DTI removes safeguard duty exemptions for several countries

Uh oh
by Drei Laurel | Feb 26, 2021
PHOTO: Paul del Rosario

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) isn’t done tinkering with its imposition of safeguard duties on car imports just yet.

The government agency has further narrowed down its list of countries exempted from its provisional safeguard duties on passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. The move comes following a review of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Safeguards, which excludes developing nations depending on their export volume.

Updated list of nations exempt from safeguard duties

The following countries have been removed from the DTI’s list of nations exempted from provisional safeguard duties:

  1. Czech Republic
  2. Estonia
  3. Hungary
  4. Latvia
  5. Lithuania
  6. Poland
  7. Slovakia
  8. Slovenia
  9. Chile
  10. Israel
  11. North Korea

Granted, none of the abovementioned countries have a significant impact on the Philippines in terms of car imports, so this move’s effect on the local auto industry will barely register.

Under DTI Department Administrative Order No. 20-11, a P70,000 and P110,000 per unit cash bond for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, respectively. Several local car brands have already made adjustments to their lineups to adjust, including Toyota, GAC, Isuzu, and Geely. Both the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI) and Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID) have already expressed their displeasure over the DTI’s new restrictions.

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Our take on this issue? It’s a necessary move, but one that is a decade too late as there’s barely a local manufacturing scene left to save. So, do you think these safeguard duties will help give the industry a boost, or is it doing more harm than good? Let us know in the comments.

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PHOTO: Paul del Rosario
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