16.8 C
New York
Thursday, June 8, 2023

Marcos mulls pre-shipping inspections of agricultural goods to curb smuggling

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is considering the recommendation by the Société Générale de Surveillance SA (SGS) to conduct pre-shipping inspections of agricultural goods to curb smuggling.

“This scheme would minimize smuggling. It will be essentially (a) pre-shipping inspection,” Marcos said following his meeting with SGS Vice President George Bottomley and Managing Director Cresenciano Maramot in Malacañang on Thursday.

This means even before cargo is loaded to the ships, inspections of the products would already take place to ensure their correct weight and quality. It would also hasten the releasing process once it arrives in the country.

The President further stated that the government is likely to extend coverage of agricultural invoices so that prior to the arrival of the planes or ships, shipments are paid already, speeding up the process.

Cost analysis would also be made beforehand to make sure that no added burden will be imposed on consumers.

According to the United Nations’ Commodity Trade data for the Philippines, some 20.48 percent discrepancy in the reported values of agricultural imports from 2010 to 2021 were found, resulting in revenue losses for the government.

For edible vegetables, roots and tubers, the discrepancy was 34.74 percent while for swine meat (fresh, chilled or frozen), the discrepancy was at 41.89 percent.

SGS claims pre-shipping inspections would address smuggling and contain the spread of diseases such as African Swine Fever and Avian Flu, clarifying also that inspection and testing fees would be paid for by the exporter.

Under the arrangement, SGS will create a digital invoice in a standardized format prescribed by the authorities on an online government platform for registered or authenticated agricultural exporter/seller/supplier.

The invoices would be available in real time to the Department of Agriculture (DA), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), and Bureau of Customs (BOC), which, according to SGS, would deter importers from manipulating or falsifying invoices and, instead, increase tax compliance, and enable cross-agency trade data reconciliation.

The system will likewise ensure that all agricultural importations are recorded and accounted for to prevent hoarding and price manipulation.

The costs of registration/authentication and operation of the platform would also be paid for by the exporter.

Marcos has tasked the DA and Department of Finance (DoF) to study the proposal and come out with a mechanism to implement it.

SGS is a testing, inspection, and certification company established in 1878 with an aim of ensuring the quality and safety of products based on health, safety and regulatory standards.

The Swiss company has 2,650 offices and laboratories and employs 97,000 personnel in 140 countries.

The Philippines contracted the SGS from 1986 to 2000 for the verification of the quality, quantity, and price of imported goods prior to shipment to the Philippines.

Go to Source
Author: Kristina Maralit

Related Articles

Stay Connected

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest Articles