The DA family has been working on Harmonizing the SPS Clearance Application to Approval and Importation Procedures and to have it processed electronically as early as 2008. The Center for the Advancement of Trade Integration and Facilitation (CATIF) in collaboration with the Inter Commerce Network Services Inc. (INS), has donated INS Trade System Software establishing and implementing an electronic sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) certification system that will automate the application and issuance of SPS import clearances. This system is open to all agricultural and fishery commodities importers.
This year, regulatory agencies of the Department of Agriculture (BPI, BAI and BFAR) are now in the pilot implementation of Electronic Application and Approval of the SPS Clearance. Staffs that will be responsible for the system already undergo training on the procedures of the new system. Some importers are now applying for the SPS Clearance online. Series of hands-on training are being conducted for the importers and representatives for them to be familiarized with the system. At the end of the third quarter of this year, full implementation of the SPS clearance will be practiced. There will be no more manual transactions. This innovation shows that we are coping and we will never be left behind with the modernization of our country.