THE PHILIPPINES has officially joined the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) and went live last Dec. 30 via its three pilot ports, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.

In a statement on Friday, DoF Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran said through the three pilot ports, the Bureau of Customs (BoC), its Export Coordination Division (ECD) and Export Divisions have started issuing electronic Certificate of Origin (eCO) through the country’s national single window (NSW) — the platform.

The three pilot ports are the Port of Manila (POM), Manila International Container Port (MICP) and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

According to Mr. Beltran, going live on the ASW will reduce communication costs by as low as 10% of the initial costs.

TradeNet is an online platform of the BoC to connect the Philippines in the ASW, allowing it to transact and exchange customs and other trade-related documents with its counterparts in the Southeast Asia region.

He said joining the platform will also encourage small enterprises to take advantage of preferential tariffs under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement.

The ASW Steering Committee will also include three more documents that can be exchanged in the platform he said. These are the e-Phyto-Sanitary Certificate, e-Animal Health Certificate and the e-ASEAN Customs Declaration Document.

“The ASW Steering Committee will also develop a roadmap to enable dialogue partners to join and exchange trade documents online with the ten ASEAN countries,” Mr. Beltran said in his report to the Finance Secretary about his meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam last Jan. 11.

“It will also develop guidelines to handle cancellation or revision of documents exchanged and set Business Process Specifications using the Common Header,” he added.

He said the ASEAN Business Advisory Council also agreed to help in disseminating the developments to the private sector.

As part of the goal to further ease business transactions in the country, the Duterte administration is aiming for all 76 trade regulatory government agencies under 18 government departments to be fully interconnected in TradeNet.

Mr. Beltran has said the country’s NSW, TradeNet, will eventually simplify import and export documentary processes of around 7,400 regulated products. — Beatrice M. Laforga