Philippines Importer of Record and IT Shipping

Importer of Record services in the Philippines must procure import permits from the NTC & OMB to successfully import IT hardware.

Philippines Importer of Record at a Glance:

Importer of Record 

  • Having a business entity in the Philippines is not enough to act as IOR
  • NTC and OMB requirements may be in place depending on the type of equipment being importedPhilippines customs is notoriously strict when it comes to documentation being accurate
    • You may be required to provide original commercial invoices and purchase orders
    • Shipments may be subject to brand protection controls

IT Shipping & Logistics

  • Last-mile delivery in the Philippines has a high variance in lead time due to its geography as an archipelago 

Importer of Record and Pre-Shipment Documentation  

Accurate Documentation

Philippines customs mandate that shipment measurements and product descriptions are very specific. For example, the documented dimensions (size and weight) of a shipment must be identical to the shipment that arrives in Manila, down to the kilogram.  Even a small discrepancy between the shipping documents’ and the final packages’ weight and dimensions can cause the shipment to get stuck in customs. We’ve seen a 1 kg difference in the shipment’s weight on paperwork vs. what is processed at customs cause problems during customs clearance.

Similarly a discrepancy between what equipment is declared on the documentation and what is actually included within your shipment could lead to inspections and delays. 

Brand Protection Controls

Certain manufacturers only allow the import of their equipment into the Philippines with their written permission, for example Apple products. Before shipping to the Philippines, you have to understand whether the brand you’re looking to ship has such restrictions. In some cases permission letters, original commercial invoices and purchase orders may also be required to prove to customs the origination and commercialization of the products.


Importer of Record Services 

In the Philippines, to act as the Importer of Record, it’s not enough to just have a business entity.  For example, many of our clients have actual business entities registered in the Philippines but those same entities often do not have the customs accreditation needed to conduct imports or exports, thus they need to hire an IOR on their behalf.

The IOR must also be able to complete any necessary permits. For many of our clients,  NTC and OMB permits are required due to the nature of the commodity they typically ship (telecommunications and computer equipment.) While an NTC permit is required for most IT shipments, OMB is only required for certain commodities (see below). 

IT Shipping & Logistics

An important logistical consideration for the Philippines is that it consists of many remote island locations. This makes choosing the right method of transportation for last-mile delivery important. While air freight to Manila often takes a few days, final ground transportation with ferry connections can take longer. It’s important to plan projects and installations ahead of time to take this into account. Without adequate planning, engineers can miss their deadlines for installation.

FGX manages all of our client’s shipments door-to-door (or door-to-data center). This case study showcases how we navigated IT logistics and importation into the Philippines at the time that it was written. Regulations and challenges are constantly changing and exact shipping requirements may have changed. To learn more about FGX and how our global shipping platform can help your company, reach out here.



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