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Published: 2017-08-27   

New Balikbayan Box Rules Explained

When news of the new balikbayan box rules broke, OFWs, of course, were moved. The culture of sending balikbayan boxes home is something very unique—and almost sacred—to Filipino.

When news of the new balikbayan box rules broke, OFWs, of course, were moved. The culture of sending balikbayan boxes home is something very unique—and almost sacred—to Filipino.

It goes without saying that every change to rules and regulations regarding this issue does matter to all.

Ayon sa bagong panukala ng Bureau of Customs, kailangan nang i-declare ng senders ang laman ng lahat ng balikbayan box nila through an information sheet pasted on the side of the box. Bukod dito, kailangan ding ilakip ang resibo ng mga brand new items na ipapadala. To be exempted from taxes and duties, the value of the items inside the balikbayan box must not exceed P150,000.

Relatives at family members lang din daw ang pwedeng tumanggap ng package.

The intention of the BoC, reports say, is to combat smuggling. As we are aware, there are unscrupulous people who use the balikbayan box for business purposes, allowing them to skirt Customs rules and avoid taxes and duties.

Complying with the additional requirements is but one thing that OFWs are worried about; however, once all necessary paperwork has been clarified, abiding by it is doable.

What OFWs are most concerned about is the fact that this process would cause additional delays; the itemized list could also catch the eye of people with bad intentions; the box evaluation would even lead to individuals having to open up the package, an idea that OFWs are not so keen on.

As published in news reports, the new rule will be implemented starting August 1. Nasa mga kalahati na tayo ng buwan, ano na nga ba ang nangyari sa batas na ito? In effect na ba?

Karamihan sa atin, naka-hold ang pagpuno at pagpadala ng balikbayan boxes, hindi ba? Most OFWs are somewhat lost at the turn of events.

Here is a quick update and what you need to know about the new rules, straight from our Souq Pinoy partner, LBC:

  • Is it already in effect?
    Yes, the strict implementation of the BOC policy started last August 1, 2017. The requirements are not basically new and has long been in place and this time, BOC is observing strict implementation of the policy of both customers and cargo service providers.

  • How does the process work?
    To start, customer will be required to completely fill out the first two pages of the BOC Balikbayan Box Information Sheet.

    The information required includes the declaration of the contents and value of the items.

    The form may be downloaded at the Bureau of Customs site: http://customs.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Balikbayan-Information-Sheet.pdf or requested from the cargo service provider.

    The process and other requirements from the policy are detailed in the Balikbayan Information Sheet. All the forms will be submitted to the Bureau of Customs for proper monitoring of the sent package. 

  • How will the package safety and security be ensured?
    This policy will ensure proper declaration of contents and value of items they send through their balikbayan boxes.

    With this, all parties have copies of their declaration, giving customers reassurance that their packages will be be intact and complete upon delivery to their loved ones in the Philippines.

    We advise everyone to abide by the BOC policies as this is a way to protect them as a consumer and their balikbayan boxes.

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