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PIA Press Release

PLACE offers course on business benefits of ROOs

Davao City (21 April) -- The Philippine Learning Centre for Trade and Investment Policy (PLACE), operated and managed by the business think-tank, Universal Access to Competiveness to Competitiveness and Trade (U-ACT), is offering a course on "Taking Advantage of FTAs: Maximizing the Business Benefits of Rules of Origin (ROO)" on April 21-22 at the AIM Conference Center, Makati City.

The two-day lecture series will be delivered by Atty. Edzyl Magante of the TA Advisory Services and Mr. Raphael Madarang of the Ateneo Center for International Economic Law, who will both discuss and present case studies on ROOs; and, Mr. Teruo Ujiie who is a Senior Capacity Building Specialist of the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI). The ADB will also be presenting their Study on " FTAs and Philippine Business: Evidence from Transport, Food, and Electronics Firms".

This course will examine the various designs and implementation practice of the different ROO regimes brought about by the country's active FTA engagements with trading partners, such as the ASEAN, China, India, Japan, Korea and Australia-New Zealand. Lectures will include an extensive discussion of ROO, what forms to fill-up, common errors and misconceptions in ROO applications, and how the business community can take advantage of these ROO.

The Rules of Origin (ROO) sets the criteria in determining the nationality of a product and assess whether that good is eligible for preferential tariff under a particular Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The importance of ROO has increased in the past years as more countries engage in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and begun treating goods differently according to where the product was made, along with trade-specific preferences or restrictions to the imported good once its origin is determined.

As the Philippines enters into more bilateral and regional agreements, the perceived "noodle bowl" effects of free trade agreements (FTA) or the issue of multiple rules of origins (ROO) becomes relevant to the business community. Some firms fear that complex and overlapping ROO in multiple FTAs could lead to extra costs. Problems arise when a single product faces multiple and different ROO criteria across FTAs.

This entails additional costs to businessmen and creates confusion about which procedures to follow to qualify for FTA preferences and which origin form to use. Currently, each FTA requires different application forms to claim different preferences (Form D for ASEAN-CEPT; Form AK for ASEAN-Korea FTA; Form JP for JPEPA; Form AJ for ASEAN-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement and Form AANZ for ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA. Another form will be issued once the ASEAN-India FTA is implemented).

Meanwhile, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will also present the results of their study on the utilization rate of the business community (as represented by the food, transport and electronics sector) of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) during the two-day lecture. (PIA) [top]

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