The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Wednesday said it has weeded out fly-by-night meat importers, following the stricter implementation of accreditation rules earlier this month.
Out of the 362 previously registered meat traders, DA-National Meat Inspection Service Executive Director Minda Manantan said that only 140 was deemed qualified under the new accreditation rules in line with DA’s Administrative Order No.9, which imposes tighter requirements for meat importers.
“One of the most notable requirements, which meat traders failed to comply with, was the higher capitalization required under AO9,” Manantan told reporters.
Under AO 9, the NMIS will impose a minimum capitalization requirement of P5 million, which is certified by a reputable bank, for meat importers seeking accreditation.
The minimum capitalization is based on the proposal of industry members, which is also the value of one 40-foot container van of meat products.
Manantan noted that prior to AO 9, meat importers can bring into the country as much as 10 container vans of meat products with capitalization of only P27,000.
“This is exactly what we are trying to avoid,” he said.
Besides higher capitalization, meat traders are also required to present a notarized lease of contract or proof of ownership of cold storage or dry warehouse facility as well as accreditation certificate of all cold storage warehouses.
Traders and meat importers are also required to submit a list of their clients and their addresses.
Exempted are newly established businesses which have been operating for less than a year and those granted tax incentives by the Board of Investments, Manantan said.
JAMES KONSTANTIN GALVEZ