THE Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) is set to issue notices of warning to trade-related government agencies who are not signed up to the TradeNet system, a platform designed as a single window to facilitate trade permits in Southeast Asia.
In a statement Thursday, the Bureau of Customs (BoC) said the ARTA made the decision during the Tuesday meeting of the National Single Window – Technical Working Group.
It said ARTA will send warnings to agencies for not complying with the Ease of Doing Business and Anti-Red Tape Advisory Council Resolution No. 12 and ARTA Memorandum Circular No. 2021-01.
The resolution requires 73 agencies to join TradeNet by the second week of April. These include offices that process and issue licenses, permits, clearances, and certifications relating to the movement of trade goods.
“ARTA also reported that those who will still fail to comply will be subjected to investigation or appropriate administrative action including but not limited to violations of RA (Republic Act) 11032, AO (Administrative Order) 23, RA 6713, and RA 3019,” it added.
TradeNet is the customs and trade online platform linking the Philippines to the ASEAN Single Window. The online platform allows the government to transact and exchange customs and other trade-related documentations with its counterparts in Southeast Asia.
The government is targeting to sign up 76 agencies to the platform by 2022. ARTA had not replied to queries about how many agencies have joined at deadline time.
A survey conducted by the Finance department’s TradeNet Project Management Office indicates that a majority of agencies with trade regulatory functions have their own information technology (IT) departments, while “a number” of agencies have adopted automated systems for trade-related processes.
Those with IT departments and automated systems will receive priority in linking up to TradeNet.
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero was present at the meeting along with ARTA Director-General Jeremiah B. Belgica, and BoC Deputy Commissioner Allan C. Geronimo. These officials oversee the National Single Window-Technical Working Group for TradeNet.
The Philippines joined the ASEAN Single Window in December 2019. The Department of Finance has said the window is expected to reduce trading costs and encourage small enterprises to use preferential tariffs in force within ASEAN.
The platform aims to simplify trade processes for 7,400 products. — Beatrice M. Laforga