Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


The following provide answers to frequently asked questions on business registration, investments, accreditation, product standards, pricing, or warranty.

Balikbayan Box Shipment

Q. What is the typical transport flow of balikbayan boxes?

A. Below is a typical Transport Flow of Balikbayan Boxes:

The Balikbayan Box Shipment Flow Chart shows the processes of shipping Balikbayan boxes from overseas.

Overseas Filipinos usually engage the services of a foreign consolidator/principal sea freight forwarder in sending their balikbayan boxes to their relatives in the Philippines. The foreign consolidators collect door-to-door charges from the OFWs as senders. These charges includes the fees for a shipping line/carrier, terminal storage, duties and charges, and the accredited Philippine agent/local freight forwarder.

The balikbayan boxes are delivered by accredited Philippine agents/local sea freight forwarders to consignees or recipients in the Philippines.

Q. What is the problem / issue on the delivery of balikbayan boxes?

A. There are instances when foreign consolidators/principal sea freight forwarders do not remit a portion of their collected charged to their accredited Philippine agents/local sea freight forwarders to prompt the release and delivery of balikbayan boxes.

When necessary funds are not remitted to accredited Philippine agent/local freight forwarders, the shipments or the balikbayan boxes with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will not be released and will not be delivered to consignee / recipients.

Q. What office / agency addresses the said problem / issue?

A. The Business Licensing Accreditation Division (BLAD) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) operates the accreditation scheme for sea freight forwarders based on its Administrative Order No. 6, series of 2005. The FTEB-BLAD holds both the foreign consolidator / principal and its Philippine agent / freight forwarder jointly and severally liable for the delivery of cargoes to the consignees.

Q. What are the approaches to the issue of undelivered balikbayan boxes?


  • Prevention (How to Avoid Being Victimized)
    • Enhanced Information Campaign
    • Advisories / Alerts
    • Tips on Sending Balikbayan Boxes
    • Blacklist
    • OWWA, BOC, DFA, Embassies/Consulates, OFW Orgs, DTI
    • Commercial Attaches, DTI Regional/Provincial Offices, Consumer
    • Agencies of Foreign Governments, Freight Forwarders’ Regulatory
    • Agencies of Foreign Government
  • Cure (Assistance to Compalinants/Victims)
    • Formal Charges/Sanctions versus Erring Freight Forwarders (both local and foreign)
    • Endorsement to Law Enforcement Authorities
    • Coordination with the Bureau of Customs and other concerned government agencies

Q. If the Philippine agent/freight forwarder holds delivery of balikbayan boxes because its foreign principal fails to remit the necessary funds therefore, what can FTEB-BLAD do to help the consignee?

A. FTEB-BLAD shall order the Philippine agent/freight forwarder to deliver the cargoes to their rightful owners (consignees) without any delay. Failure of the Philippine agent/freight forwarder to deliver the cargoes immediately shall constrain FTEB-BLAD to file a Formal Charge against the freight forwarder for the revocation of its accreditation (if the forwarder is BLAD-accredited) or a Cease and Desist Order (if the forwarder is not BLAD-accredited) as well as applicable fines as provided in PSB A.O. 6, series of 2005.

Q. How does DTI handle complaints pertaining to balikbayan boxes?

A. DTI’s Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) has a Business Licensing and Accreditation Division, Mediation Division and Adjudication Division that handle complaints on balikbayan boxes.

Q. How does one file a complaint with DTI regarding balikbayan boxes?

A. Complainants, (either the shipper or consignee) should file a written complaint together with supporting documents showing the name of the local delivery agent/forwarder such as official receipts, cargo receipts, packing list, shippers’ declaration, house bills of lading, or waybills, with DTI-FTEB. They can also send their complaints through email at and or call DTI Direct at (02) 751-3330 / 0917-8343330 (SMS Only).

Q. What sanctions/penalties may DTI impose on freight forwarders violating existing policies on balikbayan boxes?

A. DTI may impose administrative fines in the amount of Php 50,000, Cease and Desist Order, or suspension or cancellation of accreditation pursuant to PSB A.O. No. 6 series of 2005.

Q. What are the common complaints received by DTI regarding balikbayan boxes?

A. Most of the complaints on balikbayan boxes are for:

  • Non-delivery
  • Loss
  • Pilfered
  • Damaged

Q. How much are the shipping rates of balikbayan boxes? How long is the transit time from origin to destination?

A. The rates differ depending on the size (small (26”x26”x26”), medium (26”x26”x34”), large/jumbo (26”x26”x42”), (53x51x76cm), (76x56x61cm), regular (23”x17”x20”), extra-large (71x43x57cm)) of the balikbayan box and the origin of the balikbayan box shipment. Below is an estimated door to door rate of a typical balikbayan box and its transit time from origin to destination.

