Balikbayan boxes are not just merely boxes containing various items and commodities from OFWs to be sent to their loved-ones. They may be considered an extension of their ‘love’ sealed in a box.
According to the Door-to-Door Consolidators Association of the Philippines (DDCAP), it was estimated that at least five million Filipinos every year are sending balikbayan boxes to their families back home containing consumable goods and other items. These boxes were charged with a fixed minimum rate of freight regardless of its weight which made it affordable for OFWs.
In line with this, Customs Administrative Order (CAO) 05-2016 has listed a new set of rules which took effect last August 1. This is an off shoot of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) or Republic Act 10863 which was signed into Law last May 2016. The said Act has adopted new provisions to update the old Balikbayan Box Law that removed customs duties on personal goods of the overseas Filipinos workers that were sent home to their loved-ones.
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Here are some reminders to consider from the Bureau of Customs as provided by the CMTA for Balikbayan boxes:
- What is the maximum declared value contained in the boxes that may be considered as tax-free?
The maximum amount set by the CMTA for each box was increased from P10,000 to P 150,000. This enables OFWs to be able to send home more personal items and other commodities. On the other hand, the minimum value was also augmented from P10 to P10,000, subject to import duties which lessen discretion of Bureau of Customs officials to inspect goods and impose taxes.
However, Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon from the Bureau appealed to OFWs not to abuse the tax-free provision in order to minimize the loss of potential income by the government.
Faeldon said, “Ang programa pong ito ay isang pribilehiyo at regalo ng gobyerno sa ating mga kababayan. Kaya po tayo’y nananawagan at umaapela sa likas na kabutihan ng ating mga kakababayan na huwag po itong abusuhin para sa tunay na pagbabago,” (This program is a privilege and a present for our fellow countrymen. That’s why we’re appealing to the innate goodness of our countrymen not to abuse (this privilege) towards genuine change.”
- Who can send tax-free balikbayan boxes?
As stipulated in CAO 05-2016, Qualified Filipino While Abroad (QFWA) are qualified to send balikbayan boxes for free. They are those Filipinos staying abroad whether being employed, studying or as permanent residents of countries where they are.
They should possess passports either issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) or the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) as proof of overseas employment in a foreign land.
Permanent residents of other countries are still qualified provided they have retained their citizenship of being a Filipino.
Filipinos traveling as tourists, students or businessmen with visas are also qualified to enjoy this privilege as well.
- What is the maximum number of balikbayan boxes can an OFW send?
OFWs can send up to three balikbayan boxes which are considered free from taxes within one year (January 1 to December 31). Each box of which should have a value within the range of P10,000-P150,000.
BOC, however, reminds that the boxes should only contain personal items and not for commercial use or trade.
- What is the procedure for sending a balikbayan box?
A photocopy of the passport of the OFW should be presented to establish one’s identity prior to making this transaction.
To make sure that the boxes to be sent only contain permissible items, the BOC requires every sender to accomplish an information sheet which specifies details of each item in the box. If there are brand new items included, a receipt should be presented to establish its actual value.
The form can be downloaded via the BOC’s website or from the accredited foreign couriers which needs to be accomplished in triplicate (3 copies).
Faeldon also clarified that second-hand items, grocery goods, and gifts may not be required to be provided with a receipt but needs to be declared with its approximate value, accordingly.
The said boxes will pass through an x-ray machine under the supervision of a personnel from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to check if the box did not violate certain rules. If a box was found to be suspicious, the box may be opened and would only be released as soon as rules have complied.
If the box did not pass the rules set by the CMTA, the privilege for a tax-free balikbayan box will be void thus, the usual rate for its freight shall be applied.
- Are there other fees that an OFW has to pay?
A processing fee amounting to P 250 per balikbayan box needs to be paid to the Bureau of Customs. Boxes with even less than P10,000 declared value are also subjected to processing fees.
Citing all these rules and guidelines, violators will be fined up to P300,000 and even undergo criminal prosecution depending on the severity of the case.
