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Under the EU-PH FTA, ECCP advocates for zero tariffs on autos and auto parts.

Under the potential EU-PH Free Trade Agreement (EU-PH FTA), the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) is advocating for a tariff-free measure for automotive cars and components.

According to the ECCP’s advocacy document on the automotive industry, including this provision in the EU-PH FTA might lower European car brand pricing and make them more competitive with Asian-made cars.

“The ECCP strongly supports adopting measures in the EU-Philippines Free Trade Agreement that eliminate import duties for automotive vehicles and automotive parts from the European Union with immediate effect upon ratification,” the organization stated.

The article said that Asian companies generally outperform European ones in the Philippine market because they enjoy preferential tariff rates thanks to existing bilateral and multilateral FTAs.

The industry groups pointed out that a number of taxes and duties, including customs, value-added tax, and excise tax, are imposed on European automobile brands, raising the price of vehicles by around 102 percent.

“Adopting these measures will ensure that European automobile brands are more competitive in the local market,” the ECCP stated.

IN THIS YEAR’S ADVOCACY REPORT, the ECCP emphasized the need for resuming talks for the EU-PH FTA.

“The ECCP and its Automotive Committee believe that an FTA between the EU and the Philippines will level the playing field for European firms to prosper in the country and offer consumers wider options that can compete in high-quality sustainability and safety standards,” the organization said.

According to the advocacy paper, which used data from the Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippines has the fewest trade agreements among the ASEAN nations, with only 10 free trade agreements, compared to Singapore’s 27 bilateral and multilateral FTAs, Malaysia’s 17, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam’s 15 trade agreements, and Singapore’s 27 bilateral and multilateral FTAs.

In light of this, the ECCP added, “We support the government’s renewed interest in resuming discussions on the Philippine FTA with the trade bloc.”

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