How to ship from the Philippines to the US

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Shipping policies can vary widely across countries and depend on the different laws the country adopts regarding the import of goods. The policies implemented by one country may not be followed by other countries. For example, shipping from the Philippines to the US requires following specific guidelines, such as those set out by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP)¹. To save time and money, those who wish to export to the US should have the most accurate and up-to-date information at their disposal. 

In this article, we go through key information on shipping from the Philippines to the US, such as tips for shipping, information on the various costs involved, and the most popular items delivered to the US from the Philippines. Read on to learn more. 

Understanding the trade relationship between the Philippines and US

The Philippines and the US has been enjoying long-standing trade relations for many decades. According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR)², the total estimated value of US goods and services trade with the Philippines was approximately US$25.3 billion in 2020. A report by Worlds Top Exports³ found that The US is the leading trading partner of the Philippines, accounting for 15.9% of total Filipino exports.

According to Trading Economics⁴, in 2021, electrical goods (such as electronics) account for the highest export value (at US$5.16 billion), followed by machinery (reactors and boilers) (at US$2.14 billion) and articles of leather (animal gut and travel good) (at US$530 million). 

The US can be a lucrative market for Filipino businesses in these industries to expand into as there is a proven demand for these goods from the Philippines.

The popular items from the Philippines to the USA

The Philippines exports numerous items to the US. These items span more than 60 different categories - from Electrical Equipment to commodities. In 2021, $5.16 billion worth of electrical machinery was exported by the Philippines to the US.

In fact, these are not the only categories that brought a considerable amount of money from export. $532.58 million worth of articles of leather, animal gut, harness, and travel goods, moreover, were Philippines to the US in 2021.  Other popular items shipped⁵ from the former to the latter include: 

  • Optical items, photographs, and medical apparatus ($494.65M); 

  • Vegetables, fruit, nut food preparations ($430.52M); 

  • Animal and vegetable fat and oils and their cleavage products ($359.91M); 

  • Furniture, lighting, prefabricated building components ($325.73M); 

  • Articles of knitted or crocheted apparel ($322.39M).

Tips for shipping from the Philippines to the US

While going international presents lucrative opportunities for any business, understanding the regulations and taxes in any country can be tedious and time-consuming. To provide some clarity, we have compiled a list of valuable tips before exporting to the US.

1. Being aware of shipping restrictions

Like any country in the world, there is a list of restricted and prohibited products in the US. Learning the country’s policies on what can and cannot be brought in is essential and can save time and unnecessary problems when exporting to the US.

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It is also important to know the difference between prohibited and restricted. According to the CBP source above, prohibited means the law forbids the goods from entering the US, while restricted goods means the need to obtain a license or permit before it is allowed in. 

Certain products such as dangerous toys, cars and illegal substances like absinthe and Rohypnol are prohibited⁶ from entering the US. For instance, some restricted items in the USA include firearms, animal products, specific fruits and vegetables⁷, and require special permits from the respective federal agencies.


2. Preparing essential shipping documents 

Understanding customs regulations involves knowing the documentation required for you to ship your goods. When a shipment arrives at a US port, the relevant entry documents have to be filed within 15 days of the shipment arrival date. These documents are required to be attached to your parcel. For example, to import goods into the US, you would need to prepare a commercial invoice or a pro forma invoice, evidence of right to make entry documents, packing lists, and an Entry Manifest if applicable⁸. 

When shipping from the Philippines to the US, it is crucial to understand each country's customs regulations. 

3. Understanding customs fees

Customs duty is a tax imposed on goods when they move across borders. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) uses the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUS) to calculate the duty fees of an import item. Different categories of items have different duty rates ranging from 0 to 37.5%, which is then multiplied by the cost of goods to determine the customs duty. 

The CBP also collects other miscellaneous fees depending on the type of item that is being imported. For example, the Federal Excise Tax is imposed on the imports of tires and tobacco products. Before sending your package to another country, be sure to learn about the monetary costs involved in doing so, to avoid any unnecessary delays at customs. 

Start exporting to the US with a reliable logistics provider 

It can be difficult to know for certain the cheapest shipping from Philippines to the US, as the shipping cost varies between the logistics partners depending on the goods exported. DHL Express offers several express delivery options, including Urgent, Time-Sensitive delivery, where goods are delivered by the next possible business day. We also offer Optional Services which include shipment insurance and dedicated pickup options. 

While there is a lot to understand when it comes to shipping from the Philippines to the US, working with a reliable and trusted logistics provider like DHL Express can provide a greater peace of mind. With a wide variety of delivery services to cater to your need, we are here to ensure the smooth shipping of your packages to the US. Sign up for an account with us and start shipping today!