Streamlined freight forwarding rules set for 2024 implementation
MANILA -The Department of Trade and Industry is looking to finish within the year the revisions to the administrative order that will contain updated rules on sea freight forwarding, with the changes—such as a shorter registration processing and less documentary requirements—expected to take effect early next year.
Trade Assistant Secretary Mary Jean Pacheco gave this timetable on Wednesday after the final public consultation on the measure that will replace the old Administrative Order No. 6-2005 which contains the rules and guidelines on sea freight forwarding issued by the defunct Philippine Shippers Bureau.
“I would like to think that we would be able to hopefully release that. We just need to abide by the procedure,” Pacheco told reporters after the public consultation at the Philippine Trade Training Center in Makati.
Under the planned rules, Pacheco said the number of required documents that sea freight forwarders need during the registration will be cut down from 22 to just five.
Similarly, the processing time will also be shortened from three days to just one, added the trade officials.
Aside from these changes, Pacheco said they will also increase the required paid-up capital for registering firms, hiking it from P4 million to P5 million for Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers, from P2 million to P3 million for international freight forwarders, and from P250,000 to P1 million for domestic freight forwarders.
“Let’s remember that the objective of this [administrative order] is to raise the quality [of services], to make them more professional, and to avoid having fly-by-night companies,” Pacheco said when asked for the reason behind the increase.
According to Pacheco’s office, there are almost 800 sea freight forwarding companies in the Philippines today, a number which has since soared from just 200 around 20 years ago.