restrictions in bringing medicine & other regulated products to the philippines

Over the counter drugs are available in pharmacies or drug stores in the country. However, if visitors insist on bringing their own prescriptive drugs, they may do so but only in quantities sufficient for the duration of their stay in the country.

Visitors taking prescription drugs (tablets and ampoules) should bring a letter from their physician stating the condition for which they are receiving treatment and the dosage with English translation. The amount of drugs brought into the country should also be sufficient for the duration of the visit. For those who are travelling onward to another country, they are advised that separate quantity of drugs should be sealed and declared again before exiting the country.

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, ammunition 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)

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:

Commodity Description /
Commodity Group (PSCC Code)
Regulatory Agency Issuing
Permit or Clearance
Acetic anhydride
Dangerous Drug Board (DDB)
RiceNational Food Authority (NFA)
Sodium Cyanide
Environmental Management Bureau
Chlorofluorocarbon and other Ozone Depleting Substances
Environmental Management Bureau
Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD)
Refined petroleum products
(Appendix 1-A)
Energy Regulatory Board (ERB)
Coal and Coal derivatives
(321.10-00/321.21-00/ 321.22-00/322.10-00)
Energy Regulatory Board (ERB)
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 purposesBureau of Plant Industry
Pesticides incl. Agricultural Chemicals
(Appendix 1-C)
Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority
Motor Vehicles, Parts and Components
(Appendix 1-D)
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)/
Board of Investment (BOI)/
Bureau of Import Services (BIS)
Truck and automobile tires and tubes, used, of all sizes
(LOI, 1086-Nov. 25, 1980)
Department of Trade and Investment (DTI)
No-dollar imports of used motor vehiclesDepartment of Trade and Investment (DTI)
All commodities originating from Socialist and other centrally planned economy countriesPhilippine International Trading Corporation (PITC)
Warships of all kindsMaritime Industry Authority (MARINA)
Radioactive MaterialsPhilippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI)
Legal tender Philippine currency in excess of PHP5,000Bangko 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