Shipping to Philippines From the US
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Did you know that 85.7% of internet-using members of the Philippines buy goods using ecommerce apps?
And thanks to the nation’s rising middle class with higher intent to spend and a growing young and tech-savvy population, there is definitely market potential for cross-border ecommerce.
Today, internet users in the Philippines order everything from smartphones to apparel to jewelry from the US.
But to launch into the Philippines market, it’s important to do research in advance to avoid expensive shipping and delays with international shipments.
This guide provides information on how to ship a package from the US to Philippines, plus tips on how ecommerce brands can better plan international shipping logistics with ShipBob.
Cost & delivery speeds for shipping to Philippines from the US
Some sellers are keen to deliver goods in the fastest way possible, while others are more cost-conscious and flexible when it comes to delivery timelines.
To optimize your shipping strategy, it’s important to be aware of the different shipping options available from US carriers. Below offers a list of services offered by the top four carriers.
We calculated the following rates using each carrier’s pricing calculators for a consistent example of a 2 lbs package in December 2021. Exact prices are subject to change.
Note: These are general options for consumers shipping orders. To know what ShipBob offers when shipping to other countries like Philippines, please request a quote here.
ShipBob’s exact rates for customers will vary as we charge an all-in ‘total fulfillment cost’ that includes picking, packing, and shipping, among other factors.
|USPS||First Class International||$25.65||10-12 business days|
|USPS||Priority Mail International||$56.76||14-16 business days|
|USPS||Priority Mail Express International||$74.66||4-8 business days|
|UPS||Worldwide Expedited||$45.03||4 business days|
|UPS||UPS Worldwide Saver||$46.74||3-4 business days|
|DHL||Express Worldwide||$46.61||4-10 business days|
|DHL||Packet Plus||$39.20||12-25 business days|
*USPS prices here reflect flat rate box shipping prices.
How to choose a shipping carrier
Whether you are shipping large or small parcels from the US to the Philippines, it’s important to identify the best carriers that can reliably deliver to buyers.
On that note, here is a list of the benefits and disadvantages of the top four international shipping carriers to help you make an informed decision:
Shipping to Philippines from the US with USPS
USPS ships to over 190 international destinations, including the Philippines, at some of the lowest shipping rates.
Global Express Guaranteed is the fastest and most expensive option that the carrier offers, while Priority Mail International is the slower, more cost-efficient option.
When to use USPS to ship from the US to Philippines
Whether you are an online retailer or individual buyer, you need to consider the parcel’s weight, size, fragility, urgency, and value when shipping overseas. If you are looking for an option that balances carrier service and affordability then choose USPS Priority Mail Express International that delivers to the Philippines in 3 to 5 business days.
Shipping to Philippines from the US with UPS
Depending on the type of parcel, you have many different international shipping options to choose from with UPS that deliver to the Philippines within 1 to 3 business days.
Value-added services such as parcel collection, fixed-rate pricing, returns, and shipment clearance are also offered by the carrier.
When to use UPS to ship from the US to Philippines
UPS is a very reliable shipping partner. It offers free customs support that can come in really handy once your goods reach the Philippines. With UPS, you’re given the fastest shipping option through Worldwide Saver.
Shipping to Philippines from the US with FedEx
FedEx Corporation is a shipping company, founded in 1971. Thanks to its superlative package tracking feature, reliable shipping service, and free customer care, it is a great option for those looking to send goods from the US to the Philippines.
When to use FedEx to ship from the US to Philippines
Online merchants who wish to enjoy the benefits of time-definite, customs-cleared, and door-to-door service to the Philippines may choose FedEx. The only drawback is the courier pickup is not free and there are fewer drop-off locations in the US than the other major carriers.
Shipping to Philippines from the US with DHL
This German shipping company that can be trusted to deliver your orders on time and securely to the Philippines. DHL also offers a milieu of logistics services such as warehousing and distribution.
When to use DHL to ship from the US to Philippines
DHL’s door-to-door service is great for businesses that want to ship to the Philippines without any stress of drop-offs. Though its service is quite expensive, almost three times the costs levied by the other major carriers, it is very reliable and environmentally friendly.
Duties & taxes when shipping to Philippines from the US
You can easily ship goods valued up to PHP 10,000 to the Philippines without having to pay any tax. But, for goods that are above this threshold value, a 12% VAT is levied by customs authorities.
Additionally, you will also need to pay customs duty on imports to the Philippines. This is calculated as a percentage of the import’s cost, insurance, and freight.
Don’t be surprised if the customs officer arbitrarily charges different duty rates for the same product. To avoid such a scenario, make sure you keep receipts and documents that show the item’s actual value handy.
Here is a list of the average percentage levied by the Philippines customs authorities as duty:
|Custom Duty %||Description|
|30%||Bags and luggage|
|0%||Computer and laptops|
|3%||Health and beauty|
|5%||Sports and leisure|
Note: Most foreigners and expats can enjoy an exemption on tax and duties for personal items if they are permanent residents, are in the Philippines for work, are retirees, etc. Also, no duty is charged on goods below $50.
