EU slashes tariffs on PH exports to zero

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 18 2014 10:42 PM | Updated as of Dec 20 2014 12:40 AM

MANILA – Philippine exports can now enter European Union (EU) member-countries duty-free after receiving approval from the European Parliament to allow exporters to enjoy zero tariffs for over 6,200 products.

EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux said this could translate into tens of millions of euros in foregone customs duties as well as make the Philippines more attractive as an agriculture and manufacturing hub.

“This is very good news for the Philippines as it will bring tariffs to 0 percent for two thirds of tariff lines including strategic products that the Philippines is already exporting to the EU. This will immediately translate into savings of tens of millions of euros per year in foregone customs duties,” Ledoux said.

"Apart from giving a dramatic and immediate advantage to Philippine exports, the EU concession significantly improves the attractiveness of the Philippines as a destination for new agricultural and manufacturing facilities for products that will now enjoy duty free access to the EU. This gives the Philippines a comparative advantage and represents very tangible EU support to the Philippine strategy to increase exports and investments, and diversify its industry. The bottom line is more jobs for Filipinos in the Philippines,” he added.

The Philippines applied for a program called "General System on Preferences Plus" or GSP+ in February to allow exporters to ship duty-free products, including processed fruit, coconut oil, footwear, fish and textiles.

The Philippine government said exporters of food, textiles and garments and other chemical products are among the sectors that would benefit the most from GSP+. -- ANC