Philippine exporters are strongly encouraged to take full advantage of the benefits of the Philippines-European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Free Trade Agreement (FTA), in particular, its simplified administrative procedures for exporters.
To avail the preferential tariffs under the PH-EFTA FTA, exporters only need to issue an Origin Declaration (OD), a one-paragraph declaration in a commercial document i.e. invoice, packing list, delivery note or any other relevant commercial document, to ascertain the originating status of goods, instead of securing a Certificate of Origin from the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Exporters to EFTA are classified either as “Approved Exporter” and “Non-Approved Exporter”. An approved exporter is given a unique authorization number that replaces his signature on the OD. On the other hand, a non-approved exporter is still required to affix his signature on the document.
Philippine exporters are encouraged to secure an Approved Exporter accreditation with the BOC to facilitate trade with EFTA and lower the risk of retro-verification. This process entails a one-time application through the BOC-Export Coordination Division (ECD) that is free of charge.
Interested parties may submit, electronically, their intention to be an “Approved Exporter” to the BOC-Export Coordination Division (ECD) at email@example.com with the following documents:
- Latest income Tax Return;
- Unique Reference Number (URN) for PEZA locators or Client Profile Registration System (CPRS) for non-PEZA locators;
- Business Permit/s;
- SEC/DTI registration, whichever is applicable; and
- Product Evaluation Report, if applicable
Exporters will be notified on the results of the evaluation. Approved exporters shall be assigned with the Customs Authorization Number within seven (7) working days upon the receipt of complete set of documents by the BOC-ECD.
The PH-EFTA FTA entered into force on 01 June 2018 for the Philippines, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland and on 01 January 2020 for Iceland. The FTA provides the Philippines duty-free market access for ALL industrial and fisheries tariff lines. The Philippines also secured tariff concessions on substantially all Philippine agriculture exports to EFTA (e.g., frozen tuna/mackerel, canned pineapple, crude coconut oil, fresh/dried bananas).
The complete guidelines on the implementation of the PH-EFTA FTA, as specified in Customs Memorandum Order 14-2018, may be viewed here.
For questions and clarifications, you may contact our market officers for Europe at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or Ms. Gina German of BOC-ECD at email@example.com.