MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines said on Friday that it would ease up on restrictions on imports of rice in order to increase opportunities for other key suppliers in the region.
Agriculture Undersecretary Segfredo Serrano said that taxes on imports swill likewise be lowered, with a charge of 35 percent on total annual shipments up to 805,200 tons, and 50 percent beyond that level,.
At present, tariff is 40 percent on shipments up to 350,000 tons, and 50 percent beyond that point.
Serrano explained that the new duty rates would apply until 2017.
“It’s a done deal,” he said, adding that the Philippines expects formal approval of the new deal from the World Trade Organization (WTO) next month. “It will take effect immediately.”
Serrano said that under this new deal, the Philippines could buy up to 293,000 tons of rice with the 35 percent tariff from Vietnam; the same amount from Thailand; 50,000 tons each from China, India and Pakistan; 15,000 tons from Australia; 4,000 tons from El Salvador; and 50,000 tons from other exporters.