The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) plans to reimpose the mandatory certification of locally manufactured or imported plywood to assure that products go through “rigorous” quality checking.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said that the mandatory certification is the department’s way of protecting legitimate manufacturers and importers, especially during the pandemic.

“Unfair competition from imported substandard plywood threatens not only public safety but also the local manufacturing industry, which plays a vital role in the recovery of our economy,” Lopez said.

The DTI attached agency, Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS), will begin audit and inspection, sampling, and testing of the quality of locally manufactured or imported plywood with the issuance of Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 20-06, Series of 2020, which prescribes The New Technical Regulation Concerning the Mandatory Product Certification of Plywood effective on October 30.

Under DAO No. 20-06, only plywood sourced from manufacturing plants with valid Philippine Standard (PS) Quality Certification Mark Licenses will be allowed to be distributed, sold, and used in the Philippines.

The PS Quality Mark Licensing Scheme will be available to both local and foreign manufacturers selling or distributing plywood in the Philippine market.

“Regulating plywood is part of DTI-BPS’ mandate to establish standards that will ensure the production and distribution of quality products for the safety of the consumers,” Lopez said in a press statement.

The DTI stated that the documentary requirements for the application for a Philippine Standard Licensing Scheme include a duly accomplished form authenticated by the Philippine Consulate; DTI Certificate of Business Name Registration for sole proprietorships; Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Certificate of Registration for corporations; the latest Income Tax Return; Quality Management System (QMS) Manual for the product applied for; and an oath of undertaking signed by the applicant.

Upon confirmation of the completeness and compliance of the documentary requirements, BPS, DTI Regional and/ or Provincial Office (RO/PO), or BPS-recognized auditing body, will conduct a factory and product audit.

The PS License will only be issued upon the satisfactory result of the factory audit and third-party independent testing. This will be valid for three years, subject to annual surveillance audits, and can be suspended, withdrawn, or canceled at any time for cause and after due process.

The minimum required markings for imported or locally manufactured plywood products must be visible and legible at all times. It should include the registered brand name, trademark, business name, country of origin, type of plywood, serial number, and PS Mark with license number for traceability and verification purposes.

The department will conduct the monitoring and market surveillance of activities following existing BPS Inspection and Sampling Procedures to ensure compliance with the certified products.

An order to show cause will be issued to the company if the covered products fail to conform to the requirements of BPS rules and regulations, DTI said.

BPS may suspend, cancel or revoke the PS License, as well as blacklist or sanction any manufacturer, importer, or foreign testing facility found violating any of the provisions of the DAO after due process.

Lopez said that DTI continuously conducts reviews and consultations for other critical products to ensure consumer protection such as on steel sheets for roofing and general applications, ceramic tiles, concrete masonry units (CMU), or commonly known as hollow blocks, and ceramic plumbing fixtures (CPF).