BOC implements safeguard duty on select agri products

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  • The Bureau of Customs is now implementing the price-based special safeguard duty on several eligible agricultural products utilizing the ASEAN Harmonized Tariff Nomenclature of 2022
  • This took effect on May 15 after changes in BOC’s Electronic-to-Mobile System were carried out
  • Eligible agricultural products include meat, sausages, and coffee

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is now implementing the price-based special safeguard duty (SSD) on several eligible agricultural products utilizing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Harmonized Tariff Nomenclature (AHTN) of 2022.

This took effect on May 15 after the Management Information System and Technology Group (MISTG) carried out changes in BOC’s Electronic-to-Mobile System for the initiative’s implementation, according to MISTG Memo No. 08-2024 dated May 14.

Eligible agricultural products include, among others, meat, sausages, and coffee.

The implementation is in accordance with BOC Customs Memorandum Circular (CMC) No. 72-2024, which stated that all agricultural products listed in CMC 76-2018 should still be levied with the price-based SSD with their corresponding AHTN 2022, description and trigger prices.

Department of Agriculture (DA) assistant secretary for policy and regulations Atty. Paz Benavides II, in a letter to Customs commissioner Bienvenido Rubio dated March 21, 2024, noted that given the change in tariff nomenclature from AHTN 2017 to AHTN 2022, agricultural products listed in CMC 76-2018 should still be levied with the price-based SSD with their corresponding AHTN 2022, description, and trigger prices.

CMC 76-2018 provides the imposition of price-based SSD on eligible agricultural products as requested by then Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol through DA Department Order (DO) No. 06 series of 2018 pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No. 8800 or the Safeguard Measures Act.

Under RA 8800, the Agriculture Secretary should issue a DO requesting the BOC commissioner, through the finance secretary, to impose an additional SSD on an agricultural product, consistent with Philippine international treaty obligations, if its cumulative import volume in a given year exceeds its trigger volume; and its actual CIF (cost, insurance, and freight) import price is less than its trigger price.

Under DO No. 06, DA requested that additional duty be imposed on agricultural products that are eligible for SSD measure because their respective trigger prices have been breached, i.e. the actual CIF import price of each product is less than its corresponding trigger price.

According to DA, the SSD measure provides immediate and temporary protection from import surge or cheap importation of SSD eligible, regardless of country of origin.  – Roumina Pablo