Using Motorcycle Top Box in the Philippines

Top boxes specifically designed and mass-produced for motorcycles and approved by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) are exempt from the mandatory registration requirements previously set by the Land Transportation Office (LTO). These boxes meet stringent safety and quality standards set by the DTI, ensuring their suitability for motorcycle use. Riders can enjoy the convenience of these approved top boxes without the hassle of additional registration procedures.

If you are a motorcycle enthusiast or perhaps a delivery rider, you probably have one of these trusty motorcycle top boxes, as they are convenient motorcycle accessories designed to make your ride smoother and your cargo transport woes a thing of the past. But before you rush to install one on your ride, it’s crucial to understand the ins and outs, particularly in light of regulations set forth by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

using motorcycle top box rules in philippines

Understanding the Regulations

Let’s start with the basics. According to regulations outlined by the DTI and LTO, mass-produced top boxes from reputable manufacturers typically don’t require registration with the LTO. However, custom-made top boxes exceeding certain dimensions or potentially impeding safe operation may require registration and inspection.

The DTI also clarified that motorcycle top boxes and saddlebags are not covered by mandatory product certification. As such, no application for Philippine Standard (PS) Quality or Safety Certification Mark or Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) is required. Simply put, the mass-produced top box is quite literally the plug-and-play type. You can just go ahead and buy them them get them attached to your motorcycle without any hassle.

Approved by DTI

The golden ticket for hassle-free motorcycle top box usage is the approval by the DTI. Top boxes specially designed for motorcycles and scooters and approved by the DTI may not be subject to inspection, registration, or apprehension, provided they meet specific criteria:

  1. Secure Attachment: The top box must be securely attached to the motorcycle.
  2. Capacity: It should have a maximum capacity of accommodating two full-face helmets.

Custom-made Considerations

Now, for those custom-made motorcycle top boxes often synonymous with delivery riders zipping through traffic? These ones require a bit more effort as they may be subject to inspection, registration, or apprehension. The criteria includes:

  1. Inspection and Registration: Custom-made top boxes must undergo inspection and registration with the LTO.
  2. Dimension Limits: They should not exceed dimensions of 2 feet in length, width, and height.
  3. Safety First: Custom boxes must not obstruct the rider’s view or impede safe operation.

Suspension and Revision of the LTO Rule on Box Registration

In a recent development, the LTO has already suspended the enforcement of guidelines issued regarding registration of motorcycle top boxes in 2016, pending revision or amendment. This move comes amidst concerns over hefty fines and safety implications, particularly for delivery riders transporting various cargo.

After all, the fines alone are set at P5000.00, thanks to the DOTC Joint Administrative Order (JAO) 2014-01 Section 11-D, Motor Vehicle Operating Without or With Defective/Improper/ Unauthorized Accessories, Devices, Equipment and Parts.

Authorized Enforcement

Do take note that according to the guidelines issued regarding the registration and regulation of custom top boxes for motorcycles, only the LTO personnel and agents deputized to enforce transportation laws can apprehend violators. Importantly, agents specifically deputized for certain acts like the Anti-Drunk Driving Act are excluded from enforcing these regulations.

Looking Ahead

While the suspension of enforcement offers a temporary reprieve, it underscores the importance of understanding the guidelines surrounding top boxes and saddlebags for motorcycle owners and riders alike. The absence of a set timetable for revision means staying informed is key to compliance and safety as they can have the order reinstated any time.

Video: How to Use and Register Motorcycle Top Box

For a better understanding of the rules and regulation involving motorcycle top boxes, including those manufactured specifically for motorcycles and approved by the DTI, you may check out this video from MamiZang Vlog:


As far as motorcycle accessories go, clarity and adherence to regulations are always the top consideration. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a newbie gearing up for your first adventure, understanding these rules, especially those about motorcycle top boxes, ensures a smooth and safe journey for all. So, before you hit the road with your prized possessions in tow, take a moment to ensure your top box meets the mark – because when it comes to safety and compliance, there’s no room for shortcuts.

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