Wednesday, February 1, 2012

News Update NFA accepts applications to import 187,000 MT of rice under MAV

The National Food Authority (NFA) started accepting applications from importers to bring in 187,000 metric tons (MT) of rice under the Minimum Access Volume (MAV) in 2012. In a Jan. 27 notice, the agency said that importers will have to pay the 40 percent tariff imposed on rice imports. NFA will be accepting applications until 5 p.m. of Feb. 3, 2011. The importation is in compliance with the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade-World Trade Organization (GATT-WTO), where the country agreed to import 350,000 MT of MAV rice each year. The quantitative restriction allows the Philippines to limit the volume that government can import, thus preventing the possible influx of cheap rice imports. It also serves to protect local farmers. The Department of Agriculture (DA) announced in last December that on top of the allocated volume, they will also import 500,000 MT — 250,000 MT from private traders and an equal amount from farmers. According to the DA, the Philippines imported 860,000 MT in 2011. Of the total volume, 600,000 MT were brought in by the private sector, 200,000 MT were imported by the government, and 60,000 MT were imported by farmers. Under the Food Staple Sufficiency Program, the government hopes to lessen the importation of rice by 2013 and make the country self sufficient by 2014. According to Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala in his 2011 year-end report, “For 2012 and 2013, while we will continue to import, the NFA Council is considering allowing the private sector to handle bigger portions of imports.” — AL/VS