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Answers from the Tariff Code and National Internal Revenue Code on the most
frequently ask questions.

1. What is the role of the Bureau of Customs in the Postal Service?

(CMTA Sec. 438 Postal Item or Mail)

Postal item or mail shall be include letter-post and parcels, as described in

the international practices and agreements, such as the Acts of the Universal Postal
Union (AUPU), currently in the force.

A simplified procedure shall be used in the clearance of postal item or mail,

including the collection of the applicable duties and taxes on such items or goods.

When all the information required by the customs are available in the special
declarations form for the postal items as provided in the AUPU or similar
international agreements, the special declaration form and supporting documents
shall be the goods declaration. However, a separate goods declaration shall be
required for the following:

(a) Goods whose value fall within the the level that the Commissioner has
determined to be taxable and thus must be covered by a goods declaration;

(b) Prohibited and regulated goods;

(c) Goods the exportation of which must be certified; and

(d) Imported goods under a customs procedure other than for consumption.

2. Why does my mail (parcel) need to be opened or examined?

(CMTA Sec. 420 Condition for Examination)

Pursuant to the internationally acceprted standards, the Bureau mat adopt

non-intrusive examination of goods, such as the use of x-ray machines.

Physical examination of the goods shall be conducted when:

(a) it is directed by the Commissioner on account of the derogatory


(b) the goods are subject to an Alert Hold order issued by the competent

(c) the goods are electronically selected for physical examination;

(d) there are issues and controversies surrounding the goods declaration and
the import clearance process, or

(e) the importer or declarant requests for the examination of the goods.
The Commissioner may exempt from physical examination the goods of
authorized economic operators or of those provided for under any existing trade
facilitation program of the Bureau.

Physical examination, when required, shall be conducted in an expeditious


3. What are the articles subject to duty?

(CMTA Sec. 104 When Duty and Tax Is Due on imported Goods)

Except as otherwise provide for in this Act or in other laws, all goods when
imported into the Philippines, shall be subject to duties upon importation, including
goods previously exported from the Philippines.

Unpaid duties, taxes and other charges, shall incur legal interest of twenty
percent (20%) per annum computed from the date of final assessment under
Section 429 of this Act, when payment becomes due and demandable. The legal
interest shall likewise accrue on any fine or penalty imposed.

Upon payment of the duties, taxes and other charges, the Bureau shall issue
the necessary receipt or document as proof of such payment.

4. What are the bases of assessment of Duty?

(CMTA Sec.)

(CMTA Sec. 708 Exchange Rate)

For the assessment and collection of import duty upon imported goods and
for other purposes, the value and prices thereof quoted in foreign currency shall be
converted into the currency of the Philippines at the current rate of exchange or
value specified or published, from time to time, by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas