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PH bookworms, here’s a guide to importing books (free from tax and duties)

Book fairs are every bibliophile’s weakness. But despite their sea of options, sometimes the ones we’re looking for aren’t available locally; hence, our browsing mode on international bookstore sites. 

If purchasing from abroad is the best option, but you’re constantly held back by the customs-related work it entails, fret no more. Here’s a non-complicated guide on importing your favorite books to the Philippines while maintaining tax exemption. 

According to the guidelines posted by the Bureau of Customs on May 20, you need to follow a specific number of limits if you want to import books “unconditionally duty- and tax-free.” 

If you’re an individual importer or recipient, you can import any number of books, as long as there are no more than six copies of a single work. Meanwhile, institutional importers or recipients may also import any number of books, but only up to 12 copies of a single title. 

Just remember, these books should be only for personal use and not for advertising purposes.

In the official circular, it also states that the “imports of tax- and duty-free books imported by mail, air express cargo, or sea freight must still be declared following the usual Bureau of Customs regulations.” 

For detailed information, you can check out the memorandum here.

BTW, if you’re considering buying books for your thesis resources, might as well check out National Library’s free e-resources section first. You might save a ton of money.

Read more: 

Big Bad Wolf is coming back (and so is the guilt of ghosting my unread book pile) 

10 Junji Ito comics that still haunt us to this day

We made a wishlist for this year’s Big Bad Wolf online sale

Still from “The Big Bang Theory”


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