DA reinstates 90-day validity of import meat clearance

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Delay in meat imports
Delays in meat imports to the Philippines are to be expected with at least 30% of major international liners’ sailings blocked for Chinese firms in the next few months due to increased demand for Chinese commodities, according to the Department of Agriculture. Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash.
  • The validity of sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances for meat has been extended again to 90 days from 60 days due to supply chain issues
  • Department of Agriculture Administrative Order 15-2022 took effect on June 8 and will be in force until revoked
  • Delays in meat imports to the Philippines are to be expected with at least 30% of major international liners’ sailings blocked for Chinese firms in the next few months due to increased demand for Chinese commodities
  • DA said a global food crisis is looming, warranting the need to ensure the overall food supply and security of the country

The Department of Agriculture (DA) reinstated the validity of imported meat clearances to 90 days from 60 days due to expected delays in meat imports.

DA said the re-introduction of measures to prevent the spread of new COVID-19 variants in other countries has affected operations in alternative ports, resulting in ships operating at partial capacity subsequent to delays and extended period of voyage.

It said major international shipping lines, which account for 80% of the overall container trade, reported that at least 30% of their sailings will be blocked for Chinese companies in the next few months due to an increased demand for their commodities, thus delaying the entire logistics chain of meat commodities to the Philippines.

DA said an imminent threat of a global food crisis also warrants a move to ensure the country’s overall food supply and security.

DA Administrative Order 15-2022 signed on June 8 revokes AO 11-2022 and reinstates the temporary extension of validity of sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances (SPSIC) for meat imports.

AO 11-2022, which took effect on May 23, revoked AO 02-2022, which last January extended the 90-day validity of SPSICs, and returned to 60 days the validity of SPSICs with the easing of supply chain and logistical restrictions.

AO 15-2022 took effect immediately on June 8 and will remain in force until revoked in writing.

Last year, DA said the COVID-19 pandemic and contraction in the supply of container vans presented shipping and other logistical difficulties, prompting stakeholders to request for an extension of the validity of SPSICs.

Since it began in 2020, the COVID-91 pandemic has triggered supply chain issues globally, such as container shortage, vessel space unavailability, and port congestion, which have affected Philippine imports and exports.

The temporary extension of validity of SPSICs for meat imports comes after President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order 171 series of 2022, on May 21 extending the reduced import duties for pork and rice, and temporarily reducing import duties on corn and coal until December 31 this year.

The extension of the reduced import duties for pork and rice augments the supply of these commodities and helps maintain lower prices, the EO said. – Roumina Pablo