Customs Information


Philippines - All

CUSTOMS REGULATIONS Philippines

The following represents the requirements for the import of household goods and personal effects into The Philippines:

  • Customer must be in the country before the shipment arrives
  • All shipments coming in should be cleared within 7 days of shipment's arrival. Failure to do so will result in shipment being declared Abandoned and erased from the customs systems.
    • Requests for extensions are allowed but not guaranteed
  • Shipment must not arrive before visa is approved
  • Shipment must arrive within 60 days of the owner’s arrival
  • All shipments are subject to 100% inspection upon arrival
  • All incoming shipments are subject to the payment of duties and taxes, except for the following duly approved visas, stamped on the original passport and ACR I CARD:
    • Holders of 9G, 13G, 13A, 9D, 47A2, SRRV, EO 226 visa – owners of the goods are entitled a full tax exemption; the application for the exemption should be submitted to the Department of Finance.
    • Diplomatic shipments are fully tax-exempt.
  • Embassies and diplomatic organizations must apply for any tax exemption from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
  • Returning Philippine passport holders are entitled P10,000 exemptions, on the assessed value, per each family member who stayed abroad for a minimum of 6 months continuously. 
    • In excess of this, an import tax at the rate of 50% is charged based on the assessed value determined by the Customs appraiser.
  • Incoming shipments of household goods are subject to 100% customs examination, x-ray / scanning except for diplomatic shipments.
  • For air shipments, Customs clearance with a direct payment of duties takes 3 - 5 working days from the date of arrival of the shipment.
  • All air shipments are subject to airport storage starting from the arrival date of the cargo shipment.
  • For shipments with tax exemption application, Customs clearance takes approximately 10 - 15 working days from the receipt of the complete documents including the duly approved exemption from DFA, from the date of arrival of the air shipment. 
  • CDs & DVDs are subject to approval from the Optical Media Board (cost of 10 USD). This should be obtained prior to the arrival of the shipment and be listed in moving inventory
  • Large quantities of similar products may entail clearance delays and or lead to items being seized

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED

The following documents are required for import of household goods and personal effects:

  • Original Passport
  • Approved working Visa
  • Authorization letter
  • Affidavit of legal ownership
  • Certificate of Employment
  • Copy of Employment Contract
  • Copy of Sea Waybill

Individuals, whose visas are not yet approved by the Commission on Immigration and Deportation, can request a temporary tax and duty-free release of their shipment with the Department of Finance by providing a cash bond, as well as a Letter of Request for the change of visa status that was already submitted to the Commission on Immigration and Deportation.

The Cash Bond can be acquired through payment of a premium which is based on 150% of the appraised value as assessed by the Bureau of Customs. This temporary release is only valid for a period of 90 days from the date of filing the Customs Permit with the Bureau of Customs and can be extended for a further 90 days only. If the visa is not approved after this period, penalties will be levied by the Bureau of Customs against the owner up to the forfeiture of the Cash Bond. In order to apply for a cash bond the following is required:

  • Visa application duly stamped received by Bureau of Immigration (if visa not obtained after shipper's arrival)
  • Authorization letter
  • Affidavit of legal ownership (with approved visa) or affidavit for re-export bond
  • Customs bond
  • Copy of Inventory (should state each item as "Used" and in English)
  • Copy of Sea Waybill
  • Bank Guarantee (certain visa categories only)
  • Certificate of Employment
  • Copy of Employment Contract
  • Manager’s Check (amount of cash bond assessed by Bureau of Customs)
  • Other documents may be required, depending on customer's immigration status

MOTOR VEHICLES

The import of privately owned vehicles to the Philippines is heavily restricted.  The import process is time consuming and a special import permit is required.  This permit is available only in the Philippines, and cannot be issued by an embassy or consulate office. Please note that only returning Filipino residents and Foreign Diplomats are permitted to import motor vehicles. The following represents the requirements:

  • Customer must be present for Customs Clearance
  • All vehicles subject to taxes and duties
  • Foreign diplomats are allowed to import motor vehicles duty free
  • All motor vehicles, excluding diplomats, must have an Import Authority Permit issued by the Philippine Bureau of Import Service before the vehicle is shipped.
  • Owner must have lived abroad for at least one year and car must have been registered in his name at least six months if the car is more than three years old, vehicles more than three years old should be registered under shippers name at least one year prior to application of the Import Permit
  • Failure to comply with above will result in PENALTIES AND CONFISCATION of vehicle
  • Auto must arrive within 60 days of customer's arrival
  • Destination Agent must be contacted prior to shipping any vehicles
  • Gasoline-fueled cars limited to 2,800 cc not over 1,500 kgs
  • Right-hand driven vehicles not permitted
  • Only one vehicle allowed per family
  • Autos five years old and older not permitted
  • Banned/unauthorized motor vehicles are subject to seizure; owner subject to penalties
  • All regular vehicle related parts should be inside the car NOT with the other household goods in the container.

Following documents are required:

  • Original Registration and proof of ownership
  • Import Permit from Bureau of Import Services
  • Original Bill of Sale
  • Original Passport
  • Certificate of arrival
  • Stencils of chassis/engine number
  • Deed of Sale or Commercial Invoice
  • Other documents, depending on customer's immigration status

PETS

  • Dogs, cats and most birds are not restricted for importation.  Some pets are restricted and customers should check with our destination agent before considering importing a pet. Race horses and game fowl are subject to duties and taxes.
  • The health certificate must be issued within 10 days of the importation of each pet.
  • A flat rate of $650 USD will be charged for each animal.
  • There is no quarantine period required in the Philippines.
  • Vaccination certificate must be issued from the country of origin and include rabies vaccination information.
  • The Quarantine Inspector in Manila must be notified at least 24 hours prior to the arrival of an animal.
  • Pets may be transported as accompanied baggage or as cargo; contact airline for specific information.
  • It is possible that a pet considered “exotic” would be restricted; therefore, the owner should contact the Philippine Embassy, Consulate.

The following documents are required for import of a pet:

  • Owner's Passport
  • Import Permit (from Bureau of Animal Industry)
  • Identification card of the pet
  • Pedigree Certificate
  • Original Vaccination and Health Certificate from origin (Issued within 10 days of the importation. Must show proof that vaccination was administered between 60 to 180 days prior to the flight)
  • No quarantine is required

DUTIABLE/RESTRICTED ITEMS

  • Ammunition, explosives and firearms must be duly licensed and have Philippines National Police clearance.
  • Drugs and medicines, including over-the-counter pharmaceutical, prescription drugs and medicines should be hand carried in minimal amounts.
  • Computers can be imported as part of a household goods and personal effects shipment.
  • Duties and taxes are assessed by Philippine Customs.
  • Wine, liquor and food items should be loaded last into the container to facilitate easy inspection by Philippines Customs and all boxes clearly marked.
  • A separate inventory should be made for wine, liquor and food items with detailed information such as the number of bottles, volume of each bottle, and type of spirit, value and alcohol percent.
  • The following items may qualify for free import if within the limits indicated:
    • Cigarettes (400), cigars (50), tobacco (250 g)
    • Alcohol (maximum of 6 bottles of 1 L each)

PROHIBITED ITEMS

  • Obscene literature, photographs and films
  • Politically subversive literature
  • Narcotics and drugs
  • Gambling equipment
  • Firearms (guns / ammunition)
  • Sharp or bladed weapons
  • Perishable items
  • Counterfeit, altered, or imitated coins, paper money, banknotes, and securities
  • Gold/silver and precious metal bullion