Philippines Humanitarian Customs Regulations

This document was submitted in response to a questionnaire distributed by Global Hand regarding humanitarian customs information. It provides regulations for importing humanitarian aid into Philippines.

Required Documents

  • bill of lading/airway bil l
  • commercialoice
  • packing list
  • Deed of Donation
  • Deed of Acceptance by the donors
  • plan of distribution
  • License/Accreditation certificate
  • Bureau of Food and Drug Clearance (for medical donations) (All these documents to be prepared by the receiving organisation).

Prohibited Goods

  • Used clothing is not permitted entry into the Philippines as humanitarian aid. For information on other goods, please refer to the following legal documents:
  • Central Bank Circular 13-89
  • Section 101 of the Tariff and Customs Code-the prohibited importations
  • Republic Act No. 4653

Tax Exemption

  • Tax exemption is available on humanitarian cargo in the Philippines. The law under section 105 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines states that any duly registered relief organisation, upon certification by the Department of Social Welfare&Development (DSWD), may import tax-free (still subject to payment of 10% VAT
  • contact the DSWD for more information). Luxury items, however, such as electronic equipment, electrical appliances, and furniture are not exempt.

Monetary Valuation

Customs require monetary valuation for the shipment on an individual item basis, with a preference for U.S. currency (for exchange rate purposes).


  • If the goods require fumigation, then a fumigation certificate must be presented. Food and medicines must have at least 1 year before its expiry date. For more information on restrictions on:
  • second hand goods
  • refer to the Bureau of Import Services
  • fumigation and expiry dates of food
  • refer to the Food and Drug Administration
  • other goods
  • refer to Central Bank Circular 13-89

Other Info

  • Duty free entry of donations is processed on per shipment basis. Applications for duty-free donations should be made though the following government offices:
  • Department of Social Welfare&Development ( )
  • for relief items
  • National Economic&Development Authority ( )
  • for items that will contribute to national development
  • Department of Education
  • for educational supplies/materials/books


Department of Social Welfare and Development and Bureau of Customs, Republic of Philippines. Date published: 15/02/2002


Regions / countries / territories

Asia: Philippines