Home » 3PL/4PL, Customs & Trade, Exclusives, Ports/Terminals » BOC: draft CMO on EU REX under review

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The Bureau of Customs (BOC) legal division is reviewing the draft customs memorandum order (CMO) providing guidelines on implementation of the new Registered Exporters (REX) system.

The system is for certifying origin of goods that the European Union (EU) is progressively introducing in its preferential trade arrangements.

“The CMO is already under review of the Legal Service. Once cleared by them, it will be forwarded to the Office of the Commissioner for (the commissioner’s) signature,” BOC Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group deputy commissioner Atty. Edward James Dy Buco told PortCalls in a text message.

Earlier, Dy Buco said the REX system will gradually replace the current system of origin certification based on certificates of origin or CO (Form A) issued by BOC, which is the country’s competent authority in implementing the new system.

But even while the CMO is still to be issued, exporters can already apply online through https://customs.ec.europa.eu/rex-pa-ui/#/create-preapplication/.

BOC, in an information session hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Export Marketing Bureau on August 20, noted that some exporters have already applied for REX registration.

The customs bureau also noted that application is free of charge.

Mechanics

Once the electronic application is submitted, a printed application form must be submitted by exporters to BOC’s Export Division or Export Unit together with the tax identification number; unique reference number for Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) locators and Client Profile Registration System for non-PEZA locators; and product evaluation report, if applicable.

All application forms submitted to the Export Divisions/Unit shall be endorsed to BOC’s Export Coordinating Division (ECD) for registration to the REX system.

Exporters shall be notified about the results of the application and assigned a REX number within seven working days from receipt of the complete set of documents by ECD from the export division of ports.

CO Form A shall be issued by the Export Divisions/Units for exporters that are not yet registered to REX until December 31, 2019. In case majority of exporters to the EU have not yet registered by the third quarter of this year, an extension of six months may be requested from the EU. If the extension is granted, it is only up to June 30, 2020.

Certifying origin of goods

REX is the new system of certifying the origin of goods that the EU is progressively introducing in its preferential trade arrangements. First applied to the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) program from January 1, 2017, REX will eventually completely replace the current system of origin certification that is based on certificates of origin issued by government authorities and on invoice declarations made out under certain conditions by economic operators.

The global transition period from the current system of origin certification to the REX system started on January 1, 2017 and will last until June 30, 2020 at the latest. The Philippines had earlier notified that it would apply the REX system on January 1, 2019 but the DTI last January notified exporters that BOC is still completing the two prerequisites for applying the REX system.

Under REX, the economic operators will be the ones to make the so-called “statements on origin.” To be entitled to do this, an economic operator will have to register in the database of his competent authorities to become a registered exporter. The European Commission provides and maintains the REX system, so GSP beneficiary countries do not have to develop the system themselves.

The REX system is supported by an IT system, which is basically a database in which competent authorities, in the Philippines’ case, the BOC, will register their exporters who intend to export products under a preferential trade arrangement and will keep their data up to date.

Push from exporters

Since August last year, the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. has been pushing BOC to take the necessary actions to ensure that Filipino exporters can comply with the REX system, saying the system is crucial in allowing Philippine exporters to continue enjoying the benefits of the EU’s GSP program.

The Philippines was granted beneficiary-country status under the EU GSP+ in December 2014. Under this scheme, the Philippines may export 6,274 eligible products duty-free to the EU market. Prior to December 2014, the Philippines was covered by the regular EU GSP which provided zero duty to only 2,442 products and reduced tariffs to 3,767 products.

According to the EU Trade Preferences Monitoring Report released on January 19, 2018, the robust trade relations between the Philippines and EU was highlighted with EUR2 billion worth of Philippine exports in 2017, the products benefitting from the GSP+, compared to EUR1.66 billion in 2016. – Roumina Pablo

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