March 21, 2023

The Department of Trade and Industry has released the list of agricultural and food products that qualify for discount and cargo space allocation from domestic shipping lines.
DTI Advisory 20-02, dated Aug. 24 and with immediate effect, enumerates the raw and processed produce that can avail of privileges under Department of Transportation Department Order 2020-07 and Maritime Industry Authority Memorandum Circular (MC) DS-2020-01.
Raw foods that qualify include pork, chicken, vegetable, fruit, fish, and beef.
Qualified processed produce by micro, small, and medium enterprises, specifically those participating in the One Town, One Product project of the DTI-include fruit concentrate such as calamansi, guyabano, and mango; muscovado and coco sugar; pickled fruits and vegetables; powdered root crops and vegetables such as ginger, turmeric, and ube; virgin coconut oil; cacao tablea; vinegar; fruit wine; fruit and vegetable chips; bottled sardines and fish sauce; native coffee and corn coffee; dried fish; processed meat; coco and fruit jams; dried fruits and vegetables; peanuts, pili nuts, and cashew nuts; and pastries and cookies.
DO 2020-007 instructs all domestic shipping lines to allocate at least 12 percent of their vessel’s cargo capacity per voyage for the exclusive accommodation of agricultural and food products, and to extend a discount of no less than 40 percent of the carriers’ published shipping rates to these cargoes.
MC DS-2020-01 provides implementing procedures of DO 2020-07 and took effect on Aug. 27. It also states that qualified agricultural and food products for the cargo space allocation and discount will be those that may be classified by the DTI from time to time.
Livestock and animal feeds are not considered agricultural and food products under DO 2020-07 and MC DS-2020-01.
Qualified food and agricultural products may be shipped in whatever manner or form, such as but not limited to roll-on/roll-off cargoes and conventional cargoes (whether loose or bulk).
MC DS-2020-01 notes that domestic shipping lines may opt to offer for pre-payment/hard blocking the 12 percent allocated cargo space as required for the purpose of applying the 40 percent discount.
Should the minimum threshold of 12 percent not fully used within 12 hours prior to loading closing time of a particular voyage as prescribed by the port operator, the ship owner/operator may offer the remaining available space to other shippers for other types of cargoes.
The 12 percent allocated cargo space should be granted on a “first come, first served” basis.
Domestic shipping lines are not precluded from extending discounts of more than 40 percent.
In case of inter-port operation, the vessel will be considered compliant with the requirement at the port where the 12 percent space allocation was used, irrespective of whether the port is the point of origin or the subsequent port of call. This rule will likewise apply to the preferential rate of 40 percent discount.
Inter-port operation is a ship’s voyage involving multiple ports of call and will be considered as a single voyage.
DO 2020-07 was issued to support the government’s policy, especially during the coronavirus disease pandemic, “to ensure food availability and affordability, boost domestic agricultural production and food processing; and ensure that their movements shall remain unhampered.” – Press release