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Buying a book from abroad? Here's how you can import books to PH without paying fees

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published May 20, 2023 4:40 pm

It's always a disheartening dilemma for bookworms whenever they find out that the book they want to buy isn't available in any local store in the country, and that they have to break open their wallets or make "pasabuy" from friends to import them from abroad.

However, that big inconvenience may end as the Bureau of Customs (BOC) has shared that you can import books to the Philippines without having to shoulder expenses for customs duties and taxes.

It should be noted that the books you're planning to purchase are not for advertising purposes. Aside from this, there are also certain limitations to the number of copies per title you can bring in.

According to a memorandum circular that the government agency issued in 2014, those exempted from paying customs duties and taxes and don't require an endorsement from the Department of Finance's (DOF) Revenue Office are individual buyers or recipients who will bring not more than six copies of a single book. Institutional buyers and recipients are meanwhile given more leeway as they are allowed to import up to 12 copies of a single book.

Those who will bring in more than what is allowed, but are not for advertising purposes, should pay customs duties and taxes and present an endorsement from the DOF Revenue Office.

This can be applied regardless of whether the books are carried in a passenger's baggage, sent by mail, air express cargo, or by other means, but items must still be declared following BOC regulations.