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The Bureau of Import Services (BIS) is mandated to undertake activities related to the implementation of legislations which provide relief and assistance to Philippine industries confronted by trade remedy actions, disseminate timely and accurate information on imports to stakeholders and adopt sound import policies, programs and guidelines.

You may contact BIS through:

Bureau of Import Services (BIS)
3F Tara Bldg., 389 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City 
Director's Office
Tel. No.: (+632) 896.4430
Fax: (+632) 896.4431
 

Types of Importation

Free Importation and Exportation – refers to goods that may be freely imported into and exported from the Philippines without the need for import and export permits, clearances or licenses, unless otherwise provided by law or regulation. (Chapter 3, Section 116 CMTA)

Regulated Importation and Exportation – goods which are subject to regulation shall be imported or exported only after securing the necessary goods declaration, clearances, licenses, and any other requirements, prior to importation. In case of 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)

Restricted Importation and Exportation – except when authorized by law or regulation, the importation and exportation of the following restricted goods are 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.” 

The restriction to import or export the above stated goods shall include the restriction on their transit.

Prohibited Importation and Exportation – the importation and exportation 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.

List of Regulated Import Commodities and their Administering Agencies. Can be viewed in the Philippine National Trade Repository.

Documentary Requirements

Unless and until the Bureau is operating in a paperless environment, the printout of the Single Administrative Document (SAD) which is signed by the declarant and the customs broker, if any, and duly notarized must be submitted to the Formal Entry Division (FED) or its equivalent office or unit, together with the following documents:

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

Lodgement of Goods Declarations

Persons Authorized to Lodge Goods Declaration – (Declarant). Any person who makes a goods declaration or in whose name a goods declaration is made.

  1. The importer, being the holder of the bill of lading or airway bill;

 In case the importer is a juridical person, it may authorize a responsible officer of the company to sign the goods declaration as declarant on its behalf.

  1. For corporation, the responsible officer must be authorized by the Board of Directors to sign as the declarant on its behalf.
  2. For partnership, the responsible officer must be authorized by the partners.
  3. For sole proprietorship, the responsible officer must be authorized by the owner, who shall issue a Special Power of Attorney (SPA).

 b. A customs broker acting under authority of the importer or from a holder of the bill; or

 c. A person duly empowered to act as agent or attorney-in-fact for each holder of the bill. 

What are the requirements for Lodgement of Single Administrative Documents (SAD)?

  • Single Administrative Document (SAD)*
  • B/L or AWB
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Packing List
  • Other additional documents as may be required, such as:
  • ATRIG (VAT-exempt goods)
  • Certificate of Origin (CO)
  • Import Permit for regulated items
  • Health Certificate 

Customs Memorandum Order No. 29-2015 dated September 1, 2015

Revised Procedures and Documentation in the Processing Formal Consumption Entries

  • Flowchart of the General Import Procedures
  • Workflow for the Accreditation of Importers
  • Import Clearance Overview 

Importation

Goods Liable to Duties and Taxes. All goods, when imported into the Philippines, shall be subject to duty upon importation, including goods previously exported from the Philippines, except the following:

  • Those that are conditionally tax and/or duty-exempt importations under section 800, Chapter 1, Title VIII of the CMTA;
  • Those considered as De Minimis importations;
  • Importations of books under the Florence Agreement;
  • Other tax privileges granted by law;
  • Importations under the Customs Bonded Warehousing Systems; and
  • Importations intended for free port zones. 

When Importation Begins and Deemed Terminated. Importation begins when the carrying vessel or aircraft enters the Philippine Territory with the intention to unload therein. Importation is deemed terminated when:

  • The duties, taxes and other charges due upon the goods have been paid or secured to be paid at the port of entry unless the goods are free from duties, taxes and other charges and legal permit for withdrawal has been granted; or
  • In case the goods are deemed free of duties, taxes and other charges, the goods have legally left the jurisdiction of the Bureau. 

