How to Import to the Philippines

Importing refers to the purchase of goods from a foreign country. It is an essential economic activity for businesses and consumers to expand the global market. One of the most popular importers is the Philippines. It has a strategic trading site as it shares maritime borders with the ASEAN countries, including Taiwan, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, and others. It also imports goods from other nations like Korea and the United States.

While the Philippines offers great business opportunities for importers, it is essential to comply with its trade requirements and policies. A country that wishes to import to the Philippines should familiarize itself with customs clearances and updates. Since navigating the Bureau of Customs is time-consuming, they can rely on customs brokerage firms to know the legalities and processes in the shipping industry.

A customs broker is a an individual or a corporation that processes various types of goods through customs. It can also help importers verify that trading operations are carried out legally and ethically. Apart from these, a broker can process the relevant documents needed when importing products in the Philippines. These documents include the following:

  1. Duly approved Airway Bill or Bill of Lading, or any certification by the carrier or agent of the vessel or aircraft
  2. Commercial Invoice or any other verifiable commercial record proving payment if there is no sale for export
  3. Packing list
  4. and duly notarized Supplemental Declaration on Valuation;
  5. Documents as may be required by rules and regulations, such as:
  • Import Permit or Clearance,
  •    Authority to Release Imported Goods (ATRIG),
  •    Proof of Origin for Free Trade Agreements (FTAs),
  •    Copy of an Advance Ruling, if the ruling was used in the goods declaration,
  •    Load Port Survey Reports or Discharge Port Survey Reports
  •    Document proving exemption from duties and taxes, and
  •    Others, e.g., Tax Credit Certificate or Tax Debit Memo

Most importers are focused on their operations but cannot spend sufficient attention to accurately recording their items. When they hire a customs brokerage company, they will receive assistance in classifying items and understanding the laws that apply to each commodity. They will also be aware of the required paperwork, which will help them complete the documentation process.

To know more, here is an infographic from Excelsior.

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