The Customs Office (BoC) began to apply adjusted tariffs for pork imports after the government approved temporary changes to tariff structures in an attempt to boost supply and moderate price increases.

The new tariffs were implemented via Customs Circular No.102-2021 of May 18, a copy of which was published on Friday, ordering ports and collection districts to implement Executive Decree (OE) No.134 .

“All concerned are advised that all items which enter or withdraw from warehouses in the Philippines for consumption, will be levied at the temporary MFN (most-favored nation) tariff rates prescribed therein,” the circular said.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte issued EO 134 on May 15, adjusting tariff rates for pork products to 10% for three months if shipments meet the Minimum Access Volume (VAC) quota and at 20% for those over the quota. Tariffs will be reduced to 15% for over-quota pork imports and 25% for over-quota pork imports over the next nine months.

The VAC for pork imports was also increased to 254,210 metric tonnes (MT) from the previous 54,210 tonnes.

The BoC said the new tariffs will be reflected in its electronic-to-mobile system.

The rates were adjusted after economic managers and lawmakers compromised on a package of more drastic cuts taking into account the potential impact on the pork industry.

The pork supply is under pressure from the African swine fever outbreak, which has depleted pig stocks and reduced the supply of fresh pork. The resulting high prices are seen as a major driver of inflation. – Beatrice M. Laforga

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