Philippines - Country Commercial Guide
Customs Regulations
Last published date:

Importers and customs brokers must secure accreditation from the Bureau of Customs (BOC).  All goods are subject to customs duties upon importation to the Philippines.  Exceptions can apply to importers in special economic zones, the Philippine Government and its agencies, foreign embassies, consulates, and international organizations with diplomatic status and/or recognized by the Philippine government, such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Accredited importers or customs brokers can access the BOC’s Electronic to Mobile (E2M) system to lodge import entries electronically.  The E2M system allows customs officers and traders to process most customs transactions electronically. However, importers must submit hard copies of import documents and attachments to the Entry Processing Unit for verification.  The E2M system does not deal with permits and/or licenses issued by other government agencies and must be applied separately.  

Import documents required in all shipments are as follows:

  • Commercial Invoice, Letter of Credit, or any other verifiable commercial document evidencing payment; in cases where there is no sale for export, by any commercial document indicating the commercial value of the goods,
  • Bill of Lading (for sea freight) or airway bill (for air freight),
  • Packing List,
  • Duly notarized supplemental declaration on valuation (SDV),
  • Applicable special certificates required,
  • Documents as may be required, such as:
  1. Import permit or clearance,
  2. Authority to release imported goods (ATRIG),
  3. Certificate of origin for free trade agreements (FTAs),
  4. Copy of an advance ruling if ruling was used in goods declaration,
  5. Load port survey reports, or discharge port survey reports for bulk or break-bulk importations,
  6. Documents evidencing exemption from duties and taxes, and,
  7. Others, e.g., tax credit certificate (TCC), or tax debit memos (TBM).

Shipments are classified according to risk.  A low-risk shipment passes through the “green lane” without documentary review or physical inspection.  A moderate-risk shipment passes through the “yellow lane” and is subject to document review only.  A high-risk shipment passes through the “red lane” and is subject to document review and physical inspection.  A shipment considered for post-clearance audit passes through the “blue lane.” 

The ASEAN Single Window in the Philippines went online on December 30, 2019, using the National Single Window (NSW) trade portal, allowing for customs efficiencies and better transparency.


Accounts Management Office - Bureau of Customs

NPO Building, Gate 3, Port Area, Manila