STMO sets guidelines on registration for export of strategic goods

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  • The Strategic Trade Management Office released rules on the registration for export of strategic goods
  • Guidelines on the registration of individuals financing, brokering, and moving nationally controlled goods were also issued under STMO Memorandum Circular No. 21-40
  • Under the Strategic Trade Management Act, registration is required prior to applying for authorization to export, import, re-export strategic goods, and to provide related services

The Strategic Trade Management Office (STMO) has released guidelines on the registration for export of strategic goods as well as of individuals involved in financing, brokering, and movement of nationally-controlled goods.

According to STMO Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 21-40 dated November 9 and effective immediately, registration is mandatory in the application for authority to export, import, re-export strategic goods, and to provide related services under the Strategic Trade Management Act (STMA).

Registered persons will be entered into the STMO registry, and these include those who engage or intend to engage in the export, import, and re-export of strategic goods or to provide related services.

Under MC 21-40, any individual who engages or intends to engage in the export, import, and re-export of strategic goods, or to provide related services such as brokering, financing, transporting, or technical assistance, should register directly with the STMO prior to applying for an authorization or a governmental end-use assurance.

The mandatory registration process will initially start with activities covered in MC 20-26, MC 21-06, and MC 21-37 until the coverage for other activities in the transfer of strategic goods is announced by the STMO.

MC 20-26 provides guidelines on export authorization while MC 21-06 provides implementation guidelines on financing and brokering under the STMA. MC 21-37 sets rules on the application for authorization to export, transit, transshipment, and import goods listed under the National Strategic Goods List (NSGL) Annex 3 or nationally controlled goods.

Registration is valid for a lifetime but may be revoked on the following grounds:

  • At the request of the person entered into the register
  • If the person entered in the register has not applied for any authorization from STMO within two years from its issuance
  • If new facts emerge which would have resulted in a denial to enter the person onto the Register at the time of application
  • If the person entered into the register is held responsible for violating any legal provisions related to national security
  • If the person entered into the register is held responsible for violating an international sanction or embargo binding on the Philippines
  • The natural person who is entered into the register dies
  • The juridical person who is entered in the register is dissolved
  • By order of a competent court
  • Any other national security, foreign policy, counter-terrorism, crime control, or public safety-related concerns

STMA or Republic Act No. 10697 (An Act Preventing the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction [WMD] by Managing the Trade in Strategic Goods, the Provision of Related Service, and for Other Purposes) was signed in 2016 to comply with United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution No. 1540.

The UN resolution “imposes binding obligations on all states to adopt legislation to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and their means of delivery, and establish appropriate domestic controls over related materials to prevent their illicit trafficking.”

Strategic goods are products that, due to security reasons or to international agreements, are considered to be of such military importance that their export is either subject to specific conditions or prohibited altogether. The law covers control of transmission of intangibles such as software and technology.

Under the STMA, traders, transport companies, and logistics service providers moving strategic goods need to be registered and licensed with the STMO.

The authorization allows only a specific transaction, or a series of transactions, as described in the application and any supporting documents.

Under the NSGL, there are three annexes: military goods, dual-use goods, and nationally controlled goods.

Military goods refer to goods, software, and technology specifically designed, developed, configured, adapted, or modified for military end-use.

Dual-use goods refer to items, software, and technology which are intended for both civil and military end-use, or are used to develop, produce, handle, operate, maintain, store, detect, identify, or disseminate WMD or their means of delivery.

Nationally controlled goods refer to strategic goods placed under unilateral controls for reasons of national security, foreign policy, antiterrorism, crime control, and public safety.

RELATED READ: Penalties for strategic trade act violation take effect in 2022

STMO is an office under the Department of Trade and Industry which serves as the executive and technical agency of the government in establishing the management systems for trade in strategic goods pursuant to STMA. STMO is enforcing a phased implementation of the STMA and has started with exports. – Roumina Pablo