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Philippine Standard Time:
22 February 2024, 05:22 AM

Guidelines on Arriving Travelers

Am I subject to search upon arrival in a Philippine port of entry?

All persons and baggage are subject to search at any time. (CMTA Sec. 222-223)

Are my goods subject to payment of duties and taxes?

All goods, when imported from any foreign country, including those previously exported from the Philippines, shall be subject to duties and taxes, except when specifically exempted. (CMTA Sec. 104)

What is the value of goods not subject to payment of duties and taxes?

All Travelers bringing in goods with a value of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) or below shall not pay duties and taxes. (CMTA Sec. 423)

What other privileges can Filipino Citizens avail?

All Filipino Citizens are entitled to duty and tax exemption for personal effects and household goods sent or brought in balikbayan boxes or baggage, three (3) times in a calendar year. The total value of all availments must not exceed One Hundred Fifty Thousand Pesos (P150,000.00). Provided, the goods are not in commercial quantities or intended for barter, sales, or hire. (CMTA Sec. 800 [g])

What is the treatment of excisable goods?

Each Traveler is entitled to duty and tax (VAT and excise) free importation of two (2) reams of cigarettes or 50 sticks of cigars or 250 grams of pipe tobacco, and two (2) bottles of liquor with a total value of less than Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) or less. (CAO 01-2017)

What will happen when I fail to declare any dutiable goods?

Failure to declare any dutiable goods will subject the Traveler to payment of duties and taxes plus a surcharge of Thirty Percent (30%) based on the total landed cost of the goods. (CMTA Sec. 1404)

Who is entitled to Duty and Tax-Free Privileges?

Foreigner or Filipino traveler, Returning Residents, or Overseas Filipino Workers. (CMTA Sec. 800 [f, g, h])

What am I allowed to bring for the availment of duty and tax exemption privilege?

Brand new personal effects and goods for personal use needed during the stay in the Philippines, but are not in Commercial quantity. (CMTA Sec. 800 [h])

Is an OFW allowed to bring home appliances?

Yes, provided that they are limited to one of each kind and the total value of which does not exceed One Hundred Fifty Thousand Pesos (Php 150,000.00). (CMTA Sec. 800[f])

What are “Balikbayan Boxes”?

Balikbayan Boxes are packages of personal effects, goods for personal use and/or “pasalubong” or gifts sent or brought in by Filipinos from abroad for their families or relatives in the Philippines. (CMTA Sec. 800 [g])

What goods are allowed in “balikbayan boxes” which are duty and tax free?

Non-commercial goods or goods not in commercial quantity strictly for personal use only, such as: wearing apparel, clothing, foodstuff/canned goods, gadgets for personal use; the value of which must not exceed Php 150,000.00. Goods in commercial quantities or for commercial purposes found in balikbayan boxes are subject to duties and taxes. (CMTA Sec. 800 [g])

How can I avail the Duty and Tax Free privilege?

To avail of the Duty and Free privilege, it must be supported by a Tax Exemption Indorsement from the Department of Finance-Revenue Office. Personal and household goods including wearing apparel, goods of personal adornment, toilet goods, instruments related to one’s profession except luxury items, vehicles, watercrafts, aircrafts, and animals purchased in foreign countries. (DOF Revenue Operations Manual – Mabuhay Lane)

IMPORTING GOODS IN THE PHILIPPINES

  • When Duty and Tax are due on Imported Goods
      • Except as otherwise provided for in this Act or in others laws, all goods, when imported into the Philippines, shall be subjected to duty upon importation, including goods previously exported from the Philippines. (CMTA Sec. 104)
  • Prohibited Goods
      • According to CMTA Sec. 118, the importation and exportation of the following goods are prohibited:
        • Written or printed goods, negatives or cinematographic films, photographs, engravings, litographs, objects, paintings, drawings or other representation of an obscene or immoral character;
        • Materials advocating or inciting treason or rebellion, insurrection, sedition against the Government of the Philippines;
        • Abortion paraphernalia
        • Adulterated or misbranded food or drugs;
        • Counterfeit goods; and
        • Goods manufactured in whole or in part of gold, silver or other precious metals or alloys and the stamp, brand or mark does not indicate the ACTUAL FINENESS of quality of the metals or alloys.
  • Regulated Goods
    • The following goods shall be imported or exported only after securing necessary goods declaration or export declaration, clearances, and other requirements, prior to importation or exportation.

