Sun. Jun 16th, 2019
importing cars

OFW Guide: Importing Cars To The Philippines

Bringing home cars to the Philippines can be an appealing idea to Filipinos who live or work abroad, where they can purchase cars at a cheaper price or already own a vehicle.

Importing cars to the Philippines is possible but it comes with certain conditions. Importing cars also entail a lot of money, which is why many OFWs get discouraged about bringing home cars they have bought while working in another country.


According to the Bureau of Customs, imported vehicles are subject to custom duty and taxes.

“Whether brand-new or used, purchased or donated, the imported vehicle is subject to 40% Customs duty, 10% VAT and Ad Valorem Tax from 15% to 100% depending on its piston displacement. Its book value serves as the tax base and not the purchase price nor the acquisition cost,” reads the BOC website.

OFWs who are going back home can opt to sell their car but for those who still want to proceed importing their vehicle, the first thing that you need to do is determine if the car can be classified as used or new.

Your vehicle will be considered brand new if it has not yet been registered or used yet, the car’s mileage has not exceeded 50 kilometers, you bought the car from the dealer as the first owner and the vehicle is a current year model. Otherwise, your car will be considered used.

You can only bring home a used car for personal use if you are a Filipino citizen who stayed overseas for more than a year or an immigrant who holds 13G visa.

For used cars, the vehicle should have gross vehicle weight (GVW) not exceeding 3 tons. It should also come with a Certificate of Authority to Import, which is issued by the Bureau of Import Services (BIS).

The car should also be registered for at least 6 months before the date of application to ship it to the Philippines. The BOC said that imported used cars are for personal use and cannot be resold for a period of at least three years.

Make sure that your used vehicle has prior import authority (PIA). Otherwise, authorities may seize it and you will likely have to pay a lot to have it released. To receive a PIA, you need to submit an application form you can get from the BIS as well as proof of continuous stay abroad for one year or more,  registration papers and proof that the vehicle was brought out of your earnings abroad.

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