CERAMIC TILES have been returned to the list of products that must be certified for quality before being allowed for sale in the Philippines.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued an order requiring manufacturers to apply for a Philippine Standard (PS) quality certification mark before they can sell their products.

Importers need either a statement of confirmation for PS certified ceramic tiles or import commodity clearances for non-PS certified ceramic tiles.

The PS mark, the DTI said in a statement Thursday, will help ensure that the products are traceable and guide consumers in making their selection.

Ceramic tiles are widely used in flooring and walls.

“The pandemic brought by COVID-19 made people more cautious of the cleanliness of their homes which is why ceramic tiles are utilized in achieving a sanitary environment since they can be easily cleaned and disinfected,” the DTI said.

Ceramic tile traders in 2019 sought to be excluded from the list, saying that the product does not pose safety or health risks.

The DTI in 2019 halted the imposition of safeguard duties on ceramic floor and wall tile imports after the Tariff Commission found no evidence that increased ceramic tile imports seriously injured domestic producers.

Plywood last year was put back on the list of products that must undergo quality certification. Plywood had been removed from the list in 2015, attracting a surge in imports. — Jenina P. Ibañez