Importing Medicines, PPEs, etc. Now Easier Than You Think

The importation of medicines, personal protective equipment, laboratory equipment, medical equipment and devices intended to address the COVID-19 public health emergency may now be conducted swiftly. With the promulgation of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act[1]  donations, acceptance, and distribution of these equipment shall not be unnecessarily delayed and shall be exempt from import, duties, taxes and other fees.[2]

Accordingly, the requirements to facilitate the release of imported medical supplies and equipment are:

  1. a License to Operate (“LTO”); and
  2. a Certificate of Product Registration (“CPR”) or proof of application for product notification with the FDA.[3]

These requirements shall be presented to the Bureau of Customs (“BOC”) to clear the commodities for entry into the country.[4]

The LTO application may be processed online and granted high priority thru the FDA ePortal System or https://eportal.fda.gov.ph/.[5]


[1] Republic Act No. 11469, An Act Declaring the Existence of a National Emergency Arising from the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation and a National Policy in Connection Therewith, and Authorizing the President of the Republic of the Philippines for a Limited Period and Subject to Restrictions, to Exercise Powers Necessary and Proper to Carry Out the Declared National Policy and for other Purposes

[2] Section 4(o), Republic Act No. 11469, 23 March 2020; Customs Administrative Order (“CAO”) No. 7-2020

[3] Section 6.1, Customs Administrative Order (“CAO”) No. 7-2020 and Section 4, Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1, Creation of Bayanihan One Stop Shop for Securing License to Operate (LTO) to import COVID-19 Critical Commodities for Commercial Distribution

[4] Section 4, Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1, Creation of Bayanihan One Stop Shop for Securing License to Operate (LTO) to import COVID-19 Critical Commodities for Commercial Distribution

[5] FDA Circular No. 2020-006, Guidance for Applications and Transactions at the Food and Drug Administration in Light of the Community Quarantine Declaration, 17 March 2020