Estimated Door to Door Rates of a Typical Balikbayan Box and Transit Time by Destination

 Metro ManilaVisayasMindanao
Door to Door Rate (USD)Transit Time (in days)Door to Door Rate (USD)Transit Time (in days)Door to Door Rate (USD)Transit Time (in days)
Middle East50-9035-4566-10040-5071-11050-60

Q. Where are most balikbayan boxes coming from?

A. Balikbayan boxes usually come from the following countries:

  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Europe
  • United States of America (USA)
  • Singapore

Q. What are the tips in shipping balikbayan boxes?

A. The following are tips to ensure that your balikbayan boxes reach its destination:

  • Check the list of Foreign Freight Forwarders and their DTI accredited Philippine counterparts/agent
  • Always remember that the following items are NOT allowed to be sent through balikbayan boxes:
    • currencies, checks, money orders and traveller’s checks;
    • jewelries:
    • firearms, ammunitions and explosives;
    • prohibited drugs and other substances;
    • pornographic materials, gambling cards and toy guns;
    • pirated products e.g. DVD, CD;
    • items of commercial quantity;
    • plant seeds and plant materials, and
    • any food stuff that are not in cans, sealed packages, or in bottles
  • Declare all the contents of your balikbayan box in the packing list per item and its corresponding value, if possible, as well as your preferred shipping date. Ask for proper (or extraordinary, if needed) packing, wrapping, strapping, sealing and labeling of your box.
  • Secure shipping documents such as official receipt, cargo receipt, invoice, house Bill of Lading, shippers’ declaration or waybill.
  • Get the name and contact details of the consolidator’s Philippine counterpart/agent. Be sure that this information is indicated in the shipping documents that you have secured.
  • Beware of exceptionally very low rates.
  • Beware of persons posing as representatives of freight forwarding companies in your place. Ask for proper identification, check with the freight forwarding companies if they are an employee or authorized to represent the said companies.
  • Monitor the movement of your cargo from origin to destination. You may inquire for a tracking scheme or continuously contact the forwarding company. You may ask them to provide you details of your shipment such as the name of shipping line, vessel’s name, voyage number, container number, and expected time of departure and arrival of your package. You can use the Bureau of Customs Balikbayan Box Tracker to monitor your shipment.
  • You may also procure insurance for your cargoes. Ask the freight forwarding company on how to go about it.
  • Inform your consignee to check your cargo with the Philippine agent even before it arrives. When it does, make sure to inspect the seal and wrapping of the box before signing the receipt of delivery. If you feel it has been tampered with, do not receive the box and ask the delivery agent to have it double-checked.
  • Immediately file a complaint for any loss, non-delivery, pilfered or damaged cargo to DTI-FTEB at G/F Floor, UPRC Bldg., 315 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City or send through email at or call DTI-Direct 751.3330 or 0917.834.3330 (SMS only) for assistance.
Business Name Registration

Construction Industry

Investment Facilitation

PAB Accreditation
Price Tag

Q: What is the provision on Price Tag under R.A. 7394?

A. The provision on Price Tag, under R.A. 7394, requires that all consumer products sold in retail to the public shall bear an appropriate price tag, label, or marking indicating the price of the article. Such consumer products shall not be sold at a price higher than that stated in the price tag.

Q: What is a price tag?

A: A price tag is a label attached to a commodity stating the price at which it is offered for sale.

Q: Why is there a need for price tag?

A: To provide buyers with adequate information and guide to enable them to compare quality and prices of goods, and patronize stores selling quality products at low prices.

To discourage and minimize haggling which is a waste of time and energy of both buyer and seller. To expedite transactions and enable both the buyer and seller to use the time and energy for more productive endeavors.

Q: What are the characteristics of a Price Tag?

A: A price tag should:

  • Be clearly written;
  • State the price of the commodity per unit (piece, package, pair, dozen, set, kilogram, meter, liter, etc.) in pesos and centavos, Philippine currency, except when a law or regulation allows consumer products to be sold in foreign currency as in the case of duty free shops; and
  • Bear no erasures or alterations of any sort.

Q: When are erasures or alterations in price tag allowed?

A: Erasures or alterations are allowed only in price reduction sales promotion campaigns.

Q: Is the use of codes in price tags allowed?

A: Generally, prices of consumer products and services shall not be written in code. However, the following are the exceptions:

  • If the codes are used in addition to price tags, labels, markings, or price lists
  • If the codes are used in combination with shelf pricing which when scanned will show the price. This exception shall be employed only by establishments which comply with the requirements under Department Administrative Order No. 9, Series of 2002.

Q: What are the minimum terms of express warranty under the Consumer Act that shall be given by a seller or manufacturer?

A: The following shall be stated in an express warranty :

  • The terms of warranty, written in clear and readily understandable language;
  • The warrantor’s identity;
  • The party’s identity to whom the warranty is extended;
  • The products or parts covered;
  • The warrantor’s action plan in the event of a defect, malfunction or failure to conform to the written warranty;
  • The directive to the consumer to avail of the right which accrue to the warranty;
  • The period within which, after notice of defect, malfunction, or failure to conform to the warranty, the warrantor will perform any obligation under the warranty.

Q: What are the requirements for establishments intending to use codes in combination with shelf pricing?

A: Establishments intending to use codes in combination with shelf pricing shall be allowed to use such pricing system only upon meeting the following:

  • The establishment should use itemized receipt or cash register tape which states the description, size, quantity, and individual price of the consumer goods purchased.
  • Each establishment shall install at least one Price Verification Counter (PVC) or similar electronic system strategically located in the establishment, provided that in case the establishment structure is multi-storey, at least one PVC shall be installed per storey.

Q: When is a price list allowed?

A: When a consumer product is too small or the nature of which makes it impractical to place a tag thereon; and in case of consumer services.

Q: What are the documents to be presented to the seller or vendor in case the consumer opts to have the defective product repaired, replaced, or refunded under an express warranty?

A: The consumer should present a copy of the warranty card or documents and the official receipt of the product sold or bought.

Q: Is a price tag required on samples or dummies on display?

A: Yes, samples or dummies of products offered for sale on retail when displayed within the retail outlets shall also bear the prices of products which they represent.

Q: Is price tag required for lumber?

A: Yes, in the case of lumber sold, displayed or offered for sale to the public, the same shall be tagged or labeled indicating thereon the price and the corresponding official name of the wood.

