Collection of BFAR export fees at OSEDC starts this month

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) at the One Stop Export Documentation Center (OSEDC) in Manila started implementing this month the collection of export fees based on Fisheries Administrative Order or FAO 233-1 and 233-2.

This comes after the advice from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) that the system for the payment arrangement is ready, said Amor Diaz, Head of BFAR-OSEDC.

She explained that the technical problem on the release of a clearing account number between the LBP and the Bureau of Treasury (BTr) is now resolved.

Due to inadequate manpower to collect fees from BFAR clients at OSEDC, the BFAR head office signed a memorandum of agreement with the LBP as the collection agency of its export fees.

This MOA was approved by the BTr. Prior to the MOA, the fees were not implemented.

The said FAO covers fees to be paid for the export of certain aquatic products.

The fee for aquatic wildlife captured or gathered in Philippine waters is at 0.20 percent of the export value, while those caught outside Philippine waters, captive-bred aquatic wildlife and imported species are exempted from the fees.

Founder stocks sourced from the wild and their progenies produced in captivity and seed stocks sourced from the wild and grown for commercial purposes are imposed a .15 percent and .20 percent fee respectively, based on the export value.

Exporters of progenies of threatened aquatic wildlife produced by aquatic wildlife farms pay two percent of the export value, according to the FAO, while exporters of live tropical and ornamental fish will be charged one percent.

However, exporters whose products use
discarded shells are exempted from the export fee, the Order said. Otherwise, products with other shells not considered as discard will be charged an export fee pro-rated to the export value.

BFAR issued FAO 233-2 after the stakeholder’s consultation led by the National Fisheries & Aquatic Resources (NFARMC) held in June last year. This was attended by the Export Development Council (EDC) Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc (PHILEXPORT), Home Accents Group of the Philippines, Inc. (HAPI) and other aquatic and fisheries export organizations. The EDC and PHILEXPORT had earlier opposed the imposition of the export fees, explaining that these will increase costs and make Philippine exports more uncompetitive.

The new Order was issued in July last year and took effect 15 days after its publication. (Gelo Udaundo, PHILEXPORT News and Feature/jdelpf)

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