Philippine Customs Regulations

Philippine customs regulation is enforced strictly.  Violation of Philippine Customs Laws may subject you to criminal prosecutions and / or fines and penalties and even death.

To ensure smooth customs clearance, please read these visitors guidelines thoroughly.

  • All persons and baggage are subject to a search at any time.
  • All articles, when imported from any foreign country into the Philippines, shall be subject to duty and tax upon each importation, even though previously exported from the Philippines, except as otherwise specifically provided in the Customs Code or in other laws.
  • Temporary visitors are allowed to bring household goods, personal effects and vehicles provided they file a re-export bond good for six months or pay the levied Customs duties/taxes.
  • For immigrant/permanent resident, all used household goods and personal effects are allowed full tax and duty-free entry on one shipment (air or sea)
  • Non-resident/retiree (first time to settle), all used household goods and personal effects not exceeding U.S. $7,800 are allowed entry tax and duty-free

Personal effects:

  • Cosmetics, perfumes, clothing, jewelry, shoes etc. for personal or professional use are all exempt of duty.

Exemptions / Duty-Free Concessions

For import:

  • 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250gm of tobacco for passengers of 18 or over.
  • 2 bottles of not more than 1 liter each for passengers of 18 or over.

For export:

  • 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 500gm of tobacco for passengers over 18.
  • 1 quart of alcoholic beverages for passengers over 18.

Dutiable/Restricted Items

  • Animals, fish, and plants
  • Films, video tapes, and disks
  • Medicines
  • Telecommunication equipment
  • Color reproduction machine
  • Motor vehicle parts

Prohibited Items:

The unlawful importation of prohibited articles like;

  • Marijuana, poppy, coca leaves, heroin, opium or any other prohibited drugs; opium pipes and parts thereof;
  • Firearms and firearm parts, replicas, explosives and ammunition;
  • Printed subversive, Pornographic, Obscene or immoral articles
  • Adulterated and misbranded articles of food or drugs
  • Counterfeit, altered, or imitated coins, paper money, banknotes, and securities
  • Gambling machines and articles, jackpot or pinball machines, lottery sweepstakes tickets, coin operated video machines
  • Drugs intended for abortion
  • Gold/silver and precious metal bullion
  • Commercial quantities of foodstuffs, used clothing, and rags


All animals must be accompanied by:

  • Dogs, cats and birds are not restricted for importation. It is highly recommended that an “exotic pet” could be restricted
  • Race horses and game fowl are subject to duties and taxes

Documents required:

  • Owner’s Passport
  • Import Permit (from Bureau of Animal Industry)
  • Identification card of the pet
  • Pedigree Certificate
  • Original Vaccination and Health Certificate from origin (Issued within 10 days of the importation. Must show proof that vaccination was administered between 60 to 180 days prior to the flight)
  • No quarantine required

Agriculture and Quarantine Regulations

Agriculture quarantine restricts the entry of animals, fish and plant produts or their by-products (such as meat, eggs, birds, fruits, etc.). Transport of endangered species and their by-products is also restricted / prohibited by CITES / DENR regulations.  Likewise, export of such products / by-products must be referred to quarantine officers to ensure compliance with Philippine regulations and requirements of country of destination.  Failure to obtain prior import and / or export permit from the Philippine Department of Agriculture together with corresponding health sanitary or phytosanitary certificate from country of origin and to declare the same may result to seizure, fines and / or penalties.

Regulated Articles That Require Import Permit / Clearances:

Articles that need import / export permits and / or clearances and government agencies that issues them:

Live Animals and Meat                               Bureau of Animal Industry

Fruits and Plants                                           Bureau of Plant Industry

Marine and Aquatic Products                  Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources

Firearms, Parts, Ammunition, etc.              PNP Firearms and Explosives Office

VHS, Tapes, CDs, DVDs, etc.                    Optical Media Board

TV, Movie, Film Print & Negatives, etc.   Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB)

Transceivers, Communication                   National Telecommunications Commission Equipments, etc.

Endangered Species                                    Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)

Medicines and the like                                Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD)

Non-Resident Foreigners

Passengers who intend to bring back to their place of residence abroad any dutiable article must inform the inspecting Customs Officer of said intention.  In this case, the passenger may be required to accomplish a re-exportation commitment form duly secured by a cash bond deposit equal to the ascertained duty and tax on the article, refundable upon departure of the passenger with the article, for which a corresponding Official Receipt will be issued.

Your Customs Declaration

All arriving passengers are required to accomplish a Customs Declaration from (BC Form 117) given on board the carrying aircraft.  If traveling as one family, one declaration is sufficient.

Arriving passengers are required to declare all articles purchased or acquired abroad, indicating the quantity and its total acquisition price.  If unsure of what to declare, please consult any Customs Officer on duty.

Keeping Official Receipts

Keep all Official Receipts for payments to everyone, especially the Bureau of Immigration. They may see a required stamp so you assume they will understand you paid the bill. But the only way they know you paid for sure and that the payment is in the government coffers is if you have an Official Receipt to show you paid. All transactions, certainly with any branch of Philippine Government at any level, make sure to keep you official receipt. If they don’t give you one, demand one.


Customs regulations are subject to change at any time. Always double check with your local embassy or consulate..