Product Standards

Q: What is the Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS)

A: The BPS is a governmental body under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).  It is the National Standards Body of the Philippines and is responsible in developing/ adopting, implementing and promoting Philippine National Standards (PNS), as mandated in Republic Act (RA) 4109, Series of 1964, Letter of Instruction 1208, Executive Order (EO) 913, Series of 1983 and EO 133 Series of 1987.

  • As the National Standards Body, BPS supports industry and protects consumers’ welfare through: development and promulgation of standards; product testing and certification; accredited private emission testing centers; national registration scheme for quality assessors; international cooperation on standards and conformance; product certification and other standardization activities.
  • BPS is involved in the development and application of national, regional and international standards, of which many are developed in partnership with various technical committees and working group. As Philippine representative in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), BPS ensures that Philippines’ voice is heard, worldwide.
  • The objectives of BPS are embodied in the Philippine Standardization Strategy.  Objectives are in line with the key result areas of the programs being implemented by the DTI that include investment expansion, export growth, promotion of  consumer welfare including  industry and SME development.
  • To attain its objectives the Bureau is involved in Standards Development;   Conformity Assessment Activities such as product certification, testing, and registration of quality assessors;  information dissemination and training, and international standards work. The accreditation services for  Private Emission Testing Centers likewise was introduced in support of the implementation of the Clear Air Act of the Philippines.
  • BPS extends its services throughout the Philippines thru the DTI Regional and provincial offices. It has its office located at 361 Senator Gil J. Puyat Avenue, Makati City, Philippines.

Q: What are the authorities and responsibilities of Bureau of Philippine Standards?


  • Establish Philippine National Standards for products, as well as test methods and codes of practice, to provide the technical bases for the importation of quality and safe products and for the inspection, testing and certification of these products.
  • Provide the BOC a list of products under mandatory BPS product certification as a guide to incoming shipments.
  • Shall inspect and obtain samples from import shipments, covered by mandatory BPS product certification, for testing and certification purposes.
  • Shall issue Conditional Release pending the issuance of import commodity clearance and if ICC will be denied, the importation shall be re-exported by the importer.
  • Conduct necessary tests for products
  • May request the assistance of the PPSQFI in the protection of the consumers and the general public from unsafe and sub-standard products.
  • Shall grant Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) to importers, on per shipment per Bill of Lading / Airway bill basis.
  • Will issue Conditional Release for purposes of facilitating the release of goods of importers accredited under the BOC’s Super Green Lane.
  • Shall recommend to the BOC the issuance of Warrant of Seizure and Detention for offending shipment.

Q: What are the authorities and responsibilities of the DTI Regional/Provincial Offices as far as Imported products under mandatory certification?


  • Shall grant Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) to importers, on per shipment per Bill of Lading / Airway bill basis
  • Will issue Conditional Release for purposes of facilitating the release of goods of importers accredited under the BOC’s Super Green Lane
  • Shall recommend to the BOC the issuance of Warrant of Seizure and Detention for offending shipment

Q: What is a standard?

A: Standard is a document, established by consensus and approved by a recognized body, that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context. Standards should be based on the consolidated results of science, technology and experience, and aimed at the promotion of optimum community benefits.

Q: What are the types of standards?


  • Basic standard – standard that has a wide-ranging coverage or contains general provisions for one particular field. It may function as a standard for direct application or as a basis for other standards.
  • Terminology standard – standard that is concerned with terms, usually accompanied by their definitions, and sometimes by explanatory notes, illustrations, examples, etc.
  • Testing standard – standard that is concerned with test methods, sometimes supplemented with other provisions related to testing, such as sampling, use of statistical methods, sequence of tests.
  • Product standard – standard that specifies requirements to be fulfilled by a product or a group of products, to establish its fitness for purpose. It may include in addition to the fitness for purpose requirements, directly or by reference, aspects such as terminology, sampling, testing, packaging and labelling and, sometimes, processing requirements. It can be either complete or not, according to whether it specifies all or only a part of the necessary requirements. In this respect, one may differentiate between standards such as dimensional, material, and technical delivery standards.
  • Process standard – standard that specifies requirements to be fulfilled by a process, to establish its fitness for purpose
  • Service standard – standard that specifies requirements to be fulfilled by a service, to establish its fitness for purpose. Service standards may be prepared in fields such as laundering, hotel-keeping, transport, car-servicing, telecommunications, insurance, banking, trading.
  • Interface standard – standard that specifies requirements concerned with the compatibility of products or systems at their points of interconnection
  • Standard on data to be provided – standard that contains a list of characteristics for which values or other data are to be stated for specifying the product, process or service

Some standards, typically, provide for data to be stated by suppliers, others by purchasers.

Q: Why are standards needed?

A: We need standards because standards contribute in making life simpler and increasing the reliability and effectiveness of the goods and services we utilized.

Q: What is standardization?

A: Standardization is an activity of establishing, with regard to actual or potential problems, provisions for common and repeated use, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context. In particular, the activity consists of the processes of formulating, issuing and implementing standards. Important benefits of standardization are improvement of the suitability of products, processes and services for their intended purposes, prevention of barriers to trade and facilitation of technological cooperation.

Q: What are the aims of standardization?

A: The general aims of standardization follow from its definition. Standardization may have one or more specific aims, to make a product, process or service fit for its purpose. Such aims can be, but are not restricted to, variety control, usability, compatibility, interchangeability, health, safety, protection of the environment, product protection, mutual understanding, economic performance, trade. They can be overlapping.

Q: What are Philippine National standards? The international Standards?