Period within Which to Lodge. Goods declaration must be lodged within (15) days from the date of discharge of the last package from the vessel or aircraft. The period to lodge the goods declaration may, upon request, be extended on valid grounds for another fifteen (15) days subject to the approval of the District Collector. Provided, that the request is made before the expiration of the original period within which to lodge the goods declaration. Provided, however, that the period for the lodgement of the goods declaration may be adjusted by the Commissioner. 

Forms and Types of Goods Declaration

Goods Declaration for Consumption. All goods with free on board (FOB) or Free Carrier (FCA) value of at least ten thousand pesos (P10,000) shall be entered through goods declaration for consumption and cleared through a formal entry process. Except for personal and household effects or goods, not in commercial quantity, imported in a passenger’s baggage or mail, which shall be cleared thru an informal entry process.

Informal Entry Process 

  • Articles of a commercial nature intended for sale, barter or hire, the dutiable value of which does not exceed P2,000.00
  • Personal and household effects or articles, not in commercial quantity, imported in passenger’s baggage, mail, or otherwise for personal use. 

Formal entry Process 

  • Articles of a commercial nature intended for sale, barter, or hire, the dutiable value of which is more than P2,000.00
  • Articles for, which the Collector may, upon the recommendation of the Tariff Commission for the protection of a local industry, or the revenue, require formal entry regardless of value and whatever purpose and nature of the importation.

 

Classification of Goods

CHAPTER 3

TARIFF NOMENCLATURE AND RATE OF DUTY

Section 1610. General Rules for the Interpretation (GRI). – The classification of goods and its tariff nomenclature as provided pursuant to this Act shall be governed by the following principles:

(1) The titles of sections, chapters and subchapters are provided for easy reference only. For legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to the following provisions:

(2) (a) Any reference in a heading to the goods shall be taken to include a reference to the same in their incomplete or unfinished form or state: Provided, That the incomplete or unfinished goods have the essential character, as presented, of the complete or finished goods. It shall also be taken to include a reference to the same, in their complete or finished form or state (or falling to be classified as complete or finished by virtue of this Rule), presented unassembled or disassembled.

      (b) Any reference in a heading to a material or substance shall be taken to include a reference to mixtures or combinations of that material or substance with other materials or substances. Any reference to goods of a given material or substance shall be taken to include a reference to goods consisting wholly or partly of such material or substance. The classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of Rule 3.

(3) When by application of Rule 2 (b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two (2) or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

      (a) The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two (2) or more headings, each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods or to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods.

     (b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3 (a), shall be classified as if they consisted of their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

     (c) When goods cannot be classified by reference to 3 (a) or 3(b), they shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration;

(4) Goods which cannot be classified in accordance with the above Rules shall be classified under the heading appropriate to the goods to which they are most akin.

(5) In addition to the foregoing provisions, the following Rules shall apply with respect to the goods referred to therein:

     (a) Camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, drawing instrument cases, necklace cases and similar containers, specially shaped or fitted to contain specific goods or set of goods, suitable for long-term use and presented with the goods for which they are intended, shall be classified with such goods when of a kind normally sold therewith. The Rule does not, however, apply to containers which give the whole its essential character; and

     (b) Subject to the provisions of Rule 5(a), packing materials and packing containers presented with the goods therein shall be classified with the goods if they are of a kind normally used for packing such goods. However, this provision does not apply when such packing materials or packing containers are clearly suitable for repetitive use.

(6) For legal purposes, the classification of goods in the subheadings of a heading shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes and, mutatis mutandis, to the above Rules, on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable. For the purposes of the Rule, the relative section and Chapter Notes also apply, unless the context others requires. 

Selectivity System.  Determines the selection of the examination procedures based on risk criteria established in the Customs Cargo Clearance System. The Customs Cargo Clearance System assigns the declared goods to one of the following control channels: 

  • Red lane – documentary check; and physical examination or non-intrusive inspection, or magna scale weighing, when necessary; 
  • Yellow lane – documentary check;
  • Blue lane – to be considered for post clearance audit; or 
  • Green lane – released without documentary check and without examination of the goods.
 
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