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Switzerland To Implement Philippines Trade Deal

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

11 May 2018

The Swiss Federal Council has announced that the free trade agreement (FTA) between the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the Philippines will enter into force for Switzerland on June 1.

The agreement was signed by the Philippines and the EFTA states (Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland) on April 28, 2016. The Swiss Parliament adopted the agreement last March. The Federal Council approved the necessary measures for implementing the tariff concessions on May 9.

Upon the agreement's entry into force, nearly 92 percent of Swiss industrial products will benefit from duty-free access to the Philippine market. Such products account for 96 percent of all Swiss exports to the Philippines. Duties on the remaining industrial products will be eliminated gradually over the next three to 10 years, with some exceptions.

The duties currently imposed by the Philippines on Swiss agricultural products will be eliminated either immediately – in the case of energy drinks, sugar confectionary, chocolate, cheese, and powered milk – or following a transition period of up to six years – for products including biscuits, muesli, jams, dried beef, and tobacco products.

Switzerland will eliminate all duties on industrial products from the Philippines. It will grant preferential market access for certain agricultural products, such as muscovado sugar, certain cut flowers, and exotic fruits and fruit juices.

In 2017, the Philippines was Switzerland's sixth-largest trade partner in Southeast Asia.

TAGS: free trade agreement (FTA) | Iceland | export duty | tariffs | Liechtenstein | Norway | Philippines | Switzerland | import duty | trade

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