Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Admin Order No. 05 s. 2018 provides that the Bureau of Products shall have charge of the establishment of standards for and inspection of, all agricultural, forest, mineral, fish, industrial and all other products of the Philippines for which no standards have as yet been fixed by law or other rules and regulations. The Bureau shall inspect and certify the quality of commodities through various tests which may be conducted by any branches of the government.
In inspecting and certifying imports, DTI shall issue Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) attesting the quality and/or safety of an imported product; that it conforms to the Philippine National Standard or the Bureau of Products (BPS) which is the recognized international/foreign standard. Upon compliance with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the BPS requirements while awaiting the BPS decision on the ICC, DTI Regional/Provincial or BPS will issue a document called Conditional Release. This allows the importer the temporary release of goods from Customs custody.
Pending the issuance of the ICC, no distribution, sale, use and/or transfer to any place other than the warehouse duly approved by the BPS/ DTI Regional or Provincial Office shall be made by the importer or any person. Conditional Release does not pertain to release of imported goods to the market or in commerce but only to its physical transfer or movement from the BOC premises to a suitable, secure, safe, and accredited warehouse or storage space pending compliance with the requisite testing, inspection, and certification.
In the case of DTI v. Steelasia Corp., the Court held that the issuance of conditional release paves the way for an efficient, convenient, and expeditious process of testing, inspection, and certification of the merchandise. It ensures that only those imported goods that have passed the DTI’s standard of safety and quality are released to the market for sale, disposition, or distribution to consumers.
It must be noted however that the imported goods are only released from the physical custody of the BOC to an accredited warehouse. Their security and integrity are still preserved. Just like the judicial concept of custodia legis over items in litigation, the DTI retains control over the imported commodities to ensure that substandard materials are not altered, sold, transferred, or used at any given time prior to compliance with the requirements of testing, inspection and certification.
Need further information and assistance on legal matters? Talk to our Legal team at Duran & Duran-Schulze Law to know more about the requirements and process. Call us today at (+632) 8478 5826 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.