You also need to pay excise tax on certain items such as alcohol, tobacco, jewelry, and perfumes.
Philippines customs information
The primary goal of the Philippine Bureau of Customs is to prevent illegal goods from entering the country and to collect duties for certain items. This is why parcels entering the country from the US need to be declared and clearly state the contents, quantity, and acquisition price.
But beware of tiresome paperwork and delivery delays. This can extend the customs clearance and last-mile logistics for 3 weeks to 4 months.
To know more about the country’s customs department here is a link to their website.
Prohibited items when shipping to Philippines
As per the Philippines law, there are three categories of goods that raise an alarm when imported into the country:
- Regulated imports: These are items that can be imported only after securing necessary permits or licenses. Some examples include plant and animal products, drugs and chemical products, electrical appliances, and tobacco products.
- Restricted imports: These are goods that can be imported only when authorized by the law. Some examples include explosives and firearms, gambling machines and paraphernalia, and opium pipes or parts.
- Prohibited imports: These are contraband goods that cannot ever be legally imported into the Philippines. Some examples are as follows:
Items you can’t ship to Philippines from the US
|Goods that infringe upon Intellectual Property Code and related laws|
|Goods for human consumption that are adulterated or misbranded|
|Goods that enable unlawful abortion|
|Obscene and pornographic materials|
|Any document that advocates or incites treason, rebellion, or sedition against the government of the Philippines, threatens to cause bodily harm to any individual in the Philippines, or encourages people to resist any local laws|
What ecommerce businesses need to know about shipping to Philippines
Ready to capture a share of wallet from customers in the Philippines?
Here are a few market truths to keep in mind:
1. Cater to discount seekers
The people of Philippines expect free shipping and huge discounts. This is why we recommend that you secure low-cost shipping from preferred carriers so that the cost saved can be passed on to the end customer.
2. Offer flexible payment options
Did you know that most Filipinos still prefer to pay in cash, considering less than 40% of the population has bank accounts?
This is why you must choose shipping carriers that enable payment options such as cash-on-delivery or payment centers (such as 7/11 stores) options.
At the same time, you need to account for the risk of order cancellation or delivery refusals. Since the number of mobile wallet users has reached around 25 million in 2020, you should also add it as an option to pay online.
3. Take measures against fraudulent practices
In the Philippines, fraud associated with cash-on-delivery is common. This reduces confidence in online purchasing. Hence, sellers must educate Filipino consumers on how to detect and avoid such risky situations and the measures that you have taken to protect their online transactions.
4. Hold sales during peak seasons
Most Filipinos purchase during March, April, May, November, and December when they receive salary bonuses. In these months it is recommended that your businesses offer sales and discounts to attract customers.
5.Insure packages and offer tracking
Since a lot of parcels go missing or get damaged during transit, it’s best to make your shipments trackable and get them insured. In this way, you will minimize business losses.
Let ShipBob handle the complexity of global shipping
To offer customers across the world a remarkable brand experience, consider partnering with an international 3PL like ShipBob.
Selling internationally can be challenging, time-consuming, and costly. But with ShipBob, you’re given everything you need to serve customers across the globe while saving time on logistics.
We not only take care of picking, packing, and shipping your orders to Philippines, we also offer upfront fulfillment costs that include customs, duties, and additional taxes.
Working with ShipBob can actually turn logistics and warehousing into a revenue driver because you can increase sales and offer the shipping options, transit times, and delivery speeds that customers want.
The best part about partnering with ShipBob is you get time back to focus on more strategic initiatives, such as customer service and marketing.
“By distributing our inventory across these countries and regions, all of our customers are able to get their orders much faster while paying reasonable domestic shipping rates.
We want to continue to spread our brand internationally and are glad that more of our customer base can get better shipping rates and delivery times. We’re still a small operation, but with ShipBob we can be a more global company.”
Wes Brown, Head of Operations at Black Claw LLC
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Shipping to Philippines FAQs
Below are answers to the most common questions about shipping to the Philippines from the US.
What’s the cheapest way to ship to Philippines from the US?
USPS offers some of the cheapest ways to ship goods from the US to the Philippines.
What’s the cheapest way to ship large packages to Philippines from the US?
USPS’ Priority Mail International Large Flat Rate Box is the perfect option to ship heavy parcels from the US to the Philippines.
What’s the fastest way to ship a package to Philippines from the US?
UPS Worldwide Saver provides an option to ship from the US to the Philippines in just 3 to 4 business days.
Do I have to pay customs duties and fees when shipping to Philippines from the US?
Yes, you must pay customs duty, VAT, and excise duty when importing goods from the US to the Philippines.
What’s the easiest way to ship something to Philippines from the US?
The easiest way to ship from the US to the Philippines is with UPS or FedEx since both of them have a significant local presence that makes parcel drop-offs easy. Both carriers are also quite reliable and offer expedited delivery.