Understanding customs requirements when moving to the Philippines


Planning to reside in a country other than your own is a big leap whether it is temporary or permanent. One of the biggest questions to ask is what can you (and what can’t you) bring?

When planning to import personal effects or belongings, one of the easiest things to do is to find a reputable mover in the Philippines that will assist you with the customs regulations. Allied Pickfords has years of experience moving goods for people across the world. By using modern technology as well as allocating you your very own moving consultant, the team at Allied can help you move smoothly out of the Philippines or into the Southeast Asian country.

There are plenty of dos and don’ts when importing belongings to the Philippines, so here are some guidelines.

The Bureau of Customs facilitates the trade, import and export duties, as well as collecting taxes in the Philippines. The Philippines has strict rules on applying taxes to items especially if it is done through a courier or through international posts. Taxes are imposed on couriered items amounting to more than USD$500 (26,160 Philippine Pisos).

If you are bringing in personal effects (through accompanied or non-accompanied luggage), which is non-commercial in quantity, you are not subject to duties or taxes. Bringing in wine over 2 bottles, tobacco products no more than 200 sticks, cosmetics and perfume not exceeding one bottle, are all duty-free. You can also bring in electronic devices as long as it is one of each kind. You will receive 3% to 50% of Value Added Tax (VAT), which will be charged if you are exceeding the allowable limit, depending on the kind and condition of the items you are carrying.



Foreigners holding a 13G (returning former natural-born Filipino citizen) or 13A (permanent resident) visas are allowed to import their vehicles, which should be strictly left-hand drive and not exceeding 3000kg. Your car should have a Certificate of Emission Compliance from its country of origin that has been authenticated by the Philippine Embassy abroad. Your vehicle must not be more than 5 years old and only 1 car is allowed per family. If your vehicle is brand new, it should have been registered under your name for at least 6 months before submitting your application to the Bureau of Import Services. If it’s over 3 years old, ownership should be minimum of 1 year. Find a mover in the Philippines that is reliable enough to assist you with information on such matters, such as Allied Pickfords, with an office in Manila.



Importing domesticated animals requires an import permit, which should be done 2 weeks before arriving in the Philippines. Secure your pet’s health certificate, rabies certificate and microchip.



Foreigners (and returning citizens) are prohibited to bring in narcotics and synthetic drugs, explosives, firearms, obscene items, counterfeits, used clothing for sale or rags, transceivers, controlled chemicals, pirated DVDs or CDs and the like. There are regulations surrounding the importation of personal belongings and household items, which it is a good idea to be aware of before you arrive at customs with your airline ticket.


Moving internationally can often be overwhelming, especially if you have to do everything by yourself. Hiring a reliable mover like Allied Pickfords can help make your relocation easier and less stressful. Our Moving Consultants are available for you if you have queries and are very hands-on when guiding you throughout the entire moving process in or out of the Philippines.

Hiring Allied Pickfords allows you to hand over the complicated process to the professionals so they can guide you through the mundane requirements, while you start planning the more exciting elements of your international relocation, such as where will you live and where will you find work. Through Allied Pickfords, you can be confident your belongings are more likely to reach your destination safely, without going through the struggles of the import process on your own. If you need to find a mover in the Philippines that is trustworthy and efficient, choose Allied Pickfords.


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