A: Philippine National Standards (PNS) are documents established by consensus through technical committee and approved by the Bureau of Philippine Standards, that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context.

International standards are standards that were developed by an International standardizing standards organization an made available to the public e.g. International standard published by International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), Codex Alimentarius etc.

The Standards 101: Quick Guide to Standards Development shows the stages of standards development facilitated by the Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS).

Q: How are Philippine National Standards being developed?

A: Standards are prepared through Technical Committees method or Fast Track method.

Q: How are Philippine National Standards being developed through Technical Committee Method?

A: Standards prepared through a technical committee method usually undergo series of deliberation and then circulated for two months to all sectors concerns for their technical views and comment. In order to achieve the purpose of standardization, transparency and consensus, a technical committee shall, as much as possible, represent the following sectors;

  • Academe
  • Trade/Industry
  • Consumer
  • Professional Groups
  • Research institution(s)
  • Government agencies
  • Testing institution(s)

Q: How does the DTI-BPS enforce the mandatory implementation of certain PNS?

A: After declaring a standard or PNS under mandatory implementation, the BPS develops the DAO’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). Then, together with concerned government agencies and the affected industry, prepares a timetable for implementation.

The DTI’s Regional and Provincial Offices perform the monitoring activities in the market to assure that only inspected products are found in the market.  The DTI’s Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection (BTRCP) receives and facilitates complaints on consumer products.

Likewise, the BPS conducts enforcement activities when there are reports on non-compliance of the standards.

Q: How does one avail of copies of standards?

A: Anyone can visit or come to SDC and research on the specific standard you need.

Interested clients may also purchase the specific standards they want at a minimal fee, based on our Sales Unit price structure.  You can also e-mail us at or fax at (632) 751-4706 regarding the standard they need.  We require pre-payment for ordered PNS or international standards.

Q: There are international standards or foreign standard not available at BPS-Standards Data Centre.  Can BPS help clients get copies of these?

A: Yes, as a member body of ISO, the Standards Data Centre can facilitate acquisition of needed standards.  You need to write a letter requesting for the specific standard you need.  Order for any standard requires pre-payment.

Q: What time is the Standard Data Centre open to the public?

A: Our Standards Data Centre is open Monday to Thursday from 8:00 am – 12:00 noon, 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm.

Q: What is the Standards Data Centre?

A: The standards Data Centre is the unit of the Bureau of Philippine Standards that provides information on standards and standards related matters, both national and international. e.g. – standard specification, test methods, technical product guides, vocabulary and definition of terms, technical handbooks etc.

Q: What services are offered by the Standards Data Centre?


  • Information service – Dissemination of information on standard and conformity assessment and other standard related information matters to stockholders.
  • Establish linkages with standard information service of ISO, NSBs, and other standardizing bodies for the exchange of information
  • Library service – provide standards, both local and international and related technical documents to researchers
  • Standard Sales – provide for sale of national & international standards to interested parties

Q: Who may avail of SDC’s services?

A: All stakeholders may avail of the services of SDC. Among our interested clients are various trade / industry sector, consumers, students, government and private institutions and other regulatory agencies, etc.

Q: What is a product certification?

A: Product certification is a process that determines whether a product is manufactured according to the requirements of a standard.

Q: Why product certification?

A: Products under mandatory product certification are subjected to inspection and testing of the BPS prior to distribution and selling in the market. A manufacturer or importer whose product is under mandatory product certification cannot sell or distribute without the license and clearance from BPS authorities to use the PS Mark or the ICC Mark.

Q: What are the benefits of product certification?

A: There are numerous benefit that consumers, manufacturers and trade get from product certification:

  • For Manufacturers
    • Enhances competitiveness of products in domestic and export markets
    • Improves company sales and profitability
  • For Traders
    • Improves reputation as a source of quality products
    • Attracts quality-conscious buyers
    • Strengthens buyer’s confidence in a product leading to increased sales
  • For Consumers
    • Assures product quality, safety, and reliability

Q: What are the products under mandatory certification?

A: The list covers the products that are not being enforced by other government agencies such as the Department of Health and Department of Agriculture. The list is updated from time to time to include other products for the protection of consumers from substandard products. This can be obtained from BPS free of charge.

Q: What is a PS certification scheme?

BPS operates a product certification scheme under which a manufacturer obtains a license to use the Philippine Standard (PS) Quality and Safety Marks for its capability to consistently manufacture products in accordance with a specific Philippine National

Standard (PNS) or an international accepted foreign standard.  This scheme is covered by Department Administrative Order No. 01, Series of 1997:  Revised rules and regulations concerning the Philippine Standard (PS) Quality and/or Safety Certification Mark Scheme.

BPS issues the PS license to a manufacturer whose product has successfully passed the requirements of a PNS.  With the license, the manufacturer affixes the PS Mark on his product or product package.

The PS Quality Mark can be found on locally manufactured products. It assures consumers that the product they are buying conform to the specific Philippine National Standard or an internationally accepted foreign standard.

The PS Safety Mark, on the other hand, when found on a product, especially a household appliance or electrical products, guarantees the product’s conformance with relevant safety requirements.

Q: What are the types of audit conducted by BPS during the PS Quality and Safety Certification?


