Philippines - Country Commercial Guide
Import Requirements and Documentation

Includes import documentation and other requirements for both the U.S. exporter and foreign importer including requirements for specific products.

Last published date: 2021-09-11

Imports are classified as (1) Freely Importable, (2) Regulated, (3) Restricted, or (4) Prohibited. Please visit Import Facilitation | Department of Trade and Industry Philippines (dti.gov.ph) for more information on each classification.

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: boc.cares@customs.gov.ph. The BOC website is: https://customs.gov.ph/.
  2. Bureau of Import Services of the Department of Trade and Industry (https://www.dti.gov.ph/negosyo/imports/import-facilitation/ - Aside from import classifications, this website also contains information on general import procedures, import clearance process, and guidelines for accreditation of importers and customs brokers.)

The Department of Agriculture (https://www.da.gov.ph) 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 Foreign Agricultural Service in Manila (mailto:AgManila@fas.usda.gov) can also provide information on minimum access volumes 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;
  • 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, Pro-Forma Invoice and Single Administrative Document (SAD) for Advance Customs Import Duty are 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, please contact:

Atty. Luis M. Catibayan

Director-in-Charge

Bureau of Import Services

Department of Trade and Industry

3F Tara Bldg., 389 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City, Philippines

Tel: (632) 8896-4430

Fax: (632) 8896-4431

Email: bis@dti.gov.ph ph; bis_pntr@dti.gov.ph; bis_ifd@dti.gov.ph