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Philippine Standard Time:
24 July 2024, 17:11 PM

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)


  • 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.
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  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.


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



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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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