  • Quality System Audit. During the quality system audit, BPS assessors conduct an actual visit to the company’s plant to check whether the company is capable of managing effectively its quality system for the manufacture and delivery of its products based on the requirements of the applicable PNS ISO 9000 series of standards or its future amendment.
  • Product Audit
  • In-plant testing. BPS assessors witness the actual testing of product samples using the company’s own facilities and resources.  The objective of this activity is to check whether the company is applying the requirements of the standard in the production of its product.  This type of product audit will also initially determine if the product meets the requirements of the standard.
  • Independent testing. BPS assessors draw samples of the product from the company’s manufacturing site and submit these for testing by BPS or by BPS accredited testing laboratory.  Independent product testing is BPS means of affirming the results of the in-plant test.

Q: What is an Import Commodity Clearance?

A: For imported products, the BPS runs the Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) certification scheme and is covered by Department Administrative Order No. 5:2001: Revised Rules and Regulations Concerning the Issuance of the Import Commodity Clearance. Under the scheme, ICCs are issued to importers whose shipments have been found to conform to the requirements of the relevant Philippine National Standards or acceptable international or foreign standards. In addition to satisfactory test results of import shipments, BPS conducts random checks at market outlets to make sure that imported shipments consistently meet the requirements of the applicable Philippine standard.

Q: What does the BPS Product Certification Scheme require from the manufacturers?

A: Specific conditions from manufacturers of products under mandatory implementation are to be followed in the PS Certification Scheme. A manufacturer will not only apply for the PS Mark, but also align its system to ISO 9000 Series of QMS (Quality Management System). This internationally acclaimed standard is a user’s mechanism to attune its procedures in the plant/factory/office in a very organized manner.

Q: What does the BPS Product Certification Scheme require from the importers?

A: On the other hand, in the ICC Certification Scheme, an importer shall apply for an ICC per shipment of its product, from the BPS, before it can distribute in the market.  If its product is NOT under mandatory implementation, BPS issues an exemption.  If it IS under mandatory implementation,  the importer shall subject a product sample from the shipment of the product to inspections to BPS.  If the product passes all required test, then BPS issues the ICC to an importer for them to distribute the product in the market.

Q: What is the PS License to a manufacturer?

A: The PS License is a manufacturer’s commitment to continuously conform to the requirements of a standard and the PS Certification Scheme. It serves as an authority to use the PS Mark on the products covered by the PS License.

Q: How would we know if the product is certified by the Bureau of Philippine Standards?

A: Products sold in the market should bear the PS/ICC mark.  PS is for products manufactured in the Philippines while the ICC is for imported products.  Products that bear these markings signify that the product went through the quality requirements of the BPS.

Q: How much is the penalty if we were caught selling uncertified products?

A: According to the schedule of fines stipulated in DAO 2, series of 2002 including other administrative sanctions.  Please refer to DAO 2 for more details of penalties.

Q: What happens during the mediation hearing?

A: A mediation officer would discuss your violation, and you will be given the chance to settle the case amicably with a corresponding settlement fee and related administrative sanctions.  This is if you accept your violation and is willing to settle.  If the case is not settled in the Mediation stage it will be elevated to the Office of Legal Affairs.

Q: If we have complaint where can we contact you?  What should we do?

A: You could call us at 751-3130 and give us the details of your complaint.  Your complaints can be addressed more easily if it is written instead of verbal.

Q: We were not informed of our liabilities as seller.  Does the DTI-BPS conducts seminar regarding DAO2:2002?

A: Yes.  The DTI-BPS has conducted series of Awareness Seminars on DAO 2 in the National Capital Region including Cebu, Bohol, Ilo-Ilo, Legaspi, Naga, Palawan, Davao and Vigan.  Moreover, DAO 2 has been published in the Official Gazette and in the  newspaper of general circulations. 9 DAO2 Awareness Seminars in Bohol, Ilo-ilo, Legaspi, PESA, NCR and Palawan.  We also have in Cebu, Davao, Vigan.

Q: Does BPS has its own testing facilities?

A: Yes, the BPS Testing Center (BPSTC).

Q: How much is the fee for testing of products?

A: It depends.  If the product is a regularly-tested product at BPSTC of its accredited laboratories, please refer to the Test Fee Table.  In cases where the sample submitted is not a regularly tested product, the item need to be assessed by BPSTC to determine the applicable tests and the corresponding testing fee.

Q: Where do we pay the testing fee?

A: The BPSTC receiving section has a responsible person for collecting fees and issuing the corresponding official receipt.

Q: What is the lead time for testing of products?

A: Product test table shows the lead times for testing.  However, these lead times are applicable should there be no queue in the concerned laboratory.  Kindly verify with BPSTC for the actual queuing situation.

Q: With whom will I discuss should I have a question regarding the testing of my product?

A: Please contact the following BPSTC Officers:

  • For Chemical Testing – MR. ANTONIO D. PANARA (Head, BPSTC Chemical Lab)
  • For Mechanical Testing – MR. EUSEBIO MB URBANO, JR. (Head, BPSTC Mechanical Laboratory II)
  • For Electrical Appliances – MR. JAY V. ILLESCAS (Head, Electrical Appliance Lab II)
  • Other Electrical Products – MR EUSEBIO MB URBANO, JR. (Head, Electrical  Applicance Laboratory I)

Q: Can all products be tested at BPSTC?

A: No.  In general, the products being tested at BPSTC and BPS-accredited laboratories are limited to those products that subject to PS Mark and ICC Marking Schemes.  Please refer to the Product Test Table for details.  If you have a product that you need to be tested, BPSTC can assist you by bringing the item to the BPSTC and our engineers will be glad to determine if BPSTC or other laboratories in its knowledge has capability to test their product(s).

Q: Are agricultural products and food/drug products tested at BPSTC?

A: Agricultural products and food and drug products are tested by Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Health (DOH), respectively.

Q: Does BPSTC do calibration service?

A: No. BPSTC only calibrates its own equipment and is not offering calibration services.  Please contact the National Metrology Center of the Industrial Technology Development Institute 9ITDI-DOST)

Q: What are the kinds of products tested at BPSTC?

A: Refer to the BPSTC Product Testing Capabilities

Q: Should I have any complaint regarding BPSTC services, whom should I communicate with?

A: You can directly communicate your concerns to the Head of the BPS Testing Center, Mr. Antonio D. Panara, at BPS Testing Center, MIRDC Compound, Gen. Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig, Metro Manila or at Tel/Fax No. 838-0542 or at National Registration Scheme for Assessors.

Q: What are the requirements to register to the National Registration Scheme for Quality Auditor?

A: You have to submit the original and authenticated copy of the following:

  • College Diploma and Transcript of Records
  • Certificate of successful completion of a Lead Auditor’s Course (from recognized certifying bodies?
  • Certificate of trainings attended
  • Evidences (technical and industrial experience) for the scope being applied for.

Q: Where will I get an application form?

A: You will get your application form at the Bureau of Philippine Standards, 3/F Trade & Industry Building, 361 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City.  The application fee is P200.

Q: What level should I apply?

A: There are three (3) levels for registration and the following are the requirements:

  • Provisional Auditor
    • Educational Requirement – College graduate
    • Work Experience – minimum of 4 years actual experience, at least two (2)  years of which was devoted to quality management assurance or equivalent activities
    • Training Requirements – Lead Auditor’s Course
    • Audit Requirements – none
  • Auditor
    • Educational Requirement – College graduate
    • Work Experience – minimum of 4 years actual experience, at least two (2)  years of which was devoted to quality management   assurance or equivalent activities
    • Training Requirements – Lead Auditor’s Course
    •  Audit Requirements – minimum of 4 actual experience in complete 2nd or 3rd party assessment for a total of at least 20 days within 3 years, prior to application.

Q: Can I apply directly for lead auditor level or do I have to register at a lower level first?

A: You may apply directly for the level of your choice.  You are not required to register for the provisional level if you have the audit experience for a higher level.  The level of registration offered is dependent on the audit experience you submit.

Q: Can I have more than one registration?

A: Yes, you can hold as many registrations as you wish on different programs but you cannot hold two levels on the same program.  Each registration incurs it own set of fees.

Q: I completed my training course over three years ago.  I now wish to apply for registration, do I need to repeat the course?

A: Not necessarily, your training may be accepted if you can supply is with evidence confirming that you have kept skills and knowledge needed for effective auditing up-to-date i.e relevant training courses, on the job training, self study etc.  your skills, knowledge and experience must have been acquired within the three-year period prior to application.

Q: Do I need to submit a new application if my registration has lapsed and I want to be re-instated?

A: Yes, definitely.

Q: What is the WTO/TBT Agreement?

A: The  WTO/TBT  Agreement, sometimes  referred  to  as  the  Standards  Code,  is  one  of  the  multilateral  agreement  negotiated  during  the  Uruguay  Round (1986-1994),  the objective  of  which  is  to  facilitate  trade  and  reduce  market  fragmentation  by  removing  impediments  to  trade  resulting  from  the  creation   of  unnecessary  technical  barriers  to  trade.

The  Agreement  tries  to  ensure  that  standards, technical  regulations  and  conformity  assessment  procedures  do  not  create  unnecessary  obstacles  to  international  trade, while  leaving  Members  adequate regulatory  discretion  to  protect  human, animal  and  plant  life  and  health, national  security, the  environment, consumers  and  other  policy  interest.

It  is    binding  and  compulsory  for  all  WTO  members.  Although  special  and  differential  exists  for  at  least  developed  and  developing  countries,  the  latter  should  understand  that  producing  standards  lower  than  those  required  by  the  market  would  make  it  difficult  to  export.

Q: What are barriers to trade?

A: These are measures  in  place  in  the  country  to  which  you  wish  to  export  which  makes  it  difficult,  even  impossible  for  you  to  export  your  products  or  services  to it. Such  measures  are  undesirable because  they  restrict  the  flow  of  goods  and services, drive up  prices and  are  to  the  detriment  of  the consumer.

Q: What  are  the  types  of  barriers  to  trade

A: There  are  two  types- (1)  tariff  barriers  which  refer  to  duties and  taxes  and  (2) the  non-tariff  barriers  in  the  form  of  standards,  technical  regulations  and  conformity  assessment  procedures

  • Standards
    • Technical  specifications  describing  characteristics  of  products  or  related  processes  and  production
    • May  also  cover  terminology,  symbols, packaging,  marking  or  labeling  requirements  as  they  apply  to  a  products,  process or  production  method
    • Compliance is voluntary
  • Technical  Regulations
    • Documents which  lay  down  product  characteristics  or  their  related  processes  and  production  methods,  including  the  administrative  provision
    • May  also  cover  terminology,  symbols, packaging,  marking  or  labeling  requirements  as  they  apply  to  a  products,  process or  production  method
    • Compliance  is  mandatory  and  imposed  by  regulatory  authorities
  • Conformity  Assessment  Procedures
    • Technical procedures such as testing, verification, inspection, certification, accreditation or combination which confirm that products fulfill the requirements laid down in regulations and standard.

Q: What are standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures considered as technical barriers to trade and not TBTs?

A: Standards/technical  regulations.

Q: What are the effects of these TBTs to Philippine Exporters and Consumers?

A: TBTs  relate  to  additional  costs  and  administrative  work  on  the  part   of  the   consumers  and   exporters (e.g.  loss  of  economies,  conformity  assessment,  information  or  surprise  costs)  resulting  to  delay  in  the  flow  of  trade  among  nations.

Q: How can TBTs be eliminated?

A: TBTs  can  be  eliminated  in

  • Standardization/harmonization
  • use  of  relevant  international  standards  in  formulating  or  adopting  technical  regulations     and  voluntary  standards
  • use  of  relevant  international  guides  and  recommendations  developed  by  international  standardizing  bodies  as  the  basis  for  conformity  assessment  procedures
  • purpose:  to  create  single  technical  rules  and  compatibility  and  interoperability  of  products
  • Implementation  of  the  mutual  recognition  agreement (MRAs)
  • Observance  of  the  “Code  of  Good  Practice  for  the  Preparation,  Adoption  and  Application  of  Standards”  by  other  central  government  bodies  (local  governments  and  private  standards  writing  bodies)

Q: When did the Philippines started implementing the WTO/TBT Agreement? And what government agency is available?

A: The  Philippines  commenced  its  obligation  on  01  January  1996  upon  ratification  of  the  Uruguay  Round  Table  negotiations  including  the  revised  TBT  Agreement.

In compliance  to  Article 10  of  the  Agreement,  the  Bureau  of  Product  Standards  of  the  Department  of  Trade  and  Industry  acts the  National  Notification  Authority  and  Focal  WTO/TBT  Enquiry  Point  in  the  country.  It  can  be  reached  at:

WTO/TBT  Enquiry  Point

Bureau  of  Product  Standards

3/F  Trade  and  Industry  Building

361 Sen. Gil  J. Puyat  Avenue

Makati  City, Philippines

Tel. No.:  (632)  890-4965/890-5227

As  an  Enquiry  Point  BPS  is  tasked   to  respond  to  enquiries  on  technical  regulations,  standards, conformity  assessment  procedures,  membership  and  participation  of  the  member  in  international  and  regional  standardizing  bodies  and  conformity  assessment  systems.

Ability of  the  Enquiry  Point  to  provide  information   could  lead  to  avoidance  of  conflicts  with  other  member  countries,  reduction  of  additional  administration cost and  transparency  will  increase  and  expansion  of  trade  and  inward  of  foreign  direct  investments.

Q: What benefits does a member-country get from the WTO/TBT Agreement?

A: Technical  assistance  to  member  countries  in  terms  of  establishment  of  national  standardizing  bodies,  participation  in  international  standardizing  bodies,  establishment  of  regulatory  bodies,  and  establishment  of  bodies  for  the assessment  of  conformity  with  standards  or  technical  regulations.

Implementation  of  the  TBT  Agreement  generally  bring about  trade  expansion  and  greater  economic   efficiencies.

Q: What benefits do the business community get from the WTO/TBT Agreement?

A: The  business  community  may  also  benefit  from  the  following  areas:

  •  Industry  sectors  are  given  the  opportunities  to  examine  and  comment  on  prospective  foreign  technical  regulations  proposed  by  WTO  members.  This  enables  Philippine  exporters  to  compete  on  an  equal  footing  with  other  foreign    manufacturers, especially  if  the  certification  mark  is  well  recognized  by  consumers.
  •  Considered  as  an  instrument  enabling  the  Philippines  to  elevate  its  position  in  matters  which  affect  the  country’s  national  export:
  •  Forum  for  discussion  and  negotiations
  • Provide Philippine  exporters  with  technical  information  and  market  guidance
  • Philippine  suppliers  could  gain  access  to  foreign  certification  marks
  • Participation in training programs organized by WTO:

Q: What is MRA?

A: Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) is an arrangement between two or more parties to mutually recognize or accept some or all aspects of one another’s conformity assessment results (e.g. test reports, certificates of compliance).  Through MRAs, products that are tested and/or certified before export can enter the importing country directly without having to undergo similar conformity assessment procedures in importing country.  What is recognized in the MRA is the competence of the conformity assessment body of the MRA partner to perform conformity assessment activity against the other party’s requirements.

Q: What are the benefits of MRA?

A: All MRAs have the potential to benefit exporters in terms of reducing costs, inefficiencies, and overcoming barriers to trade.  Through MRAs, exporters can test products once and obtain certification and acceptance in all other markets that are party to the MRA.  This helps to reduce time to market and unnecessary costs associated with duplicated testing and inspection of products.

MRA can enhance regulatory efficiency by recognizing and perhaps accepting another party’s testing and certification results.  Hence the regulator’s limited resources can be diverted for other tasks.  Moreover, regular evaluation of products and processes by the MRA partners and systematic sharing of product information between government regulators can enhance consumer protection.

Q: What is the role of the Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS) in the MRA?

A: As a regulatory body for industrial products, the BPS negotiates and enters into MRA with its counterpart regulatory bodies to facilitate the export of Philippine products at the same time protect the safety and welfare of consumers.

Q: Does the BPS enters into MRAs yet?


  • Bilateral:
    • National Standardization Agency (Badan Standardisasi Nacional or BSN) of Indonesia on Product Certification and Approval Schemes.
    • Japan Electrical Safety and Environment Technology Laboratories (JET) of Japan on Factory Inspection and Product Tests.
    • Standards Australia Quality Assurance System (SAQAS) on Factory Inspection.
    • Memorandum of Understanding with SIRIM QAS International Sdn Bhd of Malaysia on Inspection of factories and consignment, Certification of products and processes, Exchange of technical information, Promotion of each other’s schemes and services, and Training.
  • Multilateral/Plurilateral:
    • Recognition of test results of the ASEAN MRA on Electrical and Electronic Equipment. Information Exchange of the APEC MRA on Electrical and Electronic Equipment
Product Warranty

Q: What is the primary law governing all contract of sales with conditions and warranties?

A: The provisions of the New Civil Code on conditions and warranties shall govern all contracts of sales with conditions and warranties.

Q: What are the responsibilities of a seller / vendor under the New Civil Code in cases of express warranties?

A: Under Article 1561, a vendor or a seller has the responsibility to ensure that the items he or she sells has no hidden defects.

Q: What kind of defects of the item sold shall make the vendor or seller liable?

A: If the defects should render the item sold totally unfit for the use for which it is intended, the seller or the vendor shall be liable for such defects. Second, if the defect should diminish or decrease its fitness or its use to the extent that if the buyer was aware of such defect he would not have bought the product or would have demanded a lower price for it.

Q: What are the instances where a vendor or seller may not be held liable in case of defects?

A: A vendor or seller may not be held liable in cases of patent defects pr those which are clearly visible upon inspection of the product bought. In case the defects are not visible, and the buyer is an expert, who by reason of his trade or profession should have known the defects, then the vendor or seller may not be held liable.

Q: What are the responsibilities of the seller or vendor as to the quality or fitness of the product sold in case there is no express warranty given to him?

A: The seller or vendor is liable to the buyer in an implied warranty, if such buyer make known to the seller expressly or impliedly, the particular purpose for which the goods are acquired. The vendor, by implication, warrants the general fitness or quality of the product sold to the buyer. Second, the seller or vendor is liable to the buyer if such buyer relies on the seller’s skill or judgment.

Q: Aside from the provisions of the New Civil Code, what are other laws that may apply in cases of express warranties?

A: In addition to the New Civil Code provisions on sale with warranties, the provisions of Title III, Chapter III of the Consumer Act of the Philippines shall govern the sale of consumer products with warranty.

Q: What are the minimum terms of express warranty under the Consumer Act that shall be given by a seller or manufacturer?

A: The following shall be stated in an express warranty:

  • the terms of warranty, written in clear and readily understandable language;
  • the warrantor’s identity;
  • the party’s identity to whom the warranty is extended;
  • the products or parts covered;
  • the warrantor’s action plan in the event of a defect, malfunction or failure to conform to the written warranty;
  • the directive to the consumer to avail of the right which accrue to the warranty;
  • the period within which, after notice of defect, malfunction, or failure to conform to the warranty, the warrantor will perform any obligation under the warranty.

Q: What is the difference between a Full warranty and Limited warranty (express)?

A: There is Full Warranty if the warranty conforms with the minimum standards for warranties. To conform with the requirements, the following should be found in a full warranty: First, there should be a remedy or relief offered to a consumer within the reasonable time and without charge in case of defect, malfunction, or failure to conform with such written warranty. Second, the warranty should give the consumer an option to either ask for a refund or replacement without charge of such product or part, as the case may be, where after reasonable number of attempts to remedy the defect or malfunction, the product continues to have the defect or to malfunction. A Limited Warranty, on the other hand, is when the written warranty does not meet the abovementioned minimum requirements.

Q: When shall the retailer be subsidiarily liable under the express warranty?

A: The retailer may be subsidiarily held liable attaches in the following instance:

In case where both the manufacturer and the distributor failed to honor the warranty the retailer shoulder the expenses and costs necessary to honor the warranty but the retailer is not prevented from pursuing actions against the distributor and manufacturer.

Q: What are the documents to be presented to the seller or vendor in case the consumer opts to have the defective product repaired, replaced, or refunded under an express warranty?

A: The consumer should present a copy of the warranty card or documents and the official receipt of the product sold or bought.

Q: What is the minimum duration or period of an express or implied warranty?

A: The duration of a warranty shall be reckoned with the following circumstances:

  • If there is a stipulation of the period agreed between the seller and the consumer within which the express warranty shall be enforceable;
  • If the implied warranty on merchantability accompanies an express warranty, both will be of equal duration;
  • Any other implied warranty: not less than 60 days nor more than one year following the sale of a new consumer product.

Q: What are the options given to a consumer in case of a breach of an express warranty?

A: First, the consumer can have the goods repaired. Warranty work must be made within 30 days. Such period may be extended by conditions beyond the control of the warrantor or his representatives.

Second, the product or its parts may be replaced.

Third, the consumer may ask for a refund from the warrantor. The amount directly attributable to the use of consumer prior to the discovery of the non-conformity shall be deducted.

Q: What are the options given to a consumer in case of a breach of an implied warranty?

A: The consumer may retain the goods and recover damages, or reject the goods, cancel the contract, and refund the amount paid for the product, including damages.

Q: Are secondhand consumer products covered by a warranty?

A: Generally, there is no implied warranty in the sale of secondhand articles, except when the goods are sold as to raise an implied warranty, i.e. if such buyer makes known to the seller, the particular purpose for which the goods are acquired. Doing so warrants the general fitness or quality of the product sold to the buyer. Second, the seller or vendor is also liable under a warranty in the sale of secondhand products if the seller has given an express written warranty.

Q: What is the jurisdiction of the DTI in the sale of secondhand consumer products?

A: DTI takes jurisdiction of complaints regarding secondhand products if such secondhand / surplus products are sold by persons engaged in the business of selling products and they have, in effect, power to enforce the warranty provided for such products. On the other hand, the complaint shall be filed with the appropriate regular courts if the person who sold the secondhand product is not engaged in the business of selling products, commodities, merchandise, and goods.