Revised rules governing cement imports have been issued by the Trade department, which has required pre-shipment testing in a bid to ensure that only quality products enter the country.
To facilitate shipments, the new department administrative order (DAO) allows checks to be made in accredited testing centers at the country of origin but inspections will also be made once the imports arrive.
“The pre-shipment testing will avoid delays in import supply which augment the cement requirement for the ongoing infrastructure projects. However, there will still be local verification tests, including sampling prior to its release to the market,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a statement.
“We are also helping the importers avoid unnecessary freight through the pre-shipment test. Right at the country of origin, they will be informed if their products will be acceptable or not in the Philippines,” he added.
A distinction between the regular trader importers from integrated cement producer (ICP) importers was also removed and both will now be subject to the same import procedures, the Trade department said.
Importers whose shipments pass the initial test but fail the local check will be disqualified from availing of pre-shipment testing. The foreign testing center will also be blacklisted.
“These amendments will ensure that quality cements get into the PH market and support quality infrastructure development under the ‘Build Build Build’ program,” Lopez said.