A Guide to Importing Goods into the Philippines
Released On 17th Apr 2023
The Philippines has a population of over 100 million people. The country's economy is largely driven by its service sector, but it also engages in significant imports and exports of goods.
Imports into the Philippines consist of a wide range of goods such as machinery, electronic products, mineral fuels, and transport equipment. The country imports these goods to meet local demand and also for use in its manufacturing industries. The major trading partners for the Philippines' imports are China, Japan, and the United States.
Importing Dual Use Goods
Importing dual-use IT goods into the Philippines involves several steps and requirements. Here is a guide to help you with the process as it’s not as simple as just having a Philippines registered business:
- Determine if your product is classified as a dual-use item: Dual-use items are products that can be used for both civilian and military purposes. In the Philippines, dual-use items are regulated by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC). To determine if your product is classified as a dual-use item, you can check the Philippines Dual-Use Goods List.
- Obtain an import permit from the DFA: Before you can import any dual-use item into the Philippines, you must obtain an import permit from the DFA. You can apply for an import permit through the DFA's Office of Strategic Trade Management.
- Register with the BOC: To import any goods into the Philippines, including dual-use items, you must register with the BOC. You can register as an importer by completing the registration process online through the BOC's Client Profile Registration System.
- Apply for an Import Clearance Certificate (ICC): Once you have obtained the import permit from the DFA and registered with the BOC, you must apply for an Import Clearance Certificate (ICC). You can apply for an ICC online through the BOC's Electronic-to-Mobile (E2M) System.
- NTC permits maybe required: The National Telecommunications Commission of the Philippines issues permits and certificates to importers of indoor equipment and devices that require Wireless Data Networks (WDN) or are WIFI-enabled or Bluetooth-enabled devices. Philippines customs is extremely strict with correct paperwork and documents.
- Pay the necessary fees and taxes: You must pay the necessary fees and taxes before your goods can be released from customs. These fees and taxes may include import duties, value-added tax (VAT), which is typically around 12% of the CIF value, and other charges.
- You must then submit the necessary documents to the BOC, including the import permit from the DFA, the ICC, and the commercial invoice. You may also be required to present a copy of the sales order to support the value of the goods.
- Await customs clearance: After submitting the required documents and paying the necessary fees and taxes, you must await customs clearance. The customs clearance process may take several days or longer, depending on the type of product being imported.
It is important to note that the importation of certain dual-use items may be subject to additional restrictions. You may meet restrictions around IP Protection. You should consult with the relevant Philippine government agencies or seek the advice of an import/export specialist like Mouse & Bear Solutions to ensure that you comply with all applicable regulations and requirements.
12 September 2022