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Philippine court order stops release of uncertified China steel

2018-01-31

Inquirer Net reported that Makati Regional Trial Court has stopped the release of imported steel products that have not been inspected and certified by the Bureau of Product Standards to ensure these items comply with local standards. In stopping the release of these products without certification from the BPS, Judge Phoeve Meer of the Makati RTC ruled that the orders of the Department of Trade and Industry were “null and without force and effect” for breaching the product standards law (Republic Act No. 4109).

Mr Meer said the orders gave DTI and BPS authority and powers beyond what the law prescribed. He also said DTI did not have the authority to issue provisional import commodity clearances, which led to the conditional release of shipments even before these were inspected and certified. Mr Meer said in the decision that “The respondents cannot arrogate upon themselves powers not even contemplated by Congress.”

The ruling addressed a complaint against DTI by manufacturer Steel Asia, amid the release in 2016 of a shipment of deformed steel bars from China, which passed through Subic Freeport.

At that time, the Philippine Iron and Steel Institute said allowing 4,929 metric tons of deformed steel bars into the market without proper testing would expose the public to “unnecessary risk.”

The shipment, consigned to Mannage Resources Trading Corp., arrived here on April 22, 2016, and was held for two months by the Bureau of Customs at Port of Subic, owing to fears that the products were substandard and would be sold in the local market.

The DTI-Zambales office cleared the shipment following a May 16, 2017 report, which concluded that samples of the steel bars “passed the mechanical, chemical and physical tests required by law.”

Source : Inquirer Net