Importers of Covid-19 goods urged to use one-stop shop for fast LTO issuance

THE Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has encouraged importers to avail themselves of the Bayanihan One Stop Shop (Boss) facility to fast-track the importation of critical Covid-19 commodities intended for commercial distribution.

Oscar G. Gutierrez Jr., officer-in-charge director of the FDA’s policy and planning service, said in a recent e-forum that an online one- stop shop for securing the license to operate (LTO) to import Covid-19 critical commodities for commercial distribution is already available.

Critical Covid-19 health products include sanitizers/hygiene products (alcohol), personal protection equipment, diagnostic products like the PCR and antibody/rapid test kit, case management products such as medicines, medical devices, respirators and ventilators and food products like processed foods, food supplements and raw materials.

Boss is a single window for online applications for the importation of Covid-19 critical commodities for commercial distribution, designed to further streamline and facilitate the procedure for securing the LTO and importing these critical goods. Its implementation involves the FDA, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Anti-Red Tape Authority, according to Gutierrez.

Under normal conditions, importations of Covid-19 critical commodities regulated by the FDA will require the issuance of the relevant LTO to the importer and registration or notification of every health product unless explicitly exempted. The importer will then be required to present this LTO and/or the Certificate of Product Registration/Notification to the BOC for the latter to clear the commodities for entry into the country.

Through this application facility for LTO, the FDA will be performing a three-step procedure-from submission and evaluation to payment—all done online, said Gutierrez.

The LTO “can be processed within the day, or even in a matter of hours” while printing of the LTO will be done by the applicants “at the convenience of their homes and offices,” he added.

The FDA Boss application portal may be accessed at (PHILEXPORT NEWS AND FEATURES)