Includes import documentation and other requirements for both the U.S. exporter and foreign importer including requirements for specific products.
Last Published: 7/18/2019

Importation of certain commodities into the Philippines is regulated, restricted or prohibited for reasons of public health and safety, national security, international commitments, and development/rationalization of local industry.  Imports are classified as follows:

Freely Importable Commodities – refer to goods that may be freely imported into the Philippines without the need for import permits, clearances or licenses, unless otherwise provided by law or regulation. (Chapter 3, Section 116 Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA),!.pdf).

Regulated Commodities – goods which are subject to regulation 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 customs custody shall be allowed, but only in cases provided for by governing laws or regulations. (Chapter 3, Section 117 CMTA).
The List of Regulated Import Commodities and their Administering Agencies can be viewed in the Philippine National Trade Repository (PNTR) website  The PNTR website also contains detailed information on import procedures and documentary requirements.

Restricted Importation – except when authorized by law or regulation, the importation of the following goods is prohibited (Chapter 3, Section 119 CMTA):

  1. Dynamite, gunpowder, ammunitions and other explosives, firearms and weapons of war, or parts thereof;
  2. Roulette wheels, gambling outfits, loaded dice, marked cards, machines, apparatus or mechanical devices used in gambling or the distribution of money, cigars, cigarettes or other goods when such distribution is dependent on chance, including jackpot and pinball machines or similar contrivances, or parts thereof;
  3. Lottery and sweepstakes tickets, except advertisements thereof, and lists of drawings therein;
  4. Marijuana, opium, poppies, coca leaves, heroin or other narcotics or synthetic drugs which are or may hereafter be declared habit forming by the President of the Philippines, or any compound, manufactured salt, derivative, or preparation thereof, except when imported by the government of the Philippines or any person duly authorized by the Dangerous Drugs Board, for medicinal purposes;
  5. Opium pipes or parts thereof, of whatever material;
  6. Any other goods whose importation and exportation are restricted;
  7. Weapons of mass destruction and goods included in the national Strategic Goods list (NSGL) as provided under Republic Act No. 10697 or the Strategic Trade Management Act (STMA);
  8. Toxic and hazardous goods under Republic Act No. 6969 or the “Toxic Substances and hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990.” 
  9. The restriction to import the above stated goods includes the restriction on their transit.
Prohibited Importation– the importation of the following goods are prohibited (Chapter 3, Section 118 CMTA):
  1. Written or printed goods in any form containing any matter advocating or inciting treason, rebellion, insurrection, sedition against the government of the Philippines, or forcible resistance to any law of the Philippines, or written or printed goods containing any threat to take the life of, or inflict bodily harm upon any person in the Philippines;
  2. Goods, instruments, drugs and substances designed, intended or adapted for producing unlawful abortion, or any printed matter which advertises, describes or gives direct or indirect information where, how or by whom unlawful abortion is committed;
  3. Written or printed goods, negatives or cinematographic films, photographs, engravings, lithographs, objects, paintings, drawings or other representation of an obscene or immoral character;
  4. Any goods manufactured in whole or in part of gold, silver or other precious metals or alloys and the stamp, brand or mark does not indicate the actual fineness of quality of the metals or alloy;
  5. Any adulterated or misbranded food or goods for human consumption or any adulterated or misbranded drug in violation of relevant laws and regulations;
  6. Infringing goods as defined under the Intellectual Property Code and related laws; and
  7. All other goods or parts thereof which importation are explicitly prohibited by law or rules and regulations issued by the competent authority.
The type of  importation whether freely importable, regulated, restricted or prohibited may be checked/verified with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) ( and the Bureau of Import Services (BIS) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) (  The Department of Agriculture (DA) ( can 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.
Import documents required for shipments to the Philippines include:
  • Commercial Invoice/Pro-forma invoice;
  • Bill of Lading (for sea freight) or air waybill (for air freight);
  • Certificate of Origin (if requested);
  • Packing list;
  • Applicable special certificates/import clearance/permit depending on the nature of goods being shipped and/or requested by the importer/bank/letter of credit clause, e.g. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) license; and
  • Commercial Invoice of Returned Philippine Goods and/or Supplemental Declaration on Valuation.

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 (ACID) 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.

For queries related to import requirements, contact:
Atty. Luis M. Catibayan
Bureau of Import Services
Department of Trade and Industry
3F Tara Bldg., 389 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue
Makati City
Tel: (632) 896-4430
Fax: (632) 896-4431

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