Living in The Philippines > Getting here and back and getting items here and back

Importing Personal Items

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Hi folks,  newbie here looking for advice info on importing my personal household stuff into the Philippines from the U.K.

I've  been in touch with Customs and the B.i.R. who gave me a list of the documentary requirements and suggested I get an authorized representative as the docs need to be submitted in person in Manila, and I'm in Mindanao😕

I've searched Google without success for an authorized representative has anyone been through this process and used an authorized representative, if so who did you use?

Also a large part of my belongings is made up of my vinyl record collection some 2000+ has anyone else imported, as I read somewhere that collectibles are not exempt from duty, is this so as when I mentioned to the B.I.R. they didn't say anything?

Thanks in advance for advice/info!


Hello Sam and welcome to the forum...
First things first, we here at the forum would enjoy it if you could post a brief introduction about yourself so we can get to know you a little bit.
You can do that here.

Now to your question.
I have not imported any goods to the RP yet so an agent recommendation from me will not spark joy.
I'm sure there are a few here that will speak up over the next couple days on that.
But I did a little Google search myself and came up with a whole list of sites that give plenty on importing goods to the RP and I will link them below along with my Google results.
The reason they are recommending an agent is because someone has to be present in person, in customs to receive the goods once they have cleared.
So if not you, then the reason for an agent.
So here are the links for you to read up on.


Links to my Google search are here

And again, welcome aboard.

While waiting for others to speak up with their experiences, here is a Google search result for you to explore.
I would start by checking reviews and see how past customers found their experience.

Google results for Philippines import agents

I'm going to keep this very generalized for on here.  If you want more specifics, send me a PM.
I sent a lot of my stuff via LBC.  Every year I get boxes of stuff sent here from the USA as I live out in the boondocks, so to say.  Hard to get stuff that is easy to get in the USA where I live. 
When I sent the stuff, or had/have stuff sent me, the items are listed as VERY general items.  Instead of "Kitchenaid stand mixer" it'll be "Kitchen tool" 
I've never had a single box opened.   Talking a lot of boxes, and never a single one opened by anyone from when sent from it's place in the USA to when it was delivered to my home here.
Now, for you there might be another option.  This has been covered here somewhere else on the site inside that last decade so it's probably still on the site, I just don't know where.  But, if you and your wife are moving back, she can use a one time deal where she can actually have a whole shipping container sent back and no need to pay any import fees or that other junk.  Only the cost you'll need to play for the transportation of said shipping container to your address in the Philippines.  An American who retired and moved to a place close to where I live had that done when he moved over.  Cheap? No, not really.  But I believe, if I remember correctly, it was not even opened or checked.  Moved all of their furniture, their truck, and appliances with other odds and ends in it.  A 40' long shipping container.
The last option requires you to have a Pinay wife who is "returning home" to the Philippines.  If you don't have that, forget about it.

Gray Wolf:
Balikbayan boxes can be used for most items. But if you really want to use a shipping container keep in mind you will also have to pay for the container itself. Shipping costs are figured using port to port cost, or door to door cost. The cost of the shipping container itself depends on size and whether it's used or new. A used 40 ft container ranges from $3500-$5000, while a new container can cost $6000-$8000. Cost will vary depending on where you ship from and who you purchase your container from.
Ballpark shipping cost based on several sites I crawled through would be roughly $4000 to Manila. Figuring cost of container plus shipping fees would be roughly $10,000 which would pay for a lot of balikbayan boxes. Furniture in the Philippines can be purchased for less than furniture in the US.
Vehicles shipped in containers must also meet rigorous specs. Engine size is restricted. All fluids must be removed from the vehicle. Can't have anything flammable being shipped.
Lots of details that you will need to research. Good luck


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