Ok na sana saken ung my recpt ung pinamili ko ng utay2 kaya lng ha2napin nyo pa kung saan ung item kc pg nama2lengke ako paisa2 o 2 lng ang nabbli ko sa grocry at pano un meron akong 5shampoo at 5 condr. Para sa na2y kapaitd at lola ko tig iisa lang cla don pano sobra sa 2kl un kc mala2ke saka ung toys na bgay ng mga kapatd ng asawa ko gus2 ko sana ipadala para bgay sa mga andon pero ilan lng pwede bkt kc my limit pa sa dami ng falimy ko sa pilipinas d ka2sya ang 3bote ng shampo sa kanila pano ga2win ku2ha ng bote at salin2 nalng sa22o lng sobra kayong nag pahirap samen ito nalang ang kaligayahan namin ang maipadala ang simpleng kacyahan ng pamilyang nasa malayo ninakaw nyo pa
Anong gagawin nila pag sumubra sa timbang ang napadala? Pqno nila malaman kung tqma ang maka lagay sa box buksan isaisa at kiluhin,? Pano pag wala kang napada na ibang item sa list nila pad ba replace ng ibang items? At ano silbe nang M,L,XL,JOMBO na boxes.. Dapat maximum size nalang ng boxes ang my limit wag ang laman, pakilam b nila anong ilagay namin at bilang o kilo padala namin minsan lang nga kami ng papadala my limit pa..
maawa nmn kayo sa mga ofw minsan lang kami magpadala para sa mga pamilya namin bubuklatin nyu n naman marami n nmn naperwisyo may mga nag post na ninakawan ang box from taiwan pinagpaguran namin yan para pamilya namin tapos kayo makikinabang maraming paraan para puksain ang kurapsyon wag po kami pag initan malaki po ang maitutulong namin para bayan kaya sana po respetuhan tayo
10th to 150 th…sira pala kau aabot ba ang halaga na yan dun sa mga items lang na quantity na list nyo…mga hunghang nmn ang may lista nyan at nag isip ng quantity…sa dami ng pagbibigyan mo ng shampoo or lotion 5pcs kasya …isip nmn….wala din pala silbi ang 10 to 150th worth ng laman ng box.,kung limitado nmn ang mailagay….
Shampoo, shower gel, conditioneer, milo, milk, second hand shoes, and used clothes lang ang pinapadala ko, may have imbang pa ang shampoo, conditioneer, at shower gel, ano nalang ang ipapadal ko kung may limit, grabeh naman kayo! Hays… saka paisa isa lang ako ng bil, gupit gupitin ko paba ang resibo at ipapakita pa sa inyo, ano ba yan, busy kami dito, hinde nga ako nakakapag timlop ng mga nilabhan ko sa sibrang pagod, maaasikaso kopaba ang mag lista ng paisa isa sa mga ilalagay ko sa box, grabeh!!!
We are an elderly couple moving back to the Philippines for good. We worked bloody hard to support our family financially and our country benefited from our remittances for the past 30years. We will now be punished for sending our worldly belongings we worked so hard for.
11ang kapatid ko sa tig iisang shampoo at sabon lang sobra na sa dalawang kilos… tapos kung magpadala ako ng ariel powder sa misis ko iyong 7kilos na agad hay naku aano gagawin naming minsan na nga lang nagpapadala ng paunti unting naipon para ipadala sa pamilya tapos may limit pa…. tapos kailangan pa ang rsibo OMG abay dahil paunti unti lang kaming bumili siyempre hahanapin pa naming o gugupitin ang resibo ng mga iyon… Hay para saan pa ibonigay ninyong 10k-150k na limit ng laman ng balik bayan box kung may kota naman ang mga ilalagay namin,… hello po sa tulad ko na 11 kapatid at napakadaming pamangkin abay kulang na kulang iyan kilo kilo at pcs. pcs. ningyong inilagay… sip isip naman po ng kaunti kung talaga pinapahakagahan niyong kaming mga ofw… hay buhay,,, God bless po sa atin lahat…
Kaya ako dismayado sa gobyerno nation,
Sa Pilipinas nlng ako mamimili para walang sakit ulo, walang utak yang ibang mga nanunungkulan dyan sa BOC, napakaistrikto nila may magnanakaw naman! Kungvdi tutuo e bkit may nawawalan ng mga items aber?