The Strategic Trade Management Office (STMO) is preparing for the live operations of its new e-licensing platform, which will serve as a one-stop shop for all strategic trade-related services, including registration of user accounts and application for authorization to export strategic goods.
Darrel Cumpas, trade and industry development specialist at STMO, in his presentation at a trade forum in mid-March, said the IT infrastructure for the e-platform was launched on February 20, 2023, with the e-portal expected to go live on the first of April.
A call by PHILEXPORT to the STMO for confirmation found that as of this writing, the e-platform is still not functional, as the agency is still conducting testing and other checks to ensure secure and safe operations. However, the agency assures that work is ongoing and that the e-platform will soon be live.
Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual earlier said the e-licensing platform’s launch is a significant stage in monitoring and controlling trade in strategic goods to ensure that these products are not used as weapons.
The portal is also expected to help increase industry awareness and compliance with the Strategic Trade Management Act (STMA), or Republic Act No. 10697. The law seeks to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by managing the trading of strategic goods.
Strategic goods are products that, for security reasons or due to international agreements, are considered to be of military importance, and thus their export is either prohibited or subject to specific conditions.
Under STMA, there is a published National Strategic Goods List (NSGL) that specifically describes the strategic goods subject to authorization. The NSGL is comprised of military goods, dual-use goods, and nationally controlled goods.
Cumpas in his talk gave an overview of what exporters can expect and how they can navigate the new licensing portal.
To use the platform, the exporter must first register for a user account to be able to access STMO services and apply for export or import licenses for strategic goods.
New applications come in four types: registration, authorization, amendment/extension, and report.
After the applicant applies for registration and gets approved, the exporter can then apply for authorization. There are two types of authorization provided, namely, global export application and individual export application.
When the authorization is issued, the exporter may apply for either amendment of their authorization or, if their license is nearly expired, an extension of their authorization.
Different types of amendment/extension of authorization are available, from extension of the individual authorization and amendment/modification of the authorization, to extension of the global export application.
Companies given the authorization to trade in strategic goods are also required to make an annual report on how they used their authorization or license, and this report will undergo auditing, said Cumpas.
The e-platform also has other important features. My Applications tab is where the exporter can view the status of their application, including for amendments or modifications or for individual or global authorization.
My Reports tab, on the other hand, will indicate the decisions or actions on the reports submitted, such as the posting of audit results.
Under the My Licenses tab, exporters can view their issued registration licenses as well as the validity of their licenses so they can apply one month before the expiration date.
My Companies tab features the names, emails, and status of the users of the company’s account.
For queries about exporting strategic goods, interested parties may call the STMO at telephone number 8529-3282.