Philippines Customs Regulations

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Customs Regulations - Philippines
Moving to Philippines or for that matter any country can become difficult-unless you make yourself aware of the customs regulation details in that country. After all, you do not want your belongings to be stranded in some port in the country. In some countries especially, customs regulations can be very stringent-and you may suddenly find yourself in a puddle. So, do your homework!

The customs regulations information listed on our website have been collected from several sources including information made-available-by embassies and government websites.

Customs Regulations applicable while shipping to Philippines

vspace=5Your international move, while life changing and exciting, will also require a lot of meticulous planning and proper documentation to ensure a stress-free experience. No matter what your reason is for moving to the Philippines, you'll need to be prepared for overseas relocation.

Read on for more information on what to expect when clearing customs and moving to the Philippines.


No foreign country will allow you to visit, much less live there without the proper documentation. You will also need additional documents when clearing customs. These important documents should be received a minimum of 20 to 30 days in advance your shipment's arrival to avoid any additional charges of demurrage. It is best to hire a customs brokering service for assistance preparing these documents by their particular deadline.

When moving to the Philippines, you will need:
  • Passport (original with photo - must show last entry stamp and biographic pages)
  • Residence visa/work visa
  • Residence permit
  • Work permit
  • Inventory of shipment in English (each item should be labeled "used")
  • International Air Waybill/ Bill of Lading (including shipper's intent)
Household effects (except for motor vehicles, vessel, and aircraft machineries) may be imported duty free pending an application if the customer is:
  • Filipino and now a resident of another country
  • A foreigner married to a Filipino
  • A former Filipino


Upon moving to the Philippines, you will be faced with various regulations you must abide by to successfully clear customs with your shipment.

Things to keep in mind:
  • Your shipment cannot arrive prior to your visa being approved
  • You must be present at customs for clearance of your shipment
  • All shipments are subject to inspection upon arrival
  • Shipments must arrive within 60 days of your arrival into the Philippines
  • New and duplicate items are subject to heavy taxes and duties


Most countries have a list of items that are not allowed in the country whatsoever. In the Philippines, you cannot import the following items under any circumstance:
  • Firearms, explosives, ammunition and any type of replicas
  • Drugs or illegal narcotics of any kind
  • Substances aiding abortion
  • Pornography, subversive material/literature
  • Gambling machines, lottery tickets, coin operated video machines or pinball machines
  • Gold, silver or other precious metals without any proof of quality
  • Elephant or ivory tusk products
  • Commercial quantities of foodstuffs, used clothing or rags
  • Counterfeit items and money


When shipping your household goods and personal effects to the Philippines, you should also be aware of the numerous items that are subject to duty fees, need special permission, or have limits on quantity. Some of these items include, but may not be limited to:
  • Fruits, vegetables and plants/planting materials (requires Import Permit and must be declared on arrival)
  • Meat and live animals (For pets, see ‘Pets and Animal Regulations')
  • Prescription medication (needs clearance from the Bureau of Food and Drugs)
  • Movie and TV products (Import Permit needed for items such as DVDs and TVs)
  • Pesticides (needs proper registration)


If you're relocating to the Philippines for work, or any other reason that requires daily travel, you'll want to consider taking your vehicle with you. However, please be aware that currently only diplomats and returning citizens are allowed to import used motor vehicles to the Philippines. However, new vehicles have no such limitations. If you plan on shipping your vehicle, you will need:
  • Copy of Certificate of Title
  • Purchase invoice
  • Vehicle registration
  • Driver's license
  • International Insurance Policy
  • Original Bill of Lading (must show Chassis number, engine number, cubic capacity, year of manufacture, brand and model)
When importing your vehicle:
  • The owner must be present at customs when the vehicle arrives
  • All vehicles (used or new) must be left hand drive
  • All vehicles (used or new) are subject to customs duty, VAT and Ad Valorem Tax


If you own a pet, you wouldn't want to leave it behind in your overseas trek. To be sure your animal companion makes it through customs without any trouble, you will need:
  • Import Permit (obtained from the Bureau of Animal Industry - issued prior to pet's arrival), must include:
    • Breed, sex, age, color and pet's name
    • Owner's address
    • Intended arrival date
    • Copy of owner's passport
  • Certificate of vaccination (must include rabies and be no older than one year)
  • Health certificate (must be issued 10 days prior to arrival)


International moves are much more complex than a local or long distance move, and come with numerous expenses and plenty of paperwork. The most important part of your move will be finding full-service international movers and freight forwarders that have proper licensure and insurance.

Need help finding international moving companies in your area for your move to the Philippines? You can get started here at by submitting our free quote form, which will connect you with up to seven qualified movers in your area.


NOTE - Customs regulations of Philippines are subject to change at any time. The proceeding information is a brief summary of customs regulations applicable to household goods shipments to Philippines (this destination )and is being provided for general guidance to assist our Agents and Customers. Since such regulations are subject to change without notice, cannot be held liable for any costs, damage, delays, or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance. Always double check with your local embassy or consulate before you make your move to Philippines.

Major Citie(s) in Philippines

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