What document to comply when travelling with plants in the Philippines?

Do you often buy souvenir items when you travel to places? Have you tried buying souvenir plants from the places you visit in the Philippines? If yes, please do read on to know about the document that you need to comply to get through the customs inspection.

In one of our trip to Cebu, I bought 4 pots of local bonsai plants as souvenirs. The seller lured us to buy four wonderful and promising bonsai plants, namely the Apple Bonsai, Millionaire plant, Golden Shower and the Red Money maker. Bonsai plants are derived from the japanese art of cultivating trees to grow them as miniature versions. The idea is to stun its growth as it is grown in a limited soil space hence the mini pots they are planted in. It was a welcome addition to our collection of home herbs that made the purchase an easy decision to make.

For a cheap price of ₱400 (8 USD), I willingly carried the plants off to the Ferry terminal of Cebu going to Ormoc. Only to learn that I can’t travel plants without procuring the necessary permit from the Bureau of Plant Industry. Hassle Eh?

Golden Shower Bonsai Plant from Sibunga Cebu

Golden Shower Bonsai Plant from Sibonga Cebu

Red Money Maker Bonsai Plant from Sibonga Cebu

Red Money Maker Bonsai Plant from Sibonga Cebu

Apple Pycos  Bonsai Plant from Sibonga Cebu

Apple Bonsai Plant from Sibonga Cebu

Millionaire Plants Bonsai, Sibonga Cebu

Millionaire Plants Bonsai, Sibonga Cebu


The Clearance Certificate for transport of Planting Materials/Plant Products is required by customs inspectors and could only be issued by the aformentioned government agency. Fortunately, the office of the Bureau of Plant Industry in Cebu is of walking distance from the Pier 1 Terminal. So off I went to Arellano Boulevard, Cebu City to request for the Plant Entry Permit from the Plant Quarantine Service.

Plant Quarantine Services Port of Cebu

Plant Quarantine Services, Port of Cebu


Steps on Requesting for the Permit

1. Upon entry, go directly to the information desk and inquire about the Plant Entry Permit or Clearance for Domestic Transport of Plants.

2. Fill up the request form with your personal details, names of the plants you are carrying, quantity and origin of the plant products.

3. Wait for the approval, signature and stamps for the clearance permit.

Processing Time : 10 Minutes


Note: The clearance for domestic transport is valid for only five (5) days and is given free of charge.

After complying with the paperworks, I was allowed to bring home my bonsai pots to my beautiful wife in Tacloban City. May this be a heads up, just in case you stand in the same situation as I was. It’s a bit of a hassle but be sure to comply to ensure a smooth travel around ferry terminals while in the country.

Till next time!

2 thoughts on “What document to comply when travelling with plants in the Philippines?

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