The joint memorandum circular to develop and implement a unified system for the accreditation of air and sea freight forwarders is still being finalized
Civil Aeronautics Board executive director Carmelo Arcilla said they are finalizing the JMC soon
The draft JMC aims to streamline accreditation of sea and air freight forwarders by creating a unified application form, streamlining processes, and establishing a single digital system for the accreditation of sea and air freight forwarders
The joint memorandum circular (JMC) to develop and implement a unified system for the accreditation of air and sea freight forwarders is in its final stage, according to Carmelo Arcilla, the executive director of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).
CAB has been collaborating with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and are finalizing the JMC soon, Arcilla told PortCalls in a chance interview at the recent Philippine Aviation Summit hosted by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.
The draft JMC aims to streamline the accreditation of sea and air freight forwarders by creating a unified application form, streamlining processes, and establishing a single digital system for the accreditation of sea and air freight forwarders.
Arcilla previously emphasized this unified accreditation system would spare freight forwarders involved in both air and sea operations from navigating two different offices. Instead, they would encounter a single application form and a uniform set of requirements, steps, and fees for accreditation.
On May 23, DTI held a public consultation on the draft JMC.
Presently, sea freight forwarders obtain accreditation from DTI’s Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB), while air freight forwarders are accredited by CAB, an attached agency of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
The draft JMC follows the signing in December 2022 of a memorandum of agreement between DTI and DOTr to harmonize sea and air freight accreditation.
The proposed JMC will apply to the following categories of freight forwarders:
- Domestic airfreight forwarder
- International airfreight forwarder
- Domestic sea freight forwarder
- International sea freight forwarder
- Non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC)
- Cargo consolidator
- Breakbulk agent
A technical working group will also be created to ensure the efficient and effective implementation of the JMC, consisting of representatives from DTI and its various offices (FTEB, Information Systems Management Service, and Supply Chain and Logistics Management Division), as well as DOTr and CAB.
Under the draft JMC, all air and sea freight forwarders must obtain a Certificate of Authority (CA) through the single system before commencing operations or renewing their accreditation. The renewal application should be submitted within the prescribed time frame.
A unified application form will be used in applying for certification by any person desiring to operate as a sea and/or air freight forwarder.
The JMC aims to reduce documentary requirements for accreditation, aligning with Republic Act (RA) 11032, also known as the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.
All applications and documentary requirements will be reviewed, evaluated, and validated within three days, provided all requirements are complete based on the pertinent regulations of the DTI, DOTr, or CAB, as the case may be.
The CA will be valid for a period of five years unless suspended, cancelled, or revoked, whether by FTEB or CAB.
The amount of paid-up capital, partner’s contribution, or proprietor’s equity will be based on the existing guidelines of DTI and CAB. Payment of fees will be facilitated online after reaching agreements with digital payment providers.
The draft JMC notes exclusive jurisdiction over airfreight forwarders remains under CAB, while exclusive jurisdiction over sea freight forwarders and NVOCCs will be delegated to DTI.
If a stakeholder holds permits for both airfreight and sea freight forwarding or NVOCC operations, CAB and DTI will conduct separate assessments and evaluations through the unified digital system, each exercising its respective jurisdiction.
Once approved, DTI and CAB should issue their respective guidelines, rules, and regulations implementing the JMC within 30 days of its effectivity.
In 2021, DTI conducted the Logistics Services Philippines Project Streamlining to identify regulatory constraints in the freight forwarding sector. Key findings highlighted separate and redundant accreditation requirements and processes for sea and air freight forwarders.
DTI’s shared objective is to reduce documentary requirements, fees, and processing time and align with the standards set under RA 11032.