Philippine Tariff Commission questions DTI's October import duty rise

Philippine Tariff Commission questions DTI's October import duty rise
30 December 2020

The Tariff Commission, in the Philippines, has questioned the decision of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to increase the definitive safeguard duty on imported cement by PHP0.80 to PHP9.80/40kg bag (US$0.016-0.23/40kg bag) starting in October 2020.

Ernesto Albano said the three-year schedule of safeguard tariff implementation should be followed according to the law. The safeguard tariff was supposed to drop from PHP10/40kg bag in the first year of implementation to PHP9/bag in the second year and PHP8 in the third year.

The DTI, however, set it at PHP9.80 per bag in October, which represented the start of the second year of the three-year schedule.

"I am not aware of the DTI order, but this is a schedule of definitive safeguards. By law, it should go down. We will ask if DTI increased the safeguard duties since the rates have been approved, therefore it should go down on the second year," said Albano. 

Cement importers said the DTI "may have committed an abuse of authority" based on the statement of the commission.

The industry is now complying with the new cement memorandum order after the Bureau of Customs started imposing the collection of the new rates, said Philcement Corp.

Published under Cement News