“I'd rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.”
― Lucille Ball

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Philippines Import Duty and Tax for High-tech products

Last week I ordered two Raspberry Pi computers for some hobby projects I am planning to do the next couple of months or so. Delivery was this week.

I will publish the project(s) results of it of course on this blog. One of them will be probably an on-line weather station.

I was surprised again to discover how much you pay for importing goods from abroad. Also in 2012, I ordered some high tech equipment for our swimming pool, also quite some import fees to pay.

So I thought it might be helpful for people living in the Philippines to share the details of import duties and tax for this type of high-tech goods.

I made the following table to show you the breakdown per parcel.

  1. I used the historical exchange Credit Card rates of the week of the purchase; probably Customs uses the bank rates.
  2. Import duty is based on the Asean Harmonized Trade Nomenclature (AHTN) and Tariff rates in Book 12 (see link below); as a non-customs person I would need hours to find out which tariffs apply for a certain parcel/shipment with different materials and/or equipment. Maybe customs uses sophisticated programs to do this. As such I didn't verify the calculated percentages of 8% and 4% respectively.
  3. VAT is 12% for all goods, so I don't understand why the second shipment has a calculated percentage of 28.
  4. CDS is on top of Import duty, and depends on the shipment value; this amount is for shipments up to 250.000 PHP. For the second shipment VAT was added.
  5. CDS is a fixed amount, however they didn't apply it for the first shipment.
  6. I don't know what it is, there is also no info on the customs site (see link below). 
  7. Excise tax is for imported vehicles, as far as I understand.
  8. The total percentage of import costs of a shipment/parcel can be quite high, especially if the imported value is relatively low.
For more info on duties and tax visit the site of the Bureau of Customs here.

For more info and details on the Customs Duty percentages (Rate of Duty according to AHTN) see here.


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