THE PHILIPPINES has deposited its Instrument of Accession to the Istanbul Convention, which will help exporters access foreign markets, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Sunday.

Philippine Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg, and the European Union Eduardo José A. de Vega filed the accession documents to the Istanbul Convention, formally known as the Convention on Temporary Admission, and also known as the ATA Convention, to World Customs Organization (WCO) Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya at the headquarters of the WCO in Brussels.

The convention eases the movement of goods for re-export into a customs territory of a convention signatory, by granting total or partial relief from import duties and taxes, provided that they remain for a specified period and have not undergone processing.

The goods are covered by a single document known as the ATA carnet, secured by an international guarantee system.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry President George T. Barcelon told BusinessWorld in a Viber message that it is working with the Bureau of Customs to be accredited on the ATA carnet protocols. “We will actively participate when our papers are in order.”

“This would allow us to expand further hosting of industry, sectoral exposition, etc.,” he said. “Companies will have flexibility in documentation of imports and exports.”

The convention is expected to be beneficial for micro, small and medium enterprises, which aim to export or join international trade shows, fairs, and exhibitions.

The convention, signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in July 2020, will take effect on April 17.

Asked about the convention’s expected benefits, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said: “Yes. We have always supported that as it can help develop more trade activities moving forward. We also supported it when it was deliberated in the Senate. RCEP (the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) has also a provision on the temporary admission of goods that is consistent with the convention.

The Philippines is set to become the 73rd contracting party to the convention. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan