Have you ever wondered why products made in the Philippines are poorly displayed at international trade exhibitions and overseas fairs?
Or how come Filipino talents can’t organize concerts the same way as other foreign bands? How come Filipino filmmakers or broadcasters can’t show a lot of footage when shooting overseas?
One of the reasons, or maybe thousands or millions of dollars of reason, is customs taxes.
From April 17, 2022, they will finally get their fix.
The Philippines finally joined the Convention on Temporary Entry, which allows exporters, filmmakers, rock bands and other Filipino services to bring in their goods for a temporary project without having to pay duties and taxes. All they have to do is secure a single document called an ATA Carnet (pronounced kar-nay) or what importers call a “Goods Passport”.
In a press release, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Ambassador of the Philippines in Brussels, Jose De Vega, deposited the instrument of accession to the Convention with the World Customs Organization (WCO) on 17 last January. The accession came 18 months after President Duterte ratified the treaty, and two months after the Philippine Senate approved it.
As a signatory to the ATA system (ATA and Istanbul Conventions), the Philippines is also required to waive the imposition of customs duties and other customs duties on goods imported from 87 countries and territories that are parties to the Convention. . These specific goods benefit from “temporary admission” and are intended to be re-exported within one year.
WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya accepted the accession document and expressed his best wishes for the Philippines. Ambassador De Vega and Secretary Mikuriya said the Philippines’ membership would not only benefit the Philippines, but also its economic partners such as ASEAN.
The Export Development Council (EDC), the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PHILEXPORT) said they have long advocated for inclusion in the community ATA Systems. They said micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) can save more time and money when they join overseas businesses and exhibitions.
PCCI President Benedicto Yujuico also said that in addition to tax and duty savings, the ATA system will simplify customs procedures. Gone are the days when exporters had to fill out multiple forms and documents, which was time consuming.
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III previously said that the ATA system would also benefit Filipino athletes who need to transport various equipment from one country to another for training or competition, as well as media personnel and officials. journalists who have to carry laptops, cameras and tripods to cover various political hot spots.
After the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee also sees that high-value scientific equipment will be brought from country to country for demonstration.
When disaster strikes the country again, aid organizations or countries can also bring in water purification equipment, airplanes, power plants, telecommunications facilities and transportation development without much customs hassle for help with reconstruction and recovery projects.
Revenue losses notwithstanding, the Customs Office would benefit from the codified ATA Carnet system. “BOC [Bureau of Customs] would no longer need to use valuable time and resources to process the temporary admission of scientific, professional and other goods and equipment,” he said. The BOC would only have to monitor whether the ATA goods “are not totally re-exported”.
In addition to products for trade fairs, multimedia equipment and sports equipment, other goods that can be imported under the ATA system are:
2. Farm equipment
3. Antiques and antiquities
4. Art such as paintings, sculptures and installations
5. Circus animals, props, sets, costumes
6. Computer hardware, including routers, network devices
7. Construction and mining equipment
8. Defense and military articles, security and surveillance, aircraft, unmanned vehicles
9. Diagnostic devices
10. Electronics, including laptops
13. Medical devices
14. Research and scientific equipment
15. Robots and robotic devices
17. Trade Show Exhibit Booths
18. Aquatic equipment
The Philippines’ main trading partners – China, the United States, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Germany, South Korea and the Netherlands – are also members of the ATA system. Taiwan, which is also one of the country’s top 10 trading partners, is not among them. Taipei has its own special bilateral ATA Carnet with 41 other countries.