BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 254
MODIFYING THE RATES OF DUTY ON CERTAIN IMPORTED ARTICLES AS PROVIDED FOR UNDER THE TARIFF AND CUSTOMS CODE OF 1978, AS AMENDED, IN ORDER TO IMPLEMENT THE 2000-2003 PHILIPPINE SCHEDULE OF TARIFF REDUCTION UNDER THE BOLD ECONOMIC MEASURE INITIATIVES OF THE ACCELERATED COMMON EFFECTIVE PREFERENTIAL TARIFF (CEPT) SCHEME FOR THE ASEAN FREE TRADE AREA (AFTA)
WHEREAS, at the conclusion of the 6th ASEAN Summit held in Hanoi, Vietnam on 15-16 December 1999, the ASEAN Heads of State and Government agreed to adopt a number of "bold" economic measures aimed at restoring regional economic growth and hastening the recovery from the financial crisis;
WHEREAS, among the "bold" economic measures adopted was the acceleration of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) from year 2003 to 2002;
WHEREAS, each country will, by the year 2000, individually impose tariffs of 0-5% on 85% of items in their respective CEPT Inclusion Lists, 90% in year 2001 and 100%, with some flexibility, in year 2002;
WHEREAS, at its Meeting on 19 August 1999, the NEDA Board approved the acceleration of the CEPT rates on eight hundred fifty (850) tariff lines to 0-5% and likewise decided on the unification of the CEPT rates on extracted tariff lines to facilitate the implementation of the AFTA-CEPT on said products;
WHEREAS, the 13th AFTA Council Meeting and the 31st ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting held in Singapore on 29 September 1999 and 30 September 1999, respectively, approved the acceleration of the CEPT tariff reduction to 0-5% on products in the Inclusion Lists of the Philippines and Thailand in year 2000 whose legal enactments shall cover the whole period of 2000-2003;
WHEREAS, Section 402 of the Tariff and Customs Code of 1978 (Presidential Decree No. 1464), as amended, empowers the President, upon the recommendation of the National Economic and Development Authority, to increase, reduce or remove existing protective rates of import duty, as well as to modify the form of duty;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby order:
SECTION 1. The articles specifically listed in ANNEX "A" (Articles Granted Concession under the "bold" measure initiative of the AFTA-CEPT) hereof, as classified under Section 104 of the Tariff and Customs Code of 1978, as amended, shall be subject to the ASEAN Common Effective Preferential Tariff in accordance with the 2000-2003 schedule indicated in Columns 4-7 of ANNEX "A" The ASEAN CEPT rates so indicated shall be accorded to imports coming from ASEAN member states applying CEPT concession to the same product pursuant to Article 4 of the CEPT Agreement and its Interpretative Notes.
SEC. 2. In the event that any subsequent changes are made in the basic (MFN) Philippine rate of duty on any of the articles listed in ANNEX "A" to a rate lower than the rate prescribed in Columns 4-7 of ANNEX "A" such article shall automatically be accorded the corresponding reduced rate.
SEC. 3. The Margins of Preference (MOPs) accorded under the ASEAN Preferential Trading Arrangements (PTA) shall no longer be extended to any of the products listed in ANNEX "A" hereof.
SEC. 4. From the date of effectivity of this Order, all articles listed in ANNEX "A" entered or withdrawn from warehouses in the Philippines for consumption shall be imposed the rates of duty therein prescribed subject to qualification under the Rules of Origin as provided for in the Agreement on the CEPT Scheme for the AFTA signed on 28 January 1992.
SEC. 5. All Presidential issuances, administrative rules and regulations, or parts thereof, which are contrary or inconsistent with this Executive Order are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
SEC. 6. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.
Done in the City of Manila, this 12th day of June in the year of Our Lord, two thousand.
By the President:
RONALDO B. ZAMORA
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