PH, Korea to develop origin management system

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PH Korea origin management
Officials and representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry, Korea Trade Network and InterCommerce attended the signing of the Record of Discussions of the Origin Management System for the Promotion of FTAs in the Philippines held on 29 November 2023 in Makati City. Caption and photo from DTI.
  • The Philippines and Korea will develop an Origin Management System for the Promotion of Free Trade Agreements in the Philippines
  • The project calls for creating a system for exporters to check if their products meet origin requirements of free trade agreements and generalized system of preferences
  • The project will run for 30 months, from July 2023 until December 2025

The Philippines and Korea are developing an Origin Management System for the Promotion of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in the Philippines.

The official commencement took place on November 29 with the signing of the Record of Discussions for implementation of the project, according to a statement from Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The project spearheaded by DTI and the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) will run for 30 months, from July 2023 until December 2025.

Key components include the creation of an origin management system enabling exporters to assess whether their export product qualifies under the relevant rules of origin requirements of FTAs/generalized system of preferences (GSP) by inputting necessary information. Additionally, an artificial intelligence-enabled Harmonized System (HS) classification tool will assist exporters in determining the appropriate HS code/s for their product/s.

The project aims to enhance the international competitiveness of Philippine micro, small, and medium enterprises, increase utilization of existing Philippine FTAs and preferential trade arrangements, and reduce the time and costs of Philippine manufacturers and traders to comply with rules of origin requirements of FTAs and GSPs.

DTI undersecretary for industry development, trade and investment promotion group Ceferino Rodolfo said the project is a vital tool for the Philippines to optimize the Philippines-South Korea FTA and all other Philippine FTAs and preferential trade arrangements.

“The best time to prepare for an FTA’s entry into force is before it is even implemented or while it is being negotiated,” Rodolfo pointed out.

He stressed the importance of preparation before the entry into force of an FTA, citing the need to work with stakeholders to realize potential benefits early on.

“With this, the DTI aims to replicate the experience with the Philippines-European Free Trade Association (EFTA) FTA where the Philippines was able to reverse the phenomenal trade deficit with EFTA in the first year of implementation,” Rodolfo explained.

The project represents the first instance of DTI integrating technology and digital services to enhance accessibility for Philippine exporters and is also the initial venture for KIAT outside of South Korea.

The Korea Trade Network, Korean government’s designated trade automation business service provider, will implement the project. The DTI-Export Marketing Bureau will take the lead in implementation on the Philippines’ side.

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