Good news for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs)—the Bureau of Customs recently revealed that balikbayan boxes containing goods valued below P10,000 will soon be exempted from tax.
Atty. Agaton Teodoro, deputy commissioner of BOC’s Assessment and Operations Group, said they will implement the tax exemption as soon as Congress passes the proposed Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).
Teodoro said the bill has been approved by the House of Representatives. The Senate, on the other hand, will discuss the proposed law in its third and final reading, after which it will reach the bicameral conference for approval.
Should it be approved, CMTA will make the Philippines compliant with the Revised Kyoto Convention and other international agreements. It will also make the country consistent with the trend towards harmonization, modernization, and simplification of customs procedures.
CMTA will also authorize the use of Information Communications Technology to enhance customs operations and enforcement, consistent with the government’s policy to eliminate corruption by removing face-to-face transactions and replacing it with electronic systems.
CMTA will also exempt consignments as relief goods from duties and taxes. It will enable a simplified customs procedure for efficient release of goods.
At present, the BOC no longer randomly opens balikbayan boxes, instead opened only after undergoing inspection from X-ray machines and canine units.
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