The Philippines Bureau of Customs (BOC) has recently circulated a Memorandum with the subject matter “Submission and Counter-Checking of the List of Importables”. A copy is attached for reference.

The Customs Memorandum states that all importers are to submit a list of the goods that are proposed to be imported into the Philippines to the Accounts Management Office (“AMO”) within the BOC for approval prior to their importation. Only commodities or items that have been so approved can subsequently be imported into PH. The memorandum is not retrospective and we have been advised that, in practice, the BOC is providing everyone with 2 weeks notice to submit that list. Any subsequent additions to the approved list would need to be the subject of a separate submission to, and approval by, the AMO.

Unfortunately, there is currently a lack of detailed information about the implementation and ongoing administration of this measure. For example, there are no guidelines or other details about what format should be adopted for the “List of Importables”, how the review process will be undertaken, the timing of approvals, nor are there any details about what happens if an approval is denied.