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August 1, 2007

Supply chain to the EU faces tightened security
The European Union (EU), recognizing the threat of global terrorism, has adopted a regulation, which aims to tighten security on goods that are imported into and exported out of the EU.

The EU is the world's biggest market, accounting for about 29.36% of global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2006, slightly bigger than the United States, which accounted for 28.25% of GDP. World GDP amounted to US$46.76 trillion in 2006 The regulation was disclosed by representatives of the European Commission (EC) during the First EC-RP Informal Meeting/Dialogue on Customs Matters last June 19, during their visit in Manila.

The regulation seeks to implement the amendments to the Community Customs Code, which was adopted by the EU Parliament and EC in 2005.

The EU is a major market of Philippine exports. In 2006, Philippine merchandise exports to the EU reached US$8.7 billion or about 18.51% of total shipments. The top export products of the Philippines to the EU consist of electronic products (71.89%) of total Philippine exports to the EU, Coconut Oil (2.83%), Garments and Textiles (2.82%), and Food (2.06%).

The Philippine Bureau of Customs have been advised of the new procedures implemented by the EU and have been requested to adopt a system which would facilitate compliance with the said procedures.

This would entail a unified approach to regulation, encourages mutual recognition of security measures and facilitates Philippine exports through smart and secure lanes and globally valid rules.

Both the ASEAN and the EU know the importance of establishing a strong mutually beneficial relationship on economic (including trade and investments), functional and development (information society, animal health, and climate change, transport, communicable diseases, human trafficking, and other priority areas), and political and security cooperations.

The EU remains a major trading partner of ASEAN. ASEAN shipments to the EU account for about 15% of total ASEAN exports. ASEAN imports from the EU, on the other hand, account for about 12-13% of the total ASEAN imports.

The share of EU FDI flows to total FDI flows to ASEAN is about 25%. Two-way trade between the two regions is estimated at US$ 137 billion. An ASEAN-EU free trade zone, which will cover nearly one billion people, is potentially one of the largest in the world. PNA


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