GOODS

REGULATING GOVERNMENT AGENCY/DEPARTMENT

DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENTS

Telecommunications Equipment & Devices (radio communications equipment, accessories, components and parts thereof)

National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)

Permit to Import

NTC Metro Manila Office:

+ 632 924 4072 (4010, 3779)

ntcncr@ntc.gov.ph

Alcohol and/or tobacco products in commercial quantities

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Prior Import Permit/ Clearance from the Food and Drug Administration

FDA Trunkline:

+632 857 1900

info@fda.gov.ph

Processed food products

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Valid License to Operate as Food Importer / Valid Certificate of Product Registration

FDA Trunkline:

+632 857 1900

info@fda.gov.ph

Pharmaceutical Products (medicines, drugs)

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Valid Certificate of Product Registration and/or Valid License to Operate as Importer from FDA

FDA Trunkline:

+632 857 1900

info@fda.gov.ph

Cosmetic Products & Hazardous Substances

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Valid Certificate of Product Registration and/or Valid License to Operate as Importer from FDA

FDA Trunkline:

+632 857 1900

info@fda.gov.ph

Brand New Motor Vehicle

Land Transportation Office (LTO)

Dealers Report and Electronic Authority to Release Imported Goods (E-ATRIG)

LTO Hotline:

922-9061 to 63

https://lto.gov.ph/

Used Motor Vehicle

DTI-Fair Trade Bureau

Certificate of Authority to Import and Authority to Release Import Goods (ATRIG)

DTI-FTEB Hotline:

811-8231

Aircrafts and parts thereof

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP)

Permit to Import or Clearance

CAAP Operations Center Hotline:

944 2030 / 944 2031

Animals and their products

Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI)

Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance / Health Certificate

BAI Office:

(02) 926 6883

https://www.bai.gov.ph/

Plants and its products

Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI)

Permit to Import and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance / Health Clearance

BPI Office:

(02) 525 7857 / (02) 525 7650

https://www.buplant.da.gov.ph/

Videograms (tapes, VCD, DVD), software, flash drive

Optical Media Board (OMB)

Import Permit

OMB Office:

(02) 410-2488

http://www.omb.gov.ph

Various chemicals for the manufacture of explosives; Firearms and weapons of war and parts thereof, ammunitions and other explosives

Philippine National Police - Firearms and Explosives Office (PNP-FEO)

Permit to Import

PNP-FEO Office:

+632 723 0401 loc. 4588

feocsg@pnp.gov.ph

GENERAL CLEARANCE PROCEDURE FOR TRAVELER

  1. Upon arrival, the Traveler or Crew shall submit a Customs Baggage Declaration Form to the Customs Examiner with the baggage.
  2. If baggage is tagged X by X-Ray personnel, the same shall be subject to 100% physical examination by the examiner. 
  3. If the goods are taxable, duties and taxes shall be collected. 
  4. Travelers shall pay duties and taxes to the Customs Cashier.
  5. Customs cashiers shall issue the official Bureau of Customs Receipt (BCOR).
  6. After payment the Traveler shall present the BCOR to the Customs Examiner. Thereafter he/she is cleared from Customs.

Specific Clearance Procedure for Travelers bringing goods for re-export.

  1. Upon arrival, the Traveler or Crew shall submit the Customs Baggage Declaration Form (CBDF) to the Customs Officer, together with the goods subject to re-exportation.
  2. The Traveler or Crew shall fill out the Re-exportation Commitment (RECF).
  3. The Customs Examiner shall reflect the findings in the CBDF & RECF, proceed with the assessment and affix his or her signature on the REC.
  4. The Traveler or Crew shall post sufficient security for the release of the dutiable goods.

RETURNING RESIDENTS AND OFWs DUTY AND TAX PRIVILEGE

Period of Stay Outside the PH

Privilege

Stayed in a foreign country for AT LEAST TEN (10) YEARS and have not availed the privilege within ten (10) years prior to arrival.

Entitled to bring in goods with a total value of PHP 350,000.00 for personal and household use.

Stayed in a foreign country for AT LEAST FIVE (5) YEARS BUT NOT MORE THAN TEN (10) YEARS and have not availed the privilege within five (5) years prior to arrival.

Entitled to bring in goods with a total value of PHP 250,000.00 for personal and household use.

Stayed in a foreign country for LESS THAN FIVE (5) YEARS and have not availed the privilege within six (6) months prior to arrival.

Entitled to bring in goods with a total value of PHP 150,000.00 for personal and household use.

WANT A HASSLE-FREE PURCHASE FROM ABROAD?

You may buy and bring these items into the Philippines without clearance from Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only if they are:

a.) FOR PERSONAL USE; and

b.) WITHIN THE ALLOWED QUANTITY

ITEM

QUANTITY ALLOWED

Childcare articles

5 kg

Toys

10 pieces

Perfume

5 bottles

Lipstick

10 pieces

Shampoo

2 kg

Lotion

2 kg

Bar soap

2 kg

Assorted cosmetics

1 kg

Household hazardous substance

5 kg

Vitamins, supplements & other health supplements intended as maintenance

500 g (in total)

Processed food

10 kg

Wines/Liquor

2 bottles (but not exceeding 1.5 liters)

These may be brought to the Philippines through passenger baggage, balikbayan boxes or parcels through mail or delivery services.

*Items with quantity beyond the specified limits will be seized and forfeited in favor of the government. Those within the specified limit shall be allowed without FDA-DOH clearance subject to payment of customs duties, when necessary.

Source: Joint Circular No. 1 – Importation of FDA-DOH Regulated Products Use

Republic of the Philippines
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