The Strategic Trade Management Office (STMO) said that despite the lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it continues to accept and process the registration of exporters seeking authorization to export strategic goods under the Strategic Trade Management Act (STMA) and that it will start the export authorization process by July 2020.
Justin Herrera, officer-in-charge of policy and enterprise relations division of the Department of Trade and Industry’s STMO, said in a webinar on STMA implementation last April 21 that companies whose export products are considered strategic goods or dual-use goods should register with the STMO as a prerequisite to licensing or authorization.
STMO is the lead government agency responsible for managing the trade of strategic goods and technologies to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Strategic or dual-use goods are items, software and technology which can be used for both civil and military end use or in connection with the development, production, handling, operation, maintenance, storage, detection, identification of dissemination of weapons of mass destruction of their means of delivery.
“Registration is ongoing even as STMO office is currently on a work-from-home setup,” Herrera said, adding that even with the COVID-19 situation, “we’re still processing registration applications as we speak.”
He advised companies to check the National Strategic Goods List (NSGL) to see if their export products are part of the list. “If your products are indeed controlled, please register to STMO.”
Applicants need to submit to the STMO the complete documentary requirements for processing of their registration via email@example.com.
He added that registration guidelines are available on the STMO website, and that the agency’s newly updated website may be accessed at https://www.dti.gov.ph/trabaho/strategic-trade-management/.
Companies that have already registered are right now preparing for their application for license or authorization in July, he added.
“We’re now in the registration phase and we’re transitioning to export authorization,” Herrera said.
He stressed that the export authorization phase “will push through this July and STMO will be processing your license once you submit your complete documents required.”
The STMA-or Republic Act No. 10697, otherwise known as “An act preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by managing the trade in strategic goods, the provision of related services, and for other purposes”-was enacted into law in 2015.
Businesses involved in controlled activities relating to goods that are listed in the Philippines’ NSGL are required to obtain authorization from the STMO. Failure to obtain the necessary authorization may result in penalties and imprisonment.