of the lower duties under the Asean Trade in Goods Agreement [ATIGA],” Enriquez said in a statement.

    Through the scheme, exporters will no longer need to present a certificate of origin (CO) Form D to claim the ATIGA preferential rate and it only involves a one-time application to be a certified export against applying for a CO for each shipment, she said.

    “[There will be] smoother clearance of goods at the port of importation as issues relating to verification of CO Form D such as the signatory in the form is done away with under the self-ce rtification system,” she said. “Exporters can issue their own certification, even on weekends.”

    Enriquez stressed that the self-certification scheme requires a simple declaration that the goods or product satisfies the “Asean originating” criteria and all other requirements.

    She said Asean is implementing the scheme in pilot stages. Two companies from the country are among the 105 firms participating in the second pilot project which comprises the Philippines, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam.

    “Using the scheme during the pilot phase provides a good training ground for when the region-wide scheme is implemented,” Enriquez added, noting that full implementation is targeted for 2018.


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