All you need to know about shipping coffee from Philippines

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According to trade statistics from the International Coffee Organisation (ICO), world coffee exports amounted to 9.95 million bags of coffee in just September 20221 alone, making it one of the most traded commodities in the world. As one of the world’s most consumed beverages, revenue in the coffee segments of the Philippines amounts to US$5.82 billion in 2022 and is projected by Statista to have an annual growth rate of 8.75%

With the coffee industry being a profitable business venture, e-commerce coffee merchants in the Philippines can take advantage of this booming industry to sell coffee.

This guide discusses all you need to know about shipping coffee beans from the Philippines internationally. This includes the country, the countries that import the most coffee and coffee beans, the process of shipping these items, and the local documents and permits required. 

Countries that import the most coffee

Coffee is traded and consumed heavily by people worldwide. In the latest report published by Statista, experts estimated the market value of coffee in 2020 to be US$465.9 billion, falling in second place behind gasoline and fuels.

In 2020, the top 10 countries that imported the most coffee and coffee beans were the United States, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Netherlands, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. The United States is the largest coffee importer in this list of countries, importing US$5.68 billion

Popular types of coffee shipped internationally

While there are four types of commercially-viable coffee – Arabica, Excelsa, Liberica, and Robusta – in which the Robusta and Arabica are most commonly traded globally. 

Arabica is the world’s most popular coffee bean shipped internationally, making up 60% of the world’s coffee. Many of the top 10 importers mentioned earlier, like Germany, the USA, and Italy prefer the Arabica bean. On the other hand, many espresso drinkers favor Robusta beans due to their aromatic, robust flavors, quality, and caffeine levels. As such, countries like Italy, which prides itself on espresso coffee, ship large amounts of Robusta coffee beans. 

Due to specific production requirements and climatic conditions, coffee beans can only be grown and harvested in certain geographical regions. Thanks to its archipelagic nature and tropical weather, the Philippines has ideal climactic and soil conditions from its lowlands and mountainous regions to grow all four varieties. Hence, as a coffee-producing country, it is no surprise that merchants in the Philippines aim to export to major coffee-consuming countries and increase international demand. In a report released by Volza, statistics have shown that the Philippines ships most of its coffee beans to Japan, the US, and Canada. Not only does this shipping coffee internationally generate revenue, but it also helps support coffee farmers obtain better prices for their crop, in turn, building the country’s reputation as a coffee origin on the global stage. Sending coffee internationally also often happens between producing countries as well.

The best way to ship coffee beans internationally

Shipping coffee beans from the Philippines requires knowledge of the packaging your coffee needs, the documentation required, as well as the taxes and customs duties. The following sections discuss how you can send coffee beans from the Philippines to your customers. 

1. Classification 

Countries have different regulations governing the shipping of coffee. However, most countries classify coffee under commercial food imports. As such, you will have to check against the destination country’s specific customs regulations. However, one needs to be accredited and must have secured a Coffee Export Clearance (CEC) and Certificate of Origin (CO) from the country’s Department of Trade Industry (DTI)’s Export Marketing Bureau before one can ship coffee from the Philippines.

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2. Required documentation

In addition to the CEC and CO, you must complete certain documents before shipping coffee from the Philippines. Typically, this includes: 

  • Signed bill of lading (BL) or airway bill with the date of loading specified – documents that prove the products were received by the shipping company. 

  • Packing list – a document that itemizes all the products being shipped, their corresponding weights, and dimensions. 

  • Commercial invoice – a document that contains information on the value of the products being shipped

  • Validated exported declaration that has been stamped with Authority to Load and the date.

3. Taxes and duties

The taxes and customs duties for coffee are still applicable depending on the regulations of your intended shipping destination. For instance, while exporters can enjoy duty-free coffee shipping to the USA from the Philippines, they will have to pay for customs duties, assessed at ad valorem rates, when shipping coffee beans into Japan. Before shipping your coffee, it is best to check with your destination country’s customs office for more information on their applicable taxes and tariffs. 

Additionally, do note that all shipments require the Harmonized Systems (HS) codes and detailed descriptions of the package’s contents. This is to help the customs officials in the destination country match the HS code of your coffee shipment in order to calculate the payable duties before obtaining customs clearance. 

4. Packaging tips

Coffee beans can get damaged during shipping if air gets into the bag or if the bag breaks causing the beans to spill out. As such, it is crucial for you to use the right type and size of packaging. For instance, you can choose a shipping box that is two to three inches bigger than the coffee bag itself so that there is room for the packaging materials to protect your precious cargo. Ensure that there are no empty spaces between the box and the coffee bag to reduce the risk of damage. 

You can also use cushioning materials to secure your coffee bean shipment. Consider using the following materials to prevent any spillage or damage during the shipping process:

  • Bubble wrap

  • Packing nuts

  • Packaging tape

5. Finding a reputable shipping company

When shipping coffee from the Philippines internationally, it is best to engage the services of a reputable shipping company that has experience in handling such shipments – allowing your coffee beans to retain its quality even after it has been shipped. Shipping large quantities of coffee can be rather daunting and complicated; as such, the shipping company you choose should be able to provide you with the necessary documents and help you navigate the customs clearance process. 

They should also be able to properly package the items to prevent your coffee from being damaged during transit; they should also offer insurance so that you can be compensated if your coffee becomes lost or damaged during the shipping process. 

How DHL Express can help you to ship coffee internationally

Shipping coffee from the Philippines requires an understanding of the item’s HS classification in accordance with your export destination’s country, required documents, and the taxes, as well as customs duties applicable. As such, finding the right logistics partner to work with is essential in ensuring that your shipments arrive at their destinations quickly, safely, and in optimal conditions. DHL Express is a trusted and reliable courier that can help you ship your coffee beans and products internationally from the Philippines. Besides door-to-door delivery services, we also offer customs clearance facilitation, end-to-end tracking visibility, and other services to make the entire shipping process convenient for you. 

Open a business account with DHL Express today and find out how we can ship your coffee beans to different regions of the world and take your coffee business to new heights.