The Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) conducted a virtual kick-off meeting that aims to facilitate the Philippine participation in the cross-border exchange of the electronic Phytosanitary Certificate (e-Phyto) among ASEAN Member States via the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) System.
Representatives from the DA-BPI headed by Director Gerald Glenn Panganiban, including officials from BOC, the Department of Finance (DOF), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – ASEAN Policy Implementation (API) Project, attended the kick-off meeting.
The Philippines is expected to exchange the e-Phyto certificates with ASEAN using the BOC Electronic Phytosanitary (e-Phyto) Management Portal, which has access to the e-Phyto certificates issued by DA-BPI, the country’s official National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO), as well as those issued by the respective NPPOs of exporting countries.
During the kick-off meeting, the BOC and DA-BPI expressed their full support and cooperation to ensure the success of the electronic exchange with ASEAN.
They also agreed to promote trade facilitation and strengthen the relations between the two government agencies regarding the import and export of plants and plant products.
Follow-up activities between BOC and DA-BPI include data and process mapping covering both incoming and outgoing e-Phyto messages with ASEAN, as well as system alignment with other modes of exchange (i.e., via the International Plant Protection Convention or IPPC Hub and bilateral arrangements with Australia) that the DA-BPI is currently implementing.
The cross-border exchange of the e-Phyto Certificate will reduce document falsification, increase transparency and predictability in agri-food trade, and facilitate faster customs clearance.
Following President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s directive, the BOC remains committed to increasing efforts to combat agricultural smuggling through the digitalization of government services and enhanced border control under the leadership of Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz.#