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DTI launches import surge monitoring system as RCEP takes effect in PHL

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ON the same day the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) took effect, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced that it has launched the Import Surge Monitoring System, which aims to monitor the influx of imported commodities.

RCEP, a mega trade deal among 15 member countries, took effect for the Philippines on June 2.

Trade Assistant Secretary for International Trade Policy and Trade Negotiation Allan B. Gepty said the DTI through the Bureau of Import Services (BIS) launched the Import Surge Monitoring System last May 31.

The system, he said, is “a dashboard intended to monitor surge in the volume of locally produced industrial commodities being imported in the country.”  Specifically, he noted, this will cover industrial products that are “sensitive and may be subject to trade remedy investigation.” 

The system will serve as a “guide by businesses in formulating strategies, business plans, forecasting, projecting market demand to increase their competitiveness,” as the dashboard will generate statistical data and trends, the official said. 

Gepty said the program will “empower” all industries and stakeholders in the Philippines to monitor the competing products. He also cited challenges being experienced by these stakeholders.

“[For] some companies here in the Philippines, one of the challenges that accounts for their availment or utilization of trade remedies is the lack of information. How many items are coming in? Let’s say wiring harness or maybe paper or maybe ballpen. They have no data, no access to data on importation,” Gepty said.

The Trade official explained that in keeping track of the influx of a particular product, the increase in importation shall be monitored. 

The analysis entails processing if the increase in the entry of a particular product “is sudden and sharp,” he explained further.

According to Gepty, the technical experts in the Bureau of Import Services can assist the stakeholders. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, a petition can be filed before the DTI. 

“Through this import surge monitoring system,” stakeholders, he said, may enrol, monitor the BIS, and then see the analytics. Then if there is an unwarranted, sharp increase in imports, “it is possible that they can initiate trade remedies like safeguard measures. So that’s the value of this system,” Gepty emphasized.

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