REPUBLIC ACT NO. 11203 - Rice Tariffication - PH Trending

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Tuesday, 12 November 2019

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 11203 - Rice Tariffication

Republic Act No. 11203


Published on: February 18, 2019
Signed on February 14, 2019
Republic of the Philippines
Congress of the Philippines
Metro Manila
Seventeenth Congress
Third Regular Session

Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the twenty-third day of July, two thousand eighteen.

[REPUBLIC ACT NO. 11203]

AN ACT LIBERALIZING THE IMPORTATION, EXPORTATION AND TRADING OF RICE, LIFTING FOR THE PURPOSE THE QUANTITATIVE IMPORT RESTRICTION ON RICE, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
SECTION 1. Section 2 of Republic Act. (R. A.) No. 8178. as amended, is hereby further amended to read a follows:

SECTION 2. Declaration of Policy. - It is the policy  of' the State to ensure food security- and to make the country's agricultural sector viable, efficient and globally competitive. The State adopts the use of tariffs in lieu of non-tariff import restrictions to protect local producers of agricultural products.

SEC. 2. Section 3 of R. A. No. 81.78. as amended is hereby further amended to read as follows:

SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. - The following definitions apply to the terms used in this Act:

(a) Agricultural products shall refer to specific commodities classified under Chapters 1-24 of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) adopted and used in Section 1611 of R. A. No. 10863. otherwise known as the "Customs Modernization and Tariff Act" (CMTA):
 x x x 

(c) ATIGA Rate refers to tariff rate commitment under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) applicable to importations originating from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member States:

(d) Bound rate' refers to the agreed maximum tariffs on products committed by the Philippines to the World Trade Organization (WTO) under the Uruguay Round Final Act, and under the ATIGA, in accordance with its tariff schedule (Annex 2: Tariffs under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement. (ATIGA)- PHILIPPINES):

"(e) 'Buffer Stock' refers to the optimal level of rice inventory that shall be maintained at any given time to be used for emergency situations and to sustain the disaster relief programs of the government during natural or man-made calamities:

(f) 'In-Quota Tariff Rate' refers to the tariff rates for minimum access volumes committed by the Philippines to the WTO under the Uruguay Round Final Act:

 (g) 'Out-Quota Tariff Rate' refers to the higher rate of customs duty that is levied on the quantities of an imported agricultural product in excess of its minimum access volume (MAV): 

(h) 'Minimum Access Volme' refers to the volume of a specific agricultural product that is allowed to be imported with a lower tariff as committed by the Philippines to the WTO under the Uruguay Round Final Act:

(i) Most Favoured Nation (MFN) Rate' refers to Philippine tariff rates that are applicable to imports from all sources as prescribed in the CMTA:

(j) 'Quantitative Import Restrictions' refer to non-tariff restrictions used to limit the amount of imported commodities, including, but not limited to discretionary import licensing and import quotas. whether qualified or absolute:

(k) 'Rice' refers to all products classified under the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) heading 10.06:

(l) 'Rice Shortage' is a situation where the quantity available or the supply of the commodity in a market falls short of the quantity demanded or required at a given time:

(m) 'Tariff' refers to a tax levied on a commodity imported from another country. It earns revenues for the government and regarded as instruments to promote local industries by taxing their competitors. The benefit is accorded to the local producers by the maintenance of a domestic price at a level equal to the world price plus the tariff:

(n) 'Tariff Equivalent' refers to the rate of tariff that provides comparable protection under existing quantitative import restrictions. reflected by the average price gap between domestic prices and world prices: and

(o) 'Tariffication' refers to the lifting of all existing quantitative restrictions such as import quotas or prohibitions, imposed on agricultural products. and replacing these restrictions with tariffs."

SEC. 3. Section 4 of R. A. No. 8178. as amended, is hereby further amended to read as follows:

"SEC. 4. Repeal. - The following laws and all other laws or provisions of law prescribing quantitative import restrictions or granting government agencies the power to impose such restrictions on agricultural products or hindering the liberalization of the importation, exportation and trading of rice are hereby repealed: 

(8) Subparagraphs i. V, vi. vii. xi. xii, xiii, xiv, xv. xvi, xvii, xviii, xix. xxii, xxiii. and xxv of Section 6 (a) of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 4, as amended."

SEC. 4. A new Section 5 is hereby inserted after Section 1 of R. A. No. 8178, as amended, to read as follows:

"SEC. 5. Issuance of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance for Rice for the Sole Purpose of Ensuring Food Safety. - All importers of rice are required to secure a Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance (SPSIC) from the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) prior to importation in accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations: Provided that the clearance shall not provide for import volume and timing restrictions: Provided, further, That failure on the part of the BPI to release the SPSIC without informing the rice importer of any error, deficiency, omission. or additional documentary requirement shall mean automatic approval of the SPSIC applied for within seven (7) days after submission of the complete requirements.

"The imported rice should arrive before the expiration of the SPSIC from the BPI.

The food safety regulatory function of the NFA under Item (i). Section 16 of R. A. No. 10611. otherwise known as the 'Food Safety Act of 2013'. is hereby transferred to the BPI."

SEC. 5. Section 6 of R. A. No. 8178, as amended, is hereby further amended to read as follows:

SEC. 6. Tariffication. - In lieu of quantitative import restrictions, the maximum bound rates committed under the Uruguay Round Final Act shall be imposed on the agricultural products whose quantitative import restrictions are repealed by this Act.

"For the tariff equivalent. of the quantitative import restrictions on rice, the bound rate shall be as notified by the Philippines to the WTO as follows:

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