THE Trade department’s export marketing group is encouraging exporters to take advantage of preferential tariffs to sell to Russia.

“One of our strategies in expanding exports is to venture into non-traditional partners like Russia. Thus, we encourage exporters to maximize the benefits from the EAEU GSP,” Department of Trade and Industry – Export Marketing Bureau Director Senen M. Perlada said in a press release on Monday.

Under the Eurasian Economic Union Generalized System of Preferences, or EAEU GSP, the Philippines can export certain products to member countries at a 25% discount on customs duties.

Members of the union include Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and the Russian Federation.   

Food products eligible for the customs discount include meat, fish, fruits, coffee, cacao, coconut products, sauces, and condiments. Furniture and houseware goods include wood, basket ware, artificial flowers, statuettes, ceramics, and imitation jewelry. Industrial goods like natural rubber are included.

Given the pandemic restrictions, the EAEU will allow exporters to submit either an electronic or paper copy of Certificate of Origin Form A, a document that would allow exporters to avail of the preferential tariff. The exporter will then have six months from the registration date to submit the original form to the customs authority.

In 2019, Russia was the Philippines’ 21st biggest trading partner. It was the country’s 32nd biggest export destination and 18th biggest source of imports.

The Philippines’ top exports to Russia include electronics, ignition wiring sets, activated carbon, new pneumatic tires, and watches as well as agricultural products such as desiccated coconut, carrageenan, and other fruits and nuts. — Jenina P. Ibañez