Moving Cars to the Philippines

from Philippine Bureau of Customs

1. CAN ANYONE BRING IN A MOTOR VEHICLE?

Yes, provided that the motor vehicle is brand new. Under Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Circular 92, Series of 1995, dated October 15, 1995, the importation of a brand-new motor vehicle of all types, including motorcycles has been liberalized and would no longer thus require prior authority to import.

2. WHEN IS A MOTOR VEHICLE BRAND NEW?

A motor vehicle is brand new if and only if the following criteria are satisfied:

  1. That the motor vehicle is of current or advance year model;
  2. It has never been registered or used;
  3. It is covered by a certificate of first ownership;
  4. Of the year of the immediate preceding year in the country of origin and/or manufacture provided that:
    1. The motor vehicle has a mileage of not more than 50 kilometers and;
    2. The motor vehicle has been acquired by the importer from the dealer as first owner.

3. HOW ABOUT MOTOR VEHICLES NOT OF CURRENT OR ADVANCE YEAR MODEL?

They shall be processed as in used motor vehicle.

4. WHAT ABOUT USED MOTOR VEHICLES?

Only qualified individuals may bring in a used motor vehicle which shall be duly covered by a prior authority to import. Under appendix 1-D of BSP Circular-Letter, Series of 1995, dated October 19, 1995, the importation of used vehicles continue to be regulated and would therefore require prior authority from the Bureau of Import Services (BIS), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

5. WHO IS QUALIFIED TO IMPORT USED MOTOR VEHICLES?

Under Executive Order No. 284 as implemented by BIS, in relation to BSP Circular-Letter, Series of 1995, dated October 19, 1995, the following individuals maybe allowed to bring in used motor vehicles:

  1. A returning Filipino or a former Filipino citizen who has stayed abroad for more than a year;
  2. An immigrant to the Philippines (shall be at least a holder of a 13G Visa duly issued by the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation).

Provided further that:

  1. Only one (1) unit motor vehicle per family is allowed to be brought in. (A motorcycle is considered a motor vehicle for this purpose).
  2. The vehicle is registered in his name for at least six (6) months prior to shipment to the Philippines;
  3. Proof can be presented that the vehicle was acquired out of the earnings abroad.

6. IS PERSONAL PRESENCE OF THE CAR-OWNER NECESSARY?

Personal presence by the car-owner of the used motor vehicle is required.

7. IS THERE ANY OTHER RESTRICTION ON THE MOTOR VEHICLE THAT MAY BE BROUGHT IN?

Yes. Whether brand-new or not, the motor vehicle should be left-hand drive.

8. IS THE IMPORTED VEHICLE SUBJECT TO TAXES AND DUTIES?

Yes. Whether brand-new or used, purchased or donated, the imported vehicle is subject to 40% Customs duty, 10% VAT and Ad Valorem Tax from 15% to 100% depending on its piston displacement. Its book value serves as the tax base and not the purchase price nor the acquisition cost. The book value is sourced from universally accepted motor vehicle reference books such as the Red Book, Blue Book, World Book depending on the origin of the imported vehicle.

9. ARE SPARE PARTS SENT WITH THE MOTOR VEHICLE ALSO TAXABLE?

Yes. These are taxed separately.

10. HOW CAN WE INQUIRE THE TAXES AND DUTIES PAYABLE?

By writing and providing information about the vehicle as to the make, brand, year model, piston displacement, Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or chassis number or sending a copy of the registration to:

Valuation Center & Library
Bureau of Customs
South Harbor, Manila

and

One Stop Processing Center
Motor Vehicle
Manila International
Container Port
North Harbor, Manila

11. ARE THERE OTHER CHARGES ASIDE FROM TAXES AND DUTIES?

Yes. There are other non-customs charges that may be due on the shipment such as: storage and arrastre fees which may be collected by the privately-owned arrastre operator; by the shipping line and wharfage dues by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

12. HOW IMPORTANT IS THE PRIOR IMPORT AUTHORITY (PIA)?

It is very important if the vehicle would not qualify as brand-new as herein defined. A used motor vehicle not covered by PIA shall be seized and may only be released upon payment of heavy penalties on top of the taxes and duties due thereon.

13. HOW IS PIA OBTAINED?

By submitting to BIS a duly accomplished application form which may be obtained from it and the following documents duly authenticated by the nearest Philippine Consulate abroad where the car-owner resides:

  1. Proof of his continuous stay abroad for at least one (1) year;
  2. Copy of the registration papers showing that the vehicle is registered in his name for at least six (6) months;
  3. Proof that the car was acquired out of the earnings abroad.

14. WHERE IS THE BIS LOCATED?

The address is as follows:

Bureau of Import Services
3rd Flr., Welding Industries of the Philippines Building
349 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue Makati City, Metro Manila
Tel. No. (632)895-7466

15. IS DEPRECIATION IN VALUE ACCORDED TO IMPORTED VEHICLES?

Yes, if the imported motor vehicle is an older model or an earlier than the current year model. The depreciation schedule is 10% per year counted downwards from current year which has a depreciation rate of zero percent (0%). Motor vehicles with a piston displacement of 2000 cc and above may be given a maximum depreciation of 50%, while those below 2000 cc, up to the maximum of 70%.

16. IS THE IMPORTATION OF MOTOR VEHICLE SUBJECT TO PRE-SHIPMENT INSPECTION (PSI) BY SGS IN THE COUNTRY OF EXPORTATION?

Under Joint-Order 1-91, individually owned motor vehicle is not subject to pre-shipment inspection by SGS. The importation thereof need not be covered by a Clean Report of Findings (CRF) issued by SGS. Non-individually-owned vehicles or those imported for commercial purposes should therefore undergo PSI and their importation should be covered by CRF.

17. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO CLEAR MOTOR VEHICLE IMPORTATIONS FROM CUSTOMS?

Given a complete documentation, clearance for the release of the imported vehicle in the One Stop Processing Center (OSPC) takes place within forty-eight (48) hours from the filing of Customs entry.

18. ARE IMPORTATIONS OF BOATS, YACHTS AND MOTORIZED FARM IMPLEMENT ALLOWED?

Yes, subject to payment of taxes and duties.