Senate approves resolution to join ATA Carnet system

The Philippine Senate has approved on third reading the resolution concurring in the country’s accession to the Convention on Temporary Admission of Goods, the customs convention that will allow the temporary and tax-free importation of goods that will be used in trade shows and exhibitions.

The Senate has recently adopted Resolution No. 832, entitled Resolution Concurring in the Accession to the Convention on Temporary Admission, with 22 affirmative votes, no negative vote and no abstention.

In June this year, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the amended Instrument of Accession for the Customs Convention on the ATA Carnet for the Temporary Admission of Goods, which was then submitted to the Senate for concurrence.

With the adoption of Resolution No. 832 by the Senate, the Convention will enter into force three months after the Philippines deposits the Instrument of Accession to the concerned international body, which will finally make the country a part of the ATA Carnet community.

Philippine accession to the Convention on Temporary Admission of Goods, also called the Istanbul Convention, is a longtime advocacy of agencies and business organizations alike, such as the Export Development Council, Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Entrepreneurs and exporters wanting to access more markets through trade shows will save time and money once the whole process of accession to the ATA Convention is completed, these groups said.

PHILEXPORT president Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis Jr. has said the ratification of the Instrument of Accession is consistent with the thrust toward ease of doing business in the country and will give a positive signal to the world that the Philippines is serious in expanding trade, particularly exports.

The accession will also help facilitate foreign market access for exporters by enabling local products to move freely across borders and be temporarily admitted to customs territories with relief from duties and taxes, especially for the purpose of trade show participation, he added.

“We thank the Senate headed by Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Aquilino Pimentel III for acting swiftly and positively on this measure,” said Ortiz-Luis Jr. “It is also another boost to our export recovery efforts especially now that more and more economies are opening up.”

Covered goods under the Convention include commercial samples, professional equipment, and goods and articles for presentation or use in trade fairs and exhibitions.

The ATA Carnet, also known as the “Merchandise Passport” or the “Passport for Goods,” is an international customs document permitting the duty-free and tax-free temporary export and import of goods for up to one year.

It serves as the entry declaration and a single document of goods that will pass through several customs territories. It is the facility utilized by contracting parties to move products during trade fairs, shows and international exhibitions.

With the ATA Carnet, salesmen, exhibitors, and other business travellers can make advance customs arrangements at a predetermined cost, visit several countries, use the ATA Carnet for several trips during its one-year validity, and return to their home country with their goods without problems or delays.

The acronym ATA is a combination of French and English terms “Admission Temporaire” or “Temporary Admission.”

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