DA Extends the Validity Period of Import Permits Amid COVID-19

DA Extends the Validity Period of Import Permits Amid COVID-19 

The Department of Agriculture (DA) temporarily extended the validity period of import permits from 60 days to 90 days to address the growing rate of port congestions and shortages of container vans brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

DA released Administrative Order (AO) No. 21 on Tuesday, August 10, extending the validity of sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances (SPSIC). The order covers the imports of animals, animal feeds and feeds ingredients, animal products and by-products, including meat and meat products, eggs, milk, dairy, veterinary drugs, and biological products. 

The order extends the validity of import permits to 90 days and will be in effect until December 31, 2021.

Under AO No. 21, it states that “The current global COVID situation and supply contraction of container vans have presented shipping and other logistical difficulties. The difficulties have prompted stakeholders to request for an extension of the validity of the SPSIC for imported food commodities, especially for imported meat.”

DA Secretary William Dar expressed, “Meat importation contributes to the country’s overall food supply and security.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the export and shipping industry has suffered numerous inconveniences from higher freight costs, more expensive food, and gridlocks across local and international ports.

Meat Importers and Traders Association (MITA) President Jesus Cham noted, “The arrival of meat imports in the [Philippines] has been delayed to two to three months from the usual delivery of one month.”

Despite government efforts to ease the importation of meat, such delays are being blamed for the slow decline of meat prices in the market. 

Currently, the Philippines is anticipating the arrival of 140,000 metric tons (MT) of pork imported under the minimum access volume (MAV), which has a lower tariff rate. 

The majority of the pork imports came from the European Union, Canada, United States, Brazil, and United Kingdom.

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