Friday, September 26, 2008

Importation 101

What articles are subject to duty?

According to Section 100 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines as amended:

"All articles, when imported to the Philippines, are subject to duty upon each importation, even though previously exported there except as otherwise specifically provided for in the Tariff and Customs Code, as amended, or in other laws."

What are the different kinds of imported goods?

Kinds of Imported goods
  1. freely importable goods - importable goods that are neither regulated or prohibited. These goods can be imported without clearance or permit from corresponding government agencies.
  2. regulated importations - imported goods that requires clearances or permit from corresponding government agencies upon each importation.
  3. prohibited importations - imported goods that cannot be brought in the country under existing laws and regulations except otherwise permitted under strict conditions and regulations from corresponding government agency (conditionally prohibited).

Are there articles subject to duty and vat exemptions?

Yes, there are. Articles under Section 105 of TCCP as amended are duty-free importation but certain conditions (e.g. posting of re-exportation bond, permits, clearances) must be met to avail of this privilege; while vat-exempted articles are listed under Section 109 of the National Internal Revenue code of the Philippines (NIRC).

Aside from customs duties and vat, what other duties, taxes and other charges that can be levied on imported goods or during importation of goods?

Excise Tax- tax imposed on luxury goods and non-essential goods like spirits, wines, cigarettes, some petroleum products, yachts, motored vehicles etc.

Anti-dumping duty - additional duty levied aside from normal customs duties to counter the effects of "dumping". Dumping is a form of price discrimination between two national markets. It occurs when foreign producers sell their products to an importer in the domestic market at prices lower than in their own national markets , or at prices below cost of production which causes injury or threatens to injure the domestic industry producing like or comaprable products or retards the establishment of a potential industry.

Countervailing duty - a special duty levied, in addition to the regular duty and other charges, by an importing country on its imports which have been found to be subsidized in the country of origin or exportation.

Customs Documentary Stamps - fee collected for the affixing of customs documentary stamps (250 pesos).

BIR stamp - fee collected for the affixing of BIR stamp (15 pesos)

Import Processing Fee - fee collected for the prcoessing of imported goods. It depends on the total dutiable value (CIF value) of imported goods.

Warehouse storage fee - fee collected on imported goods that are not expeditiously removed and cleared from the customs bonded warehouse.

Fines and surcharges - penalties imposed on goods violating tariff and customs laws and regulations.

Other fees - fees that are normally assessed against items that require review or examination, certifications, quarantine or similar services that are required upon import by the corresponding government agency.


  1. Hi Kat, I wanted to know if 2 pcs used fountain pens are taxable, and by how much? My uncle in Canada sent his old school pens to me as a gift. They're about USD10 each if you buy them at the flea market.

  2. By law it is. it has 5% tariff.

    Just talk to the customs official, that it is just used pens. if that did not work, tell them you did not bring enough money and you live far.

  3. Good Day

    Hi Kat, question I bought 4 pairs of shoes from taiwan : value US$200 + $45 Shipping Fee via EMS i live in laguna, so I will pick up the item in my local post office and if ever how much sakin machacharge na tax since 4 pairs ng shoes to?

    Thank You

  4. @manila

    i dont know what kind of shoes but you may have 15% tariff max. you might need to pay about 3.9k pesos.

  5. Thanks

    btw, 4 pairs of sneaker shoes hoping ganyan or lower sana singilin sakin :)

  6. Hello Kat, thank for you making this blog. its been really helpful for me. do you know what the tariff rate would be for new clothes? for example, i had a package that was marked gift and under $50, it included shoes and clothes. customs declared the cost of the package at $60 and the rate at 15% (for shoes). is it really legal for them to declare their own value and choose the highest rate for everything? even though they weren't all shoes? and these are gifts so i dont have any documents stating that i only paid this amount. now im afraid of their "magic number." if they feel like charging me more, how do i fight it?

  7. @shang

    you cannot really fight it if you dont have the proper documents reflecting the right value of the goods. even if it is a gift, it still has commercial value. they can appraise the value of your goods but it must be based on the wto system of valuation. 15% is the rate of duty for both clothes and shoes. I suggest that you ask the sender for the receipts.

    all you can do is ask what method of valuation they used to come up with the dutiable value. there are 6 methods:
    1. Transaction Value
    2. Transaction Value of Identical Goods
    3. Transaction Value of Similar Goods
    4. Deductive Value
    5. Computed Value
    6. Fallback Value

    Look at my posts about WTO valuation.

  8. Hi,I want to know if how much ang charged ng mga used 2 bags and used 2 wallet,40$ is the declared value but the actual cost of the item is lesser than the declared value,i have receipt of the items,I hope to get a reply from you ms.katt..thank you in advanced...

  9. Sis, tanong ko lang. Dun sa ebay thread mo, ang final computation is i-aadd ung Duty, Tax and IPF. Pero sa receipt na nakuha sa customs way back 2007, ang nakaadd sa total ko is ung duty, tax, cas (ano ito?), bir at ipf. Chaka ung rate of duty sakin is 10% lang. nagbago ba? Or 10% lng tlaga for shoes. How about for clothes, makeups and stationaries. Anong Rate of duty nito? Thanks sis.

  10. yung cas is yung customs documentary stamp ngayon = 250. pwede magbago yung rate of duty every year. yung classification of goods is pecific inde general. for example, inde purket isang klase at 10%, ang duty sa lahat ng klaseng shoes bsta classified as shoes is 10% na.
    yung clothes and make-up ganun din. may specific classification din.