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Trade dep’t asks PCC to look into ‘excessive’ fees by foreign shipping lines

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DTI-Lopez
File photo of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez speaking during a press briefing in Malacañan on September 22, 2016. ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS

The Department of Trade and Industry has requested the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to look into “excessive” charges imposed by foreign shipping lines to importers and exporters.

“We are requesting the Philippine Competition Commission, through Chairman Arsenio Balisacan, to act on the concerns of business sector regarding questionable destination and origin charges imposed on local importers/exporters,” Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said in a Thursday statement.

“These excessive charges and fees are recurring issues that have brought significant negative impact on our local industries.”

The issue of exorbitant fees by foreign carriers was again raised by logistics service providers recently, according to the agency.

The concern has been tackled in a 2017 study jointly conducted by DTI- Export Development Council and National Competitiveness Council last year.

The study revealed that some shipping lines have developed a scheme that makes freight cost less transparent in order to benefit the exporters overseas at the expense of our importers, costing the Philippine economy roughly $2 billion to $5 billion annually. — Janina C. Lim

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