BOC issues new guidelines for faster trade with ASEAN members

Published March 25, 2019, 6:49 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

 By Betheena Kae Unite

Trade facilitation among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is expected to be smoother as new guidelines in the processing of electronic certificates of origin (e-CO) were issued.

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero (BOC / MANILA BULLETIN)
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said transactions at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) “is expected to be faster and easier, without prejudice to its quality and accuracy in terms of computations for dutiable values, if there are any, with the issuance of Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 15-2019 on March 18.”

According to Guerrero, the order provides the guidelines for the application, submission, and processing of all e-CO through, which will facilitate the acceptance of e-CO among the ASEAN-member states. is the online portal where the automated licensing, permit, clearance, and certification systems of Trade Regulatory Government Agencies are integrated.

According to the bureau, it was designed as the official government system for electronic exchange of data on trade between and among various Philippine government agencies, and between the Philippines and other countries.

TradeNet will be tested live at the Port of Manila, Manila International Container Port, and the Port of NAIA. The testing will be reviewed per stage.

Guerrero said it is also in pursuant to the protocol on the legal framework to implement the ASEAN Single Window and the amended ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) Operational Certification Procedure.

“While duties and taxes are important for the nation’s economy, as a signatory to trade agreements and in compliance to global trade rules and trends, the electronic processing of a certificate of origin will get us in the loop of the global trade network,” Guerrero said.

“We should not be left behind in the global trade trend,” he added.

Under ATIGA, which aims to achieve free and faster flow of goods among the 10-member nations of the ASEAN Region, the granting of zero or reduced tariff rates on certain good originating from ASEAN countries will not only help boost the creation of an ASEAN single market, but it will also help strengthen an economically integrated ASEAN Region, according to the commissioner.

The preferential tariff rate of duty is being granted to certain goods originating from ASEAN Member State, following the ATIGA’s rules of origin and operational certification procedure and upon presentation of a certificate of origin form D, certifying that the goods originated from the other ASEAN Member State.

“Our objective in implementing this measure is to facilitate the transmission of e-CO for export products and the receipt of e-CO for imported products using available technologies and international best practices, in compliance with the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act,” Guerrero said.

CMO 15-2019 will take effect 15 days after its publication on March 21 in a newspaper with general circulation.