In line with the continued efforts to promote the use of the ePing SPS&TBT Platform by the private sector, the DTI-Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS), in partnership with the DTI-Bureau of International Trade Relations (DTI-BITR) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), conducted the Introduction to ePing Alert System, in hybrid format, at the Makati Diamond Residences last 15 September 2022. The orientation was the last part of the three-day WTO-Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO-TBT) workshop for this year.
The ePing SPS&TBT Platform facilitates tracking sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) and TBT measures. It is an improved notification alert system launched by the WTO last 13 July 2022, built on the previous version launched in November 2016. The platform is a result of collaboration between the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the WTO, and the International Trade Centre (ITC) to enable Members to access information on draft technical regulations on product requirements related to standards and conformity assessments. It also facilitates dialogue between interested parties in addressing potential trade issues at an early stage.
“The cost of non-tariff measures, particularly technical measures, are aggravated when importers and exporters must comply with divergent technical requirements in different markets. In line with the efforts of the Philippines to pursue transparency, using the ePing SPS&TBT platform will
enable our private sector stakeholders to have the visibility on the TBT and SPS measures of other WTO members that may affect their business. This will provide them more opportunities to submit their comments to the BPS, as the Philippine National Enquiry Point (NEP), on the draft TBT measures of the other members,” said BITR Director Angelo Salvador Benedictos during his opening remarks.
The orientation was attended by resource speakers from the WTO Secretariat in which they introduced the WTO-TBT Agreement and provided a demonstration on the use of the ePing platform.
“What we are standing for is about making trade more transparent and more stable and predictable so that businesses are able to enter new markets, expand their business, connect with consumers and suppliers, and not be faced with unpleasant surprises and changes in laws and rules that interrupt their business,” said Mr. Devin McDaniels, Economic Affairs Officer from the WTO, as he introduced the Agreement. With transparency being the cornerstone of the TBT Agreement, Members are required to notify technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures to provide trading partners the opportunity to receive information about new standards, technical regulations, or conformity assessment procedures at an early stage and raise their concerns and/or feedbacks before technical regulations are finalized.
Ms. Angelika Grisuk, Economic Affairs Officer from the WTO, provided a walkthrough of the ePing Alert System specifically its features applicable to the private stakeholders. She shared that there are 18,000 plus users of the system where almost 40% represents the private sector, with Philippines making up more than 300 of the count.
Apart from the WTO Secretariat, the BPS also invited representatives from the private sector to share their experiences using the ePing.
“No island can function to the exclusion of all others. The ePing is an early warning device from which the private sector may benefit from and have the opportunity to capture markets outside and level up your businesses using standards so you can compete even when there is something coming from the outside going in. The way trade operates now is practically borderless, use the ePing to help the government craft better interventions; and you may only do so if you, too, are engaged,” said DTI Consumer Protection Group (DTI-CPG) Asst. Secretary Ann Claire Cabochan in her closing remarks.
The ePing SPS&TBT Platform may be accessed via https://epingalert.org/. For easier accessibility, current users and interested stakeholders may now download the ePing Mobile application from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
The DTI-BPS serves as the Philippines’ National Enquiry Point (NEP) and National Notification Authority (NNA) under the TBT Agreement. As the NEP, the DTI-BPS is responsible for the dissemination of WTO-TBT notifications on draft technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures among various stakeholders in the country and facilitates submission of comments from various stakeholders. The Bureau publishes the WTO-TBT notifications weekly through the WTO-TBT Notifications Bulletin. As NNA, the BPS acts as the sole notifier to the WTO of the draft technical regulations and/or conformity assessment procedures by the governmental bodies in the Philippines.
To know more about ePing and be guided with the registration process, kindly click on the appropriate link:
• ePing Alert System – https://tinyurl.com/Intro-to-ePing • ePing Registration – https://tinyurl.com/ePingRegistration
For more updates and information on standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures (STRACAP), please visit the BPS website (www.bps.dti.gov.ph). Emails and messages may also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or through the official BPS Facebook page (facebook.com/PHstandards).