UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines


Frontline Services

  Processing of Endorsement for Customs Duties Exemption under the UNESCO Florence   Agreement


The Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials (also known as the Florence Agreement) is a 1950 UNESCO treaty whereby states agree to not impose customs duties on certain educational, scientific, and cultural materials that are imported.

The Philippines is a State Party to this Agreement, which has a major purpose to make it easier to import educational, scientific and cultural materials between contracting State Parties. The parties reduce tariff, tax, currency and trade obstacles to the international circulation of these materials, permitting organizations and individuals to obtain them from abroad with less difficulty at less cost.

Schedule of Availability of Service:  Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm

Who May Avail?

The Philippines as a Contracting State to the UNESCO Florence Agreement undertakes not to apply customs duties on any of the materials listed in the annexes of The Agreement without exception, provided such materials are the products of another Contracting State. Thus, any individuals, institutions, organizations may apply for endorsement on customs duties exemption.


What are the materials covered by the Agreement?

 Annex A – Books, publications and documents

(books, newspapers, periodicals, printed music,

Maps, and other categories of printed matter)

Annex B – Works of art and collectors’ pieces of an

Educational, scientific or cultural character

(paintings and drawings executed by hand, excluding

Decorated wares, sculpture, collectors’ pieces and

Antiques which are in excess of 100 years of age)

Annex C – Visual and auditory materials of an educational,

Scientific or cultural character

(films, microfilms, film strip, slides, sound recording,

patterns, models and wall charts

 Annex D – Scientific instruments or apparatus

(Intended exclusively for educational purposes or pure

scientific research)

Annex E – Articles for the blind

(books, publications, documents and other articles

specially designed for the educational advancement

of the blind)


How to Avail of the Service (Endorsement for Customs Duties Exemption)

Step Applicant/Client Service Provider Duration of Activity Person in Charge Fees Form
1. Submit letter-request for tax and duty-free exemption with the required supporting documents (original and photocopy) as applicable (i.e. AWB, B/L, Invoice, Packing List Deed of Donation, Deed of Acceptance, Postal Registry Notice, sample of items requested) Check if the original and photocopies of the documents presented are the same.

Receive letter-request with a complete set of the documents presented (original supporting documents will be returned to the applicant/client)

2-3 mins. Receiving Officer None None
2. Wait for instructions Generally, processing would take one (1) day.  If the request was filed in the morning, inform the applicant to follow-up in the afternoon of the same day.  If the request was filed in the afternoon, request the applicant to follow-up the next day.

Process the request based on the UNESCO Florence Agreement

2-3 mins. Receiving Officer None None
3. Follow-up on the status of the request through landline Inform the applicant/client on the status of his/her request (ready for pick-up, for signature, etc.) 2-3 mins. Receiving Officer None None
4. Pick-up the requested letter-recommendation form at the PH NatCom Office Release the requested letter-recommendation to the authorized personnel.  If another person will release the document (not the one who filed the letter-request), an authorization letter signed by the head of the requesting Office/agency and one (1) valid ID of the representative must be presented. 2-3 mins. Receiving Officer None None

For more information and other queries please contact the UNESCO NatCom

Office – 834-3447 or email us at