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PH eyes fewer documents, faster processing of export/import permits …

Bill of lading 300x200 PH eyes fewer documents, faster processing of export/import permitsThis year the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) is targeting to cut the number of and shorten processing time for trade documents to boost Philippine competitiveness.

In a presentation at the Second Annual NCC Ease of Doing Business Summit, Atty. Vincent Philip Maronilla of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group said the target for 2014 is to reduce the number of documents needed for imports to four (bill of lading, certificate of origin, commercial invoice/packing list, and customs import declaration) from the current seven, and speed up processing time to nine days from 14.

At the summit Maronilla represented the BOC and the Export Development Council, which comprise the task force for one of NCC s ease of doing business indicator, trading across borders.

For exports, the target is to have only four documents (bill of lading, commercial invoice/packing list, customs export declaration, and terminal handling receipts) instead of six, and to cut down the processing time to nine days from 15.

Maronilla noted other BOC initiatives such as full automation of processes by June 2015; integration of procedures with the country s free trade agreement partners; and implementation of the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement, Authorized Economic Operator Program, and the Enhanced Advance Ruling System.

NCC s target is to increase the Philippines ranking from 108th in 2013 to 29th in the 2014 World Bank-International Finance Corp. (WB-IFC) Ease of Doing Business Index, and to be in the top third of world rankings by 2016.

That s a target. It is possible to hit the target but what we can t tell is how other countries are going to move, NCC co-chairman Guillermo Luz said at the summit.

In the latest WB-IFC Ease of Doing Business report, the Philippines improved its ranking last year to 108th out of 189 countries, from 138th out of 185 countries in 2012. Roumina M. Pablo

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