Customs Memorandum Order No. Instead of sticking to a Philippine passport as proof of citizenship, the BOC said it is accepting other documents such as a photocopy of the page of a Philippine passport with personal information, picture and signature.
In case of dual Filipino citizenship without a Philippine passport, a photocopy of foreign passport with personal information, picture and signature plus a copy of proof of dual Filipino citizenship are needed. The bureau also accepts permanent resident ID or equivalent documents in other countries, overseas employment certificate or Overseas Workers Welfare Administration card, work permit, unified government ID issued by the Department of Labor and Employment DOLE and any other equivalent document except birth certificate.
To further simplify the rules, the BOC said qualified Filipinos are not required to submit the commercial invoices of the goods contained in the balikbayan box. Invoices are to be submitted only if these are available. However, they are required to submit through their freight forwarders or deconsolidators three copies of the information sheet, which will serve as the packing list of the balikbayan box.
The first copy should be placed on the topmost portion of the box. The second copy should be kept by the sender and the third one must be given to the consolidator to be forwarded to the BOC together with other documentary requirements. The BOC advised balikbayan box senders that their shipment must only contain personal and household effects.
Balikbayan boxes may be sent up to three times in a year provided the total value per sender will not exceed P, and the items or goods sent are not in commercial quantities.
The bureau said deconsolidators and freight forwarders are required to ensure that only personal effects and household goods are sent through consolidated shipment of balikbayan boxes. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now! Philstar Global Corp. All Rights Reserved.
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New rules for Filipino expats' balikbayan boxes to take effect
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Easter Sunday brings hope not only for the country but the entire world now battling the coronavirus diseaseaccordingAmong the operational provisions in Customs memorandum order released September 2 include that the OFWs balikbayan boxes shall not be subjected to random or arbitrary physical inspection. Dated August 27, the customs memorandum order COM applies to all non-commercial inbound consolidated shipment of overseas Filipino workers and for returning OFWs bringing in personal and household effects as provided under Section f of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines TCCPas amended.
Among the operational provisions is that the OFWs balikbayan boxes shall not be subjected to random or arbitrary physical inspection. The COM takes effect immediately and repeals all existing orders, circulars, memoranda, and other issuances "inconsistent or in conflict with this order," BOC said.
BOC may also produce and print information, notices, leaflets on the new rules and regulations for the importation of balikbayan boxes "in order to provide OFWs with clear information on the simplified customs procedures prescribed under the order.
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Filipinos welcome suspension of balikbayan box rules
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Under the new rules, recipients of balikbayan boxes must also show that they are relatives of the senders. The revised rules caused an uproar among OFW groups, forwarders, and deconsolidators who said that the BOC should be going after big-time smugglers instead of picking on the balikbayan boxes.
Senator Ralph Recto also questioned the new rules and said that the commission might have "committed a bureaucratic overreach" by setting the new guidelines. He added that pasting a list of contents on the side of the box would make it vulnerable to theft and pilferage. Kung bubusisiin yung balikbayan boxes, maraming problema.
Mabuti na-suspend. Ngayon makapag-isisp-isip na ang mga OFWs ng kanilang ipapadalang Pamasko. If BOC will scrutinize each box, there could be problems with delays. Now, OFWs can actually send gifts without worries.
Allan Bautista, LBC Express sales and marketing manager for the Middle East, likewise expressed elation about the new directive, noting that the peak season has set in. October and November, are very important.
Following issuance of the CMO, which was supposed to take full effect on August, 1,cargo forwarders advised OFWs to start packing their Christmas balikbayan boxes early to avoid the anticipated resulting delays amid the holiday peak season congestion at the ports. According to a data from the Port of Manila, the largest international shipping gateway to the country, Filipinos abroad send the most balikbayan boxes during C hristmas when they send gifts to their families.
The surge in shipments starts as early as September and reaches its peak by December. These stories made other people. Welcome to Rappler, a social news network where stories inspire community engagement and digitally fuelled actions for social change. Read more. Thank You.
View your profile page here OR Click close to continue.Packed with gifts such as Kirkland chocolates, hand-me-down clothes and Spam for relatives overseas, the cardboard containers crisscross the terminal in a daily game of luggage Tetris, driven by the Filipino tradition of packing, sending and traveling with balikbayan boxes.
The practice originates with a Philippines government-sponsored program that offered special tourism incentives, including baggage allowances, to encourage overseas workers to return and spend their wages in the homeland. Today balikbayan boxes, named after the Tagalog word for a returning Filipino, have become one of the most enduring symbols of the Filipino diaspora. The boxes help feed relatives who are struggling, console daughters separated from their mothers, and give far-flung overseas workers a tangible tether to their families.
On a recent weekday, Marie and Ruben Maruquin, accompanied their aunt, Erlinda Rosas, of Glendora, to Los Angeles International Airport, where they pushed her balikbayan box up to the ticket counter.
It weighed 58 pounds, 8 pounds above the limit. Heaving a sigh, the Maruquins wrestled the box back onto the cart and pushed it over to a table in the area for above-weight luggage.
She tore open the box and removed a large sack of oranges, clothes, fabric shopping bags and a pair of sneakers.
She stuffed the clothing into the bags, which she brought just in case the box turned out to be too heavy, and handed Marie the oranges, her discarded shoes and everything else to take back home.
Then, with Rosas leaning a knee on top of the balikbayan while Ruben wielded tape, they laboriously reassembled the box. By