A total of 324 exporters, representing around 80% of all Philippine exporters trading with the European Union (EU), have registered with the EU’s Registered Exporter (REX) System as of August 17, according to the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
BOC Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group (AOCG) deputy commissioner Atty. Edward James Dy Buco, in a message to PortCalls, said they are confident all exporters to the EU will have registered to the REX System before the new deadline of application, which is December 31, 2020.
REX is the new system of certifying the origin of goods that has progressively been introduced in the EU’s preferential trade arrangements. First applied to the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) program on January 1, 2017, REX will eventually completely replace the current system of origin certification based on certificates of origin (CO) issued by government authorities and on invoice declarations made out under certain conditions by economic operators.
Deadline of registration to the system was initially set for December 2019, but was moved to June 30, 2020. Because of the coronavirus disease pandemic and stakeholders’ difficulty in meeting the deadline, the BOC requested for another extension to December 31, 2020, a request granted by the EU.
Under REX, the economic operators will be the ones to make the so-called “statement on origin,” which is a declaration of origin added by the registered exporter to an invoice, a delivery note, a packing list, or any other commercial document allowing identifying the goods and the exporter.
To be entitled to do this, an economic operator must register in the database of his or her competent authorities as an exporter. In the Philippines, the competent authority is the BOC.
After December 31, 2020, the EU will no longer accept CO Form A.
The Philippines is one of the beneficiary countries of the EU GSP+ program that grants zero tariffs on 6,274 product lines.
These products include particular items of fish, dairy, fruits, vegetables, coconut oils, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, chemicals, fertilizers, essential oils, soaps, articles of plastics and rubber. Also included are articles of wood and leather, apparel, footwear and headgear, ceramic products, glass and glassware, pearls, fine and costume jewelry, furniture, auto and aero parts, ships and boats, electronics and semi-conductors, watches, and other manufactured articles.
The procedure for registration is outlined in the BOC’s Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 50-2019, which provides guidelines on implementation of REX for exporters under EU GSP.
Producers, manufacturers, or traders may apply by filling out the application form available on https://customs.ec.europa.eu/rex-pa-ui/#/create-preapplication/.
Once filled and submitted electronically, the application form should be submitted to the concerned BOC Export Division/Unit with the Unique Reference Number (URN) as Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) locators, Client Profile Registration System (CPRS) for non-PEZA locators or other equivalent document; and a Product Evaluation Report, if applicable.
During this time of community quarantine, applicants may submit their applications together with the other required documents online directly to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org or through the BOC portal client.customs.gov.ph.
Applications evaluated by Export Division/Unit of the port will be endorsed to BOC’s Export Coordination Division (ECD) for registration to the REX system. Registered exporters will be assigned a REX Number within seven working days from receipt of the complete set of documents endorsed by the port to ECD.
Exporters and the endorsing port will be notified by the ECD of the results of the application with the assigned REX number. Denial of application will likewise be communicated stating the reason for it.
The Statement on Origin must be completed in legible and permanent form, and issued by typing, printing or stamping the text stated below on the invoice, pro-forma invoice, packing list or any other commercial document identifying clearly the originating products:
“The exporter (Registered Exporter Number) of the products covered by this document declares that, except where otherwise clearly indicated, these products are of Philippine preferential origin according to rules of origin of the Generalised System of Preferences of the European Union and the origin criterion met is _______.”
The REX number must be indicated in the Statement on Origin if the value of the originating goods for consignment is above the value threshold of EUR6,000. If the value of the originating goods is below the value threshold, then any exporter, even though not registered with BOC, may accomplish a Statement on Origin.
The representative of an exporter will be allowed to make origin declaration upon submission of the exporter’s written authorization. – Roumina Pablo