DTI amends list of countries exempt from safeguard tariffs

Updated Feb 26, 2021 | Same topic: Latest Consumer Reports

Some have been added, while others removed.

By now, consumers will have been made aware of the provisional safeguard tariffs imposed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on imported vehicles, with several local car brands announcing the corresponding change in prices.     

Mazda CX-5

The PH-spec Mazda CX-5 is sourced from Malaysia, among those exempted from the tariffs

The DTI’s Department Administrative Order (DAO) 20-11 covers vehicle models coming from our biggest sources of import models: Thailand, Japan, China, Korea, and Indonesia (for passenger vehicles). There are a number of territories exempted from this rule, such as India, Taiwan, and Malaysia.

An updated list of countries not covered by the tariffs is now contained in the DTI’s DAO 21-01, published last February 23. The agency follows an agreement with the World Trade Organization (WTO) to exclude developing countries that have minimal or insignificant import volume.   

DTI DAO 21-01 page 1

DTI DAO 21-01 page 2

The DTI updated its list of exempted countries

>>> Related: Isuzu PH announces additional deposit due to safeguard duty tariff

For Europe, nations such as Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland have been removed from the list. In the Americas, Chile has been dropped. For the Middle East, Israel will no longer be enjoying exemptions.

All these countries belong to the 37-strong Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which are classified as high-income economies. Interestingly, Colombia, another OECD member, remains on the list of exempted nations.

No official definition of “developed” and “developing” countries exists among the WTO’s roster. It adds that while each participant can choose to adopt either designation to avail of trade provisions, this can be challenged by other member-states.

DTI DAO 21-01 Annex A

Some nations have been removed from the original list

The decision to impose the safeguard tariffs is allowed under Republic Act 8800 or the Safeguard Measures Act and comes after the DTI reported a link between the influx of imported vehicles and declining local employment.

Several carmakers have shuttered their assembly plants in the Philippines, the latest of which were Honda and Isuzu in 2020.

As the tariffs are provisional in nature, they will be in effect for 200 days while the Tariff Commission conducts a formal investigation.

Keep up with the most recent auto industry updates at Philkotse.com.

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo


Joseph has been a member of various car clubs since he got his driver's license in 2004 – old enough to remember riding in taxicabs with analog meters, but his fascination with cars goes way back. After nearly two decades of working in broadcast media, he shifted gears by coming on board as Philkotse’s first Filipino member and staff writer in 2017.

Apart from his role in Philkotse as Content Team Lead, Joseph has written episodes for Drive, which has been airing on CNN Philippines for five seasons running. He has also delivered content for various car dealerships based in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Jeep, Dodge, among others.

Keeping his hopes high and his revs low, he dreams about owning a Kei car when he retires. Hates slow parkers.

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