Importation into the Philippines are subject to customs duties and taxes unless there is a special, legal basis for exemption from duties and/or taxes. The import duty and taxes apply for those shipment having been previously exported and re-imported (except specific mention in the Tariff and Customs Code or another regulation).
To register as an importer, businesses first need an Import Clearance Certificate from the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Importers then register with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and set up an account with the Client Profile Registration System (CPRS). The Import Clearance Certificate is valid for three years while the Customs Client Profile Accreditation must be updated annually. The CPRS accreditation costs P1000 (US$20) and typically takes 15 working days to process.
The importation requirements/compliance of any product category (whether regulated, restricted/prohibited, or easily importable) may be cross-checked/verified with the relevant Authorities – Bureau of Customs (BOC), the Bureau of Import Services (BIS) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The Department of Agriculture (DA) may 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 importation of certain commodities is regulated or restricted or prohibited. Imports can be classified into these categories;
- Freely Importable Commodities;
- Regulated Commodities;
- Prohibited or Banned Commodities, see the Philippines customs website.
Import documents required for customs clearance in Philippines includes but not limited to;
- CIPL – Commercial invoice/Pro forma invoice or Packing List
- International Shipping Documents – Bill of lading or air waybill
- Certificate of origin (if requested)
- Import clearance/permit
Nominating a Freight Forwarder/Agency to deal with import customs clearance in Philippines is highly recommended.
For more information, please visit the website of Philippines Customs.