Philippines. Government extends arrival date for rice imported under MAV


The interagency National Food Authority (NFA) Council has extended the deadline for the arrival of rice imported under the minimum access (MAV) scheme of the World Trade Organization to March 31.

Office of the Cabinet Secretary Undersecretary Maia Chiara Halmen Reina A. Valdez said the NFA Council agreed in a meeting on February 27 to move the deadline for the 2016 MAV arrivals by a month.

“The deadline for private sector-led importation [MAV arrivals] has now been extended to March 31 as approved by the NFA Council,” Valdez said in a text message to reporters.

Valdez said the NFA Council has authorized Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, who sits as the NFA Council chairman, to approve rice-import permits.

“Previously, the administrator has given the sole authority to sign import permits. This time, the chairman of the NFA Council has also been authorized by the council,” she added.

The NFA Council is comprised of the Cabinet secretary as the chairman, while the NFA administrator sits as vice chairman. The other members of the NFA Council are the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor, Development Bank of the Philippines chairman, the president of the Land Bank of the Philippines, finance secretary, trade secretary, the National Economic and Development Authority, and a representative from a farmers’ group.

Earlier, NFA Spokesman Marietta J. Ablaza told the BusinessMirror farmers’ cooperatives and private companies asked the NFA for a one-month extension of the deadline.

“The import permits were distributed only last December and with the holidays, farmers’ cooperatives and firms had very limited time to prepare the necessary paperwork,” Ablaza said.

Under the NFA guidelines, rice imports under the 2016 MAV must arrive in the Philippines not later than February 28.

Last December the NFA allowed 210 farmers’ organizations and private firms to import 692,340 metric tons (MT) of rice, 110,160 MT less than the country’s annual MAV of  802,500 MT.

The NFA list available on its web site also showed that 194 qualified rice traders, including AgriNurture Inc. and Pilmico Foods Corp., will import 642,340 MT of rice under the country specific quota (CSQ). Of the total rice to be imported under the CSQ, 293,100 MT of rice will be bought from Thailand and Vietnam.

Meanwhile, 16 qualified applicants will import a total of 50,000 MT of rice under the “omnibus origin” category, according to the NFA list.

A separate list posted on the NFA web site showed 345,435.90 MT of imported rice have already arrived in the country, nearly half of the 692,340 MT approved under the 2016  MAV.


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