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Philippines To Impose Stricter Rules On Meat Imports

by 5m Editor
2 April 2004, at 12:00am

PHILIPPINE - The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) announced that it would strictly implement an administrative order governing meat importation and introduce changes to the measure in light of reports on the continued smuggling of meat products.

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Agriculture Secretary Luis P. Lorenzo Jr. said in a statement that the department would strictly enforce the provisions of Administrative Order (AO) No. 39 issued last 2000 which prescribes the standards and procedures to ensure the safety of imported meat.

Among the salient provisions of the AO include the need for importers to secure veterinary quarantine certificates (VACs) and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) certificates from the DA prior to the shipment of goods from the country of origin.

The order also provides that the SPS certificate should be accompanied by an SPS clearance issued by the exporting country complying with the procedures prescribed in the said certificate.

Mr. Lorenzo also said the DA is eyeing the possibility of imposing more stringent penalties such as higher fines and longer periods of imprisonment for smugglers.

"We cannot be complacent in our thrust to drive the smugglers out of business. They are economic saboteurs," he said. This in light of reports that some meat importations are allowed entry into the country under "anomalous circumstances."

Mr. Lorenzo formed a five-man task force to look into the issue.

Source: eFeedLink - 2nd April 2004

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