Philippines - Country Commercial Guide
Import Requirements and Documentation
Last published date:

Imports are classified as (1) Freely Importable, (2) Regulated, (3) Restricted, or (4) Prohibited. The type of importation, whether freely importable, regulated, restricted, or prohibited may be checked/verified with the:

  1. Bureau of Customs - Customer Assistance and Response Services (BOC-CARES) through their email address: with contact numbers: (632) 8705-6000,
  2. Bureau of Import Services (BIS) of the Department of Trade and Industry - Aside from import classifications, the BIS website contains information on general import procedures, import clearance process, and guidelines for accreditation of importers and customs brokers.

The Philippine Department of Agriculture can verify the importation status of agricultural products, as well as indicate whether a Minimum Access Volume (MAV) Import Certificate is required, such as for the importation of swine, chicken, etc.  The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service in Manila ( can also provide information on MAV and current MAV license holders.

Import documents required for shipments to the Philippines include:

  1. Duly endorsed Bill of Lading or Airway Bill, or certification by the carrier or agent of the vessel or aircraft,
  2. 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,
  3. Packing list,
  4. Duly notarized Supplemental Declaration on Valuation (SDV),
  5. Documents as may be required by rules and regulations, such as:
  • Import Permit or Clearance,
  • Authority to Release Imported Goods (ATRIG),
  • Proof of Origin for Free Trade Agreements (FTAs),
  • Copy of an Advance Ruling, if the ruling was used in the goods declaration,
  • Load Port Survey Reports or Discharge Port Survey Reports for bulk or break-bulk importations,
  • Document evidencing exemption from duties and taxes, and
  • Others, e.g., Tax Credit Certificate (TCC) or Tax Debit Memo (TDM).

Regulated Commodities can be imported only after securing the necessary goods declaration, clearances, licenses, and any other requirements prior to importation.  Submission of requirements after arrival of the goods, but prior to release from the Bureau of Customs’ custody shall be allowed, but only in cases provided for by governing laws or regulations.  See “Prohibited and Restricted Imports” section.

For a Letter of Credit (L/C) transaction, a duly accomplished L/C, including a Pro-Forma Invoice and Single Administrative Document (SAD) for Advance Customs Import Duty is required.  A Pro-Forma Invoice is required for a non-L/C transaction e.g., Draft Documents against Acceptance (D/A), Documents against Payment D/P), Open Account (OA) or Self-funded documentation.

These documents must be submitted to the Bureau of Customs’ Formal Entry Division (FED) or its equivalent office or unit, together with the printout of the SAD signed by the declarant and the customs broker, if any, and notarized.

For queries related to import requirements:

Bureau of Import Services - Department of Trade and Industry