New rules for balikbayan boxes to start August

A new Set of regulations will be implemented commencing August for the way Filipino expats and overseas workers send their cargo boxes home .

All senders of parcels of mostly personal effects commonly known as Balikbayan boxes will face stricter rules and regulations in declaring the items sent and will be subjected to stricter requirement as stipulated by the newly released memorandum by the Philippine Bureau of Custons

As these new requirements seek to regulate from smuggling on imported items or contra band , these same rules will have a great on the overseas Filipino workers

OFWs are mandated to declare absolutely everything they are shipping back to their home country, from used shirts, clothes, down to the last pair of socks – if they don’t want to pay taxes.

The sender is required to fill out a form with an itemized description of goods, including quantities and actual/ estimated prices.
Brand new items such  shoes, bags or clothes, are required to also provide the necessary receipts as proof of purchase. Shipments that fail to comply with the requirements might be subjected to physical examination and extra charges.

Balikbayan cargoes that do not  contain goods in commercial quantities are normally exempt from duties and taxes. They are not required  undergo such meticulous screening processes.
The new policy is the latest in a series of guidelines that authorities have been working on to tighten their watch on importation of goods. Late last year, a set of guidelines was announced that effectively hiked the duty-and tax-free ceiling for balikbayan boxes to P150,000

Further clarification from Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon of the Bureau of Customs also covers the following points
1. Senders of balikbayan boxes don’t need to fill out an information sheet declaring all the contents in the box or produce a receipt, if they are willing to pay duties and taxes for the goods being shipped.
2. Contents in balikbayan boxes are exempt from taxes provided they don’t exceed more than P150,000 in total value.
3. Declaration of goods is important because it is for the “protection” of the sender, to ensure that the parcel gets delivered.
4. Receipts are not required for used items, groceries, “gifts” and other goods worth less than P10,000.
5. When filling out the declaration form or “information sheet,” there’s no need to be very precise with the costs. Estimates are fine. For example, if the t-shirt included in the box was originally purchased for P500 and has already been used, the sender can declare the price as P100.
6. Receipts are required for items that are brand new and worth more than P10,000 each.

Source Philippine Bureau of Customs

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