Customs Entry for travel to the Philippines

Philippines Customs

Traveling to the Philippines is fun and exciting, but like every other region, you have to comply with the government standards and rules to avoid getting into trouble. Knowing what is allowed at customs for international travel to the Philippines is the first step in ensuring you comply with all the rules and enjoy your stay. You have to find out about what is prohibited and what the quantities allowed before the trip. The Philippines has been known to have fewer barriers compared to its neighboring countries. This makes them one of the best countries to visit as a tourist. This doesn’t mean that they don’t take security seriously. You still have to meet some of the mandatory requirements, especially at customs. To help secure your safety and the safety of those around you.

Allowed Items

Some of the items you can bring to the Philippines include an alcoholic beverage that doesn’t exceed one liter, 400 cigarettes, and not more than 50 cigars, and pipe tobacco not exceeding 250g. Each person who is considered an adult can carry these quantities when coming into the country. As such, if you are traveling with your family, both you and your spouse can carry them if you think you will need them. You are also allowed to bring in your luggage duty-free as well as some foreign currencies though this is usually limited. If you are a local coming back from an overseas trip, the rules may be a little different, which is why it is advisable to consult the local consulate before getting there. For instance, if you have been away for over six months, you will be allowed to bring in your electronic gadgets as well as other items so long as their value doesn’t exceed 10,000 pesos. Philippine contract workers will have to follow the same rules, but they are allowed to bring in house appliances not exceeding the cost of 10,000 pesos. The appliances can’t be two of the same kind.

Apart from the above, you are also allowed to bring your pet with you, but you will need a certificate from a professional vet to verify that the pet is in good health and doesn’t have any diseases that could be transferred to other pets. You’ll need authorization from the Bureau of Animal Industry together with another certificate showing that your pet doesn’t have rabies. This last condition only applies to those who own dogs or cats. If you but some antiques as souvenirs, then you must get a certificate from the national museum to accompany the item at the customs. This applies to any antique product that doesn’t cost more than $10,000. It’s also advisable that you check with the consulate before leaving with any plants. The rules regarding the importation and exportation of plants vary and constantly change, especially if the plant is an endangered species. You can visit the Embassy of the Philippines for a complete list of guidelines at: Philippine Embassy Customs Passenger Guidelines/.

What You Can’t Bring Through Philippines Customs

Drugs, especially the illegal ones, are not allowed. The Philippine government doesn’t take illegal drug dealings lightly, which is why they have very strict measures in place for drug possession. Small quantities of drugs like 0.17 ounce of marijuana can lead to 12 years of imprisonment.  Avoid carrying any illegal drugs, including marijuana.

You shouldn’t bring any firearms as well as any other explosives or items used in making them, which includes gun powder. Precious metals like gold and other valuable but illegal items like elephant tusks are also not allowed into the Philippines.

Carrying pornographic materials in the form of books or any other printed material could also land you in trouble. Avoid other drugs, especially if they can cause serious side effects like miscarriage or abortion. If you must carry a prescription drug, then an official letter from your doctor could help you out. However, if you can avoid it and buy the drugs once you get to the country, then do so. Foodstuffs that could portray adult materials are not allowed just like animals that are not pets and animal products such as meat, fish, and birds.

Foreign Money Limits

The Philippines operate with the peso currency with coins divided into 1, 5, 10, and 25 Centavos and notes divided into 10,20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 pesos. All banks, as well as larger institutions like hotels and shopping malls, can exchange the foreign currency, but you still have a limit regarding the amount of foreign currency you can bring through the amount is usually high enough to last you your entire vacation. The foreign limits are $10,000, while the local currency also has a limit of 50,000 pesos. You are required by law to declare any additional amount after the set maximums. However, you’ll still be able to use your Visa, American Express, MasterCard, and Diners Club credit cards in the country. Some of the major stores and hotels also accept checks, so you should have enough payment options if you run out of cash. It’s advisable to carry some cash to some of the smaller stores, including market places to avoid inconveniences.

Additional Tips

Now that you know what is allowed at customs for international travel to the Philippines, you should also know some tips that will make your stay more enjoyable. Have your immunization certificates for conditions like smallpox, yellow fever, and cholera, especially if your country of origin has been associated with those conditions in the period leading to your travel.  Check out our post Consider Getting Vaccinated Before You Travel Overseas which provides more information on immunization.

With over 7000 islands, the Philippines has some amazing sceneries and other tourist attractions sites and features. However, some of the places, especially in the capital city, has seen an increase in crimes, especially those targeting foreigners. You should, therefore, be cautious when in manila, especially with regards to the safety of your properties. The war drugs have also led to more killings, so it’s advisable to be cautious and avoid any relations with suspected drug dealers.If you’re carrying any film and media products like CDS or film prints, then you will need special permits to get through customs. This also applies to other marine and other aquatic products. Make sure you contact the relevant body for the clearance form to avoid any trouble.

There are some specific shops that you can purchase from without paying tax if you are coming into the country. All you need is your passport boarding pass and flight ticket to prove that the allowed number of days has not elapsed since you got into the country. You should also ensure you meet other payment requirements, such as having the right amount of money in acceptable currencies. This isn’t limited to the number of times you can shop, so if you frequent the Philippines, you could end up saving up to $10,000 each year. Anyone younger than 18 years isn’t allowed to experience this privilege, and the amount shouldn’t be more than $1,000, or it’s equivalent when other currencies are used. You are also supposed to use this privilege within 48 hours after your arrival.

While staying at a hotel is a good idea, you may want to consider renting an apartment or condo. Especially if you are traveling in a group, this will not only help you save money, but you will also experience the advantage of having household amenities. For example, if you have younger children, an apartment or condo will have a kitchen that you can use to prepare their meals. You’ll not only be on control of your health; you’ll also spend less on cooking the food rather than ordering it. However, if you rent a place and want to buy some smaller appliances, you will have to pay taxes. The privilege above on tax-free items doesn’t extend to household appliances regardless of their size.

If you carry large quantities of products for donation purposes, then you must liaise with the department of special welfare to help you get them through customs. Contact them before you depart from your country. The same applies to any items that you intend to go back with. You won’t have to notify the welfare department, but you’ll have to inform the customs officers. You will be given a receipt to allow you to get a refund on the amount you’ll pay as tax when you’re going back.

To get the most out of your trip. You should try going to the countryside instead of staying in the cities. The cities have a lot to offer in terms of shopping and cultural experiences, but they are usually busy, and that makes you vulnerable to theft, especially as a tourist. The countryside is more serene, and you’ll still get to mingle with the locals to get a diverse experience. You may have to learn the local language to avoid language barrier problems.

The Philippines has some of the friendliest and welcoming individuals.And some of the least restrictive measures regarding your movement. They are also very firm when dealing with lawbreakers, so you should try to keep up with the rules and regulations to avoid getting into trouble. Try to learn some of their etiquette and customs, especially when in a social gathering to avoid being the conspicuous foreigner. You’ll have more fun when you blend in.

Download Your Free Guide To Easy Condo Rental

Enter Your Name and Email Below For Instant Access

Fill in the form Below:

Latest Articles

Legal Information

This site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to We are compensated for referring traffic and business to Amazon and other companies linked to on this site.