The Philippines is now eligible to export pork and beef to Japan following its inclusion in Tokyo’s list of certified countries that implement reliable Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) hygiene management.
The National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) said the Philippines was included in the list of the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) released last May 26. Citing Japan’s Food Sanitation Law, only meat manufactured with HACCP-based hygiene management can be imported into Japan, according to the NMIS, an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture.
“The Philippines has been exporting chicken meat to Japan, but as a result of this new recognition, we are now eligible to export beef, carabeef, pork, chevon, mutton, and their by-products to Japan,” it said in a statement.
NMIS Executive Director Jocelyn A. Salvador said the inclusion of the Philippines in Japan’s MHLW HACCP list shows that Tokyo can “rely on and trust” Manila’s certification system.
“It also implies that the systems of certification of the Philippines are at par with the global standards,” Salvador added.
Given the recognition, the NMIS said Japan will now automatically accept the certification made by the Philippines on its meat establishments “without a doubt.”
The NMIS added that Japan’s MHLW has already notified its respective quarantine stations to accept the health certificate issued by the Philippines for the different meat commodities.
Since 2003, the NMIS has been implementing the mandatory application of the HACCP program, an internationally recognized science-based and systematic system, in all licensed “AAA” meat establishments in the country.
The NMIS has jurisdiction over the accreditation and licensing of all meat and meat product exporters of the country. Under existing rules, only HACCP certified meat and meat products from “AAA” meat establishments are allowed for export.
The Philippines exported 340.467 metric tons (MT) of frozen chicken meat and meat products worth $1.08 million to Japan last year, based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data.
The country is keen on exporting more agricultural products to Japan under the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement which entered into force in December 2008.
Manila has been pushing to lower the tariff imposed on Philippine banana exports to Japan. Currently, Philippine bananas are slapped an 18-percent tariff during the winter season and 8 percent during summer.
Japan is one of the largest export destinations and foreign investment sources of the Philippines.
Last year, the Philippines registered a trade surplus of $1.74 billion with Japan, higher than the P94.96 million posted in 2019, based on PSA data.
The Philippines’s outbound shipments to Japan amounted to $9.9 billion last year, which is 7 percent lower than the $10.67 billion recorded in 2019. Imports from Japan to the Philippines, meanwhile, plunged by nearly 23 percent year-on-year to $8.15 billion.
Total trade between countries reached $18.05 billion last year, indicating a 15-percent decline from $21.25 billion in 2019.