The government’s online trade facilitation platform — expected to be rolled out this December — will initially cover seven goods that represent half of the Philippines’ total trade volume, the Finance department said.
The TradeNet system will allow traders to apply for clearances covering rice, sugar, used motor vehicles, chemicals (toluene), frozen meat, medicines (for humans, animals or fish) and cured tobacco.
“The initial deployment will allow traders to use the system for the first seven commodities that represent fifty percent of the total trade volume of the Philippines,” Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran was quoted as saying in a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd.
TradeNet aims to minimize the costs of doing business and cut the processing time for import and export permits. It will also perform the functions of the country’s National Single Window (NSW).
The NSW, which will be interconnected by December to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Single Window, is a regional initiative that aims to speed up cargo clearances and promote economic integration by enabling the electronic exchange of documents between the bloc’s 10 member-states.
Beltran also said that 16 agencies involved in the processing of permits for the seven commodities would have to be connected to TradeNet by December.
These include the Bureau of Animal Industry, National Tobacco Administration, Fair Trade and Enforcement Bureau, National Food Authority, Bureau of Plant Industry, Food and Drugs Administration, National Meat Inspection Service, Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs.
More goods will be added to the system once other agencies also link up with TradeNet, he said.
TradeNet aims to connect 66 agencies and 10 economic zones involved in approving import and export permits and other trading requirements.
The Finance department was able to secure a P21.5-million grant last year from the German development bank KfW Group to help implement TradeNet.
Besides simplifying the import-export documentation processes, the program’s targets include developing policies to “oversee, manage and harmonize transactions of all regulatory agencies” involved by establishing protocols to link their databases.