Strengthening global trade facilitation in the Philippines

24 noviembre 2023
ITC News

A deep dive into the recent collaborations for creating a gainful trade environment.

In the ever-evolving landscape of international trade, the push for efficient, secure, and transparent procedures has never been more paramount.

The Tokyo Declaration: A New Dawn for Trade

On 07 June 2023, Tokyo became the backdrop to a monumental collaboration as the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) signed the Joint Declaration on Facilitating Safe, Secure, and Efficient Global Trade.

This agreement is a clear roadmap that encourages cooperation and coordination among member nations, addressing the challenges and opportunities of the modern trade environment.

Philippines’ Response: The 2023 MOA

The Philippine government has embraced the Tokyo Declaration.

A constructive dialogue spearheaded by key trade government entities including the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Philippine Postal Corp. (PHLPost) and with technical expertise from the International Trade Center (ITC) through the European Union (EU) funded ARISE Plus Philippines project has been initiated.

The engagement paved the way for a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that enhances trade facilitation, propelling the Philippines into the realm of advanced e-commerce practices. Arise Plus Philippines facilitated series of technical discussions and contributed to drafting of the legal text and its successful finalization.

As a result, under the landmark 2023 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed on October 18, 2023, between the BOC and the PHLPost, a well-defined relationship between the two government agencies has been established, addressing these key concerns:

  • Data Exchange and Transparency: Granting PHLPost access to the Customs Declaration System (CDS) ensures fluidity of information, leading to enhanced transparency between entities.
  • Anti-Contraband Measures: With robust protocols in place, there is a renewed focus on curbing smuggling, drug trafficking, and the importation of illicit materials.
  • Streamlined Processes: By centralizing and simplifying procedures, there's a marked improvement in the processing, release, and delivery of postal items.
  • Border Monitoring: Coordination in inspecting foreign parcels ensures rightful collection of customs duties and other import charges.


The collaborative steps between international bodies and localized entities like PHLPost and BOC are testament to the global commitment towards enhancing trade facilitation. With these innovative measures in place, traders, businesses, and consumers alike can look forward to a safer, more efficient, and transparent global trading environment.

ARISE Plus Philippines is a project of the Philippine government, with the Department of Trade and Industry as lead partner together with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, Bureau of Customs, the Department of Science and Technology, as well as the private sector.

It is funded by the EU with the ITC as the technical agency for the project.