Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Customs Broker?
Licensed by Professional Regulation Commission and the Bureau of Customs, a customs broker may act as an agent for commercial businesses importing product to Philippines. In order for a shipment to be released by Philippine Customs and other government bodies, such as Department of Agriculture or the Department of Transportation and Communication, all required documents and forms must be supplied to them. A H.S. Tariff classification number must be applied to each product imported. This code determines the rate of duties and taxes that must be paid to Customs Philippines. With all the changing rules and regulations in cross-border transactions, is makes good business sense to use a Customs Broker.
What does it cost to use a Customs Broker?
A brokerage fee is usually determined by the total value of the shipment being imported. In some cases, a set rate or fee is agreed upon between the broker and client. Talk to us now for best rates.
What paperwork is required?
When importing to the Philippines, a commercial invoice can be used. The following information must be noted on the invoice:
  • total value of goods,
  • currency of purchase,
  • country of origin (of manufacture),
  • shipper,
  • consignee full name and address,
  • a piece count and detailed description of the product(s).
A Certificate of Origin from the ASEAN is required to take advantage of preferential duty rates when applicable. Talk to us now for further details.
How do I pay Duties and Taxes?
Once credit has been established, an account is created for your company with a line of credit. GAAC Customs Brokerage can pay on your behalf for any monies owing related to the duties and taxes applicable to each shipment processed. GAAC Customs Brokers will issue your company an invoice covering all duties, taxes and fees incurred for that shipment. All invoices are required to be paid in full within 15 days of clearance. Talk to us now so we will know how best to help.
What if my goods are crossing at any port in the world where GAAC Customs Brokerage does not have an office?
GAAC Customs Brokerage has agents all across the world to expedite Customs clearance for your company. All information pertaining to the shipment is sent to our head office where our Out Ports professionals will arrange for clearance at any port across the world that you may require. We will do our best to help so talk to us now.
The courier I use offers customs brokerage service, is there a difference?
Companies that move freight do just that. Proper customs clearances should be left to the professionals, GAAC Customs Brokerage. Mistakes are not taken lightly by Bureau of Customs. Contact us for details.
Can GAAC Customs Brokerage Arrange the Shipping of my Goods?
GAAC Customs Brokerage can provide any transportation service that you may require. From international air and ocean freight into the Philippines or Overseas to North American truck freight, full loads or less than full loads and rail shipments anywhere in the Philippines. Talk to us now so we will know how best to help.
Can GAAC Customs Brokerage assist with the export of goods to the Philippines?
Yes, GAAC Customs Brokerage can perform customs clearance at any port of entry in the Philippines. Talk to us now.
Do I need to open an account before trading?
Do I need to collect my shipment once customs cleared?
The choice is yours. We can arrange collection/delivery if requested.
Will I need to contact the airline?
Initially you will have to contact the airline to nominate us as your clearing agent.
Will I receive customs documentation for my records?
You will receive copies of the customs entry & airline documentation along with your invoice.
Do I need to be VAT registered?
You will if you are a company but not if you are a private importer. Talk to us now so we will know how best to help.
What if I do not have a registered VAT number?
You will have to apply for a pseudo VAT number prior to customs clearance. Talk to us now for guidance.
Can you do this for me?
No, but we can supply you with the application forms.
When is the best time to talk to your Customs Broker?
Before your shipment arrives or before your first entry.
Clearance of my merchandise: What do I need?
GAAC Customs Brokerage requires the following, at a minimum, in order to prepare an entry:
  • Commercial Invoice - Preferably in English, which describes the product, terms of sale, and the purchase price FOB origin port. If the product originates in a country other than the one you purchase from, the actual country of origin of the merchandise should appear somewhere on the invoice. The name of the seller and the buyer and the currency of purchase should be clearly stated. Some importers think that they should include as little information as possible in the invoices they provide to their Customs Broker. This works against you! When we can't get enough information to substantiate a lower duty classification on merchandise, we are required to use the higher classification. So, give your Customs Broker enough information to do the job properly.
  • Bill of Lading or Air Waybill - This is the transport document that covered the movement from origin to the port of entry.
  • Country of Origin Marking - One of the most common problems that will hold up an entry is when the product or merchandise does not have any marking which indicates its origin. "Origin" does not necessarily mean where you bought it. "Origin" should be discussed with your Customs Broker so that you understand the term as it relates to Customs. Marking requirements are clearly stated in the regulations and we at GAAC Customs Brokerage can be a valuable asset in determining what you must do. Talk to us now for further guidance.
  • Other regulatory agencies - Some products are also subject to approval by other agencies of the Philippine Government before entry is approved. Among these are: Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD), Department of Agriculture (DAR), Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and others. Discuss this with us at GAAC Customs Brokerage as we can coordinate entry with these agencies as part of our service. Do not delay, talk to us now.
  • How long does it take? - After the first few entries, where Customs may take a little extra time to become familiar with your company and the products you import, the usual time for clearance can be a short as a few hours up to 2-3 days. Perishables are usually cleared immediately.
  • Your Cooperation - The Customs Broker is a professional that wants to do the best job for you, our Client. In order for this to happen, you, our esteemed client, should work closely with us at GAAC Customs Brokerage in supplying needed information, paying duties (import taxes) on time, and generally including the us at GAAC Customs Brokerage as part of your Team. Remember, your Broker relies upon the information you supply. If the information is erroneous or incomplete and a penalty is issued by Customs, YOU will be receiving that penalty.
Why should I consider using GAAC Customs Brokerage as my customs broker?
  • We're good at what we do.
  • We've been doing it quite a while.
  • Our customers like us and will tell you so.
  • We have a worldwide network of agents so you control your shipping cost.
  • We want your business and are willing to work to keep it.
So talk to us now.