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What is required to ship charity goods to the Philippines?

On Friday, November 8, 2013, super typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines.  Many U.S. residents and organizations are generously donating food, water, medicines, and other supplies to aid in the relief efforts.  In order to facilitate the movement of these goods, the following guidance is offered and applies to goods not requiring a license, such as food, clothing, and medicines.

There are four Schedule B numbers that can be used when exporting humanitarian goods.  Those numbers are found in Chapter 98 of the Schedule B Manual, under the subheading 9802.

Schedule B Description Unit of measurement
9802.10.0000 Food Products X no unit required
9802.20.0000 Medicinal and pharmaceutical products X no unit required
9802.30.0000 Wearing apparel (including footwear and headwear) X no unit required
9802.40.0000 Donated articles, not elsewhere specified X no unit required

Any commodity valued over $2,500 per Schedule B number or that requires a license must be filed in the Automated Export System (AES).  However, if the commodity is valued less than $2,500 per Schedule B number and does not require a license, then the low value exemption (NOEEI 30.37 (a)) can be used.  In this case, food, clothing and medicines do not require a license; however, medical equipment and tools may require an export license.

The Export Information Code to be reported is “CH” or “CI” for shipments of goods donated for relief or charity.  The value to be reported is the market value.  If the value is not known, estimate how much you would receive if you sold the goods. The value should be consistent with the goods being exported, to avoid confusion and possible delays with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at the port of export.

There are different ways to file your export information.  The most common is to report through the U.S. Census Bureau's free Internet based filing system called AESDirect which can be accessed at: .

Another option is to file with a forwarder or agent who may be more familiar with export licensing and regulations.

The Census Bureau staff is available to help make the process as smooth as possible.  If you need more information, contact us on 800-549-0595.  Select Option 1 for help with the AES, Option 2 for Classifications, and Option 3 for Regulations.  You can also send us an e-mail at: or

Please continue to support those in Philippines during this time of tragedy.  Your assistance is greatly appreciated.



Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Foreign Trade | |  Last Revised: March 11, 2015