The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will enter into force in the Philippines on June 2, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual said Thursday.
Tariff commitments under the RCEP will be implemented in the country 60 days after the government deposited the instrument of ratification with the ASEAN Secretary General on April 3, he said.
Pascual presented to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, chaired by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., the executive order (EO) that would operationalize the implementation of the country’s tariff commitments under the RCEP agreement.
He said the EO would be signed by the Chief Executive anytime soon or until the entry into force of the new free trade agreement (FTA) on June 2.
“Once issued, the EO shall be the basis of the Bureau of Customs for the issuance of Customs Administrative Order, which shall be distributed to all ports to allow for the implementation of the preferential tariffs on imports from RCEP member countries,” he said in a Palace briefing.
Pascual said the EO would allow the President to modify import duties, including necessary changes in classification and other import restrictions as required or appropriate to carry out and promote foreign trade, upon recommendation of the NEDA Board.
He said the EO would maintain the current preferential tariffs of 98.1 percent of the 1,718 agricultural tariff lines and 82.7 percent of the 8,102 industrial tariff lines.
CURRENTPH NEWS SERVICE