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The Philippines is strategically placed in the South China sea and the Pacific to make it a strategic trade partner with the United States. Apart from trade relations the two countries enjoy excellent military partnerships with the US setting up Naval bases in Subic and other places in the past and currently. The United States considers the Philippines a strong Non NATO ally and there are an estimated four million citizens of America with Philippine ancestry and over 200,000 US citizens in the Philippines.
When it comes to bilateral relations the US is one of the Philippine’s major investment and trade partners having spent over $27 billion in services and goods from the Philippines. It’s actually the third largest trading partner of the Philippines.
When shipping to the Philippines from the United States the goods being imported will fall into either one of these categories: either
Regulated commodities: these are goods under restriction that can be imported only after receiving the relevant clearances and licenses from the government of the Philippines.
Freely importable commodities: these are products that can be imported into the country without needing any licenses, permits or clearances.
Prohibited importation: these are goods that cannot be allowed into the Philippines at all according to the law Chapter 3: Section 118 CMTA
Restricted commodities: these are goods that can be imported only with authorization from Chapter 3: section 119 CMTA
Prohibited items according to the Philippine law any of the following goods can’t enter the country:
According to the Philippine law any of the following goods can’t enter the country:
These are items that can be accepted into the country when the restrictions are lifted:
When importing from the US to the Philippines one needs some very specific documentation from the US for the country to allow the imports in. in cases of cosmetics, cleaning supplies, food, personal care products, the American importer needs to provide special certificates like the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) license to prove that the items are safe and fit for human use and consumption.
Other documentation that should accompany this include:
The Philippines provides special economic zones which can be beneficial for large foreign investment such as the investment that flows from the United States. The investment projects can be registered for incentive which include exemption from duty on raw materials and capital equipment.
American companies looking to invest in the country can take advantage of such special economic zones to set up a company and export raw materials and equipment into the country. These special economic zones also offer the company complete exemption from export tax and Wharfag dues. Subic Shipyard is one such special economic zone.
The United States and Philippines both belong to the same organizations like the ASEAN regional Forum. As member states of AFTA the Philippines is supposed to apply 0-5% tariff rate to all goods originating from ASEAN members. These rates are under the Common Effective Preferential Tariff Schemes.
"Customs duties play an important role in your international shipment. How they're determined and calculated varies from country to country"
Klaus Lydsal, vice president of operations at iContainers