Philippine Trade Secretary defends import order

Philippine Trade Secretary defends import order
24 July 2017

Philippine Trade Secretary, Ramon Lopez, has defended the legality and fairness of the recently-issued administrative order on cement importation following attacks on the order by importers.

“The only reason post import standard is being done is only to ensure consumer protection. This is being done in other countries. We need to protect consumers from possible substandard imported cement. Lives can be endangered if substandard cement gets into the market,” Mr Lopez said.

The order, which was issued in February, requires the application of the Philippine Standards licences on foreign producers of cement imports and import commodity clearance (ICC) on cement imports, as well as setting a required minimum paid capitalisation of PHP20m (US$394,286) for all the cement importers to weed out casual importers.

Cement importers have complained that the order prevents a level playing field with domestic companies, and in effect, may result to a domestic cement cartel.

However, the trade secretary said that the country will follow a policy of liberalised trade, but that it must ensure products are of a good standard to protect consumers’ lives.

“The new department administrative order has been subjected to more consultations that paved the way to a revision to consider a longer transition period.It is a simple product standard testing process that was added as a post-import requirement to ensure at all times standard compliant cement products for the protection of consumers,” Mr Lopez said.

Published under Cement News

Tagged Under: Philippines imports legislation