Just recently, it has come to the attention of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) that some law enforcement officers (LEOs) of certain municipalities are apprehending motorcycle riders for having top boxes that do not bear the ICC / PS quality mark.

The DTI clarified that these top boxes including saddlebags, that are specifically designed for motorcycle use, are NOT covered by the Bureau of Product Standards' (BPS) mandatory product certification.

“Please be informed that Motorcycle Top Boxes and Saddle Bags are not covered by the BPS mandatory product certification. Thus, an application for a Philippine Standard (PS) Quality and/or Safety Certification Mark or Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) is not required prior to selling or distribution of the said products in the Philippine market,” said DTI Region 7 through their official social media page.


ICC/ PS mark not required for top box - DTI image

A Ducati Multistrada equipped with saddlebags/ panniers

The BPS is an agency under the DTI that is mandated to ensure that all products in the country are within or beyond the prescribed minimum quality standards set for the protection of the consumer.

The DTI also clarified that currently, there is “no technical regulation issued by DTI BPS requiring the mandatory certification and inspection of the said motorcycle accessories.”

Do we need to register our top box with LTO?

Back in July of last year, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has again reminded motorcycle riders to register their top boxes if these boxes fall within the “custom made top boxes” and its corresponding criteria. They cited a memorandum dated March 15, 2016 entitled “Guidelines on inspection and apprehension relative to motorcycle top boxes and saddlebags.”

To put it simply, any mass-produced top box or saddlebags coming from a reputable manufacturer does not need to be registered with the LTO. However, custom-made top boxes or panniers that are too large or those that may affect the safe operation of the motorcycle are subject to registration and even if found beyond the allowed dimensions, apprehension.

These include, but are not limited to custom-made hard top boxes like those used by fast-food delivery services and soft bag boxes like those used by today’s partner riders. To conform with the LTO’s guidelines, these top boxes must be 2 feet x 2 feet x 2 feet (length, width, height) in size, must be securely attached to the motorcycle, and must not impede or obstruct the view of the rider of the road from the side mirrors.

Custom-made top boxes that are not registered are subject to apprehension with a penalty of PhP5,000 pursuant to the Department of Transportation (DOTr, formerly DOTC) joint administrative order 2014-01 Sec. II-D.