Philippines - 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: 2020-07-22

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.     Certificate of Origin, if requested
3.     Commercial Invoice, Letter of Credit or any other verifiable commercial document evidencing payment
4.     Packing List
5.     Sales Contract or Proof of Payment (if declared value is below the National Value Verification System (NVSS) reference values. The NVVS is an internal tool of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Assessment Officers to check the declared value of importation against the prevailing reference values.)
6.     Documents as may be required by rules and regulations, such as:
•    Import Permit or Clearance, if the commodity is regulated
•    Authority to Release Imported Goods
•    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, if applicable
•    Others, e.g., Tax Credit Certificate or Tax Debit Memo, if applicable

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.

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. The list of Regulated Import Commodities and the Administering Agencies is available in the Philippine National Trade Repository (PNTR) website ( This website also contains information on import procedures and documentary requirements for Regulated Commodities.

The website of the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry’s Bureau of Import Services, ( contains, among others, information on import classifications, general import procedures, import clearance process, and guidelines for accreditation of importers and customs brokers.

For inquiries, please contact:
Atty. Luis M. Catibayan
Bureau of Import Services, Department of Trade and Industry
Phone:(632) 8896-4430
Fax:(632) 8896-4431 

Bureau of Customs- Customer Assistance and Response Services (BOC-CARES)
Phone: (632) 7705-6000, (63) 905 299 7977, (63) 929 503 5138 
(FAQ); (BOC Customer Care Portal where one can ask specific questions)