THE Department of Trade and Industry said it asked the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to look into “excessive” charges imposed by foreign shipping companies.
“We are requesting the Philippine Competition Commission, through Chairman Arsenio M. Balisacan, to act on the concerns of the business sector regarding questionable destination and origin charges imposed on local importers/exporters,” Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said in a statement on Thursday.
“These excessive charges and fees are recurring issues that have brought significant negative impact on our local industries.”
The issue of fees charged by foreign carriers was again raised by logistics service providers recently, according to the DTI.
The issue of shipping fees was the subject of a 2017 study jointly conducted by DTI-Export Development Council and National Competitiveness Council.
The findings questioned the destination and origin charges cited by Mr. Lopez in his statement.
The study also alleges that some shipping firms are making freight costs less transparent to the benefit of overseas exporters at the expense of Philippine importers, costing the economy roughly $2 billion to $5 billion annually.
Mr. Lopez said that Philippine exporters also bear the brunt of excessive fees while consumers also absorb the additional costs of imported goods passed on to them. — Janina C. Lim