Restrictions in Bringing Medications to the Philippines

Prohibited Importations

These are items generally prohibited, except when given permission under highly controlled conditions as provided for in the law. Some of these prohibited items are the following: 

  • Dynamite, gunpowder, ammunitions and other explosives, firearms and weapon of war, and parts thereof
  • Written or printed articles, negatives or cinematographic film, photographs, engravings, lithographs, objects, paintings, drawings or other representations of an obscene or immoral character
  • Articles, instruments drugs, and substances designed, intended or adapted for producing unlawful abortion, or any printed matter which advertises or describes or gives directly or indirectly information where, how and by whom unlawful abortion is produced
  • Roulette wheels, gambling outfits, loaded dice, marked cards, machines, apparatus or mechanical devices used in gambling or the distribution of money, cigars, cigarettes or other articles when such distribution is dependent on chance, including jackpot and pinball machines or similar contrivances, or parts thereof
  • Lottery and sweepstakes tickets except those authorized by the Philippine government, advertisements thereof, and list of drawings therein
  • Any article manufactured in whole or in part of gold, silver, or other precious metal or alloys thereof, the stamps, brands or marks of which do not indicate the actual fineness of quality of said metals or alloys
  • Any adulterated or misbranded articles of food or any adulterated or misbranded drugs in violation of the provision of the "Food and Drug Act"
  • Marijuana, opium, poppies, coca leaves, heroin or any other narcotics or synthetic drugs which are or may hereafter be declared habit forming by the President of the Philippines, or any compound, manufactured salt, derivative, or preparation thereof, except when imported by the government of the Philippines or any person duly authorized by the Dangerous Drugs Board for medicinal purposes only
  • Opium pipes and parts thereof, of whatever material
  • Used clothing and rags (RA 4653)
  • Toy guns (LOI 1264 dated July 21, 1982)

Regulated/Restricted Commodities

As defined under Central Bank Circular No. 1389, series of 1993, as amended, regulated or restricted commodities are generally allowable importations but clearance/permits must be obtained from appropriate government agencies before they can be imported. Some of these commodities and their corresponding Regulatory Agency are as follows:



Acetic anhydride (513.77-01)

Dangerous Drug Board (DDB)


National Food Authority

Sodium Cyanide (523.81-01)

Environmental Management Bureau

Chlorofluorocarbon and other Ozone Depleting Substances (511.36-03/04.511.37-00/511.38-01/511.38-09)

Environmental Management Bureau

Penicillin/derivatives (541.31-00/542.13.01/542.13-09)


Refined petroleum products (Appendix 1-A)

Energy Regulatory Board

Coal and Coal derivatives (321.10-00/321.21-00/ 321.22-00/322.10-00)

Energy Regulatory Board

Color Reproduction Machines NBI and Cash Department (Subgroup 751.3)

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)

Various Chemicals for the manufacture of explosives (Appendix 1-B)

PNP Firearms and Explosives Office (PNP-FEO)

Onions, garlic, potatoes and cabbage, for seedlings purposes

Bureau of Plant Industry

Pesticides incl. Agricultural Chemicals (Appendix 1-C)

Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority

Motor Vehicles, Parts and Components (Appendix 1-D)


Truck and automobile tires and tubes, used, of all sizes (LOI, 1086-Nov. 25, 1980)


No-dollar imports of used motor vehicles


All commodities originating from Socialist and other centrally planned economy countries


Warships of all kinds


Radioactive Materials


Legal tender Philippine currency in excess of PHP5,000

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)

Others (Appendix 1-B)

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)

Agricultural Products produced locally in sufficient quantity (Appendix 1-F)

Department of Agriculture thru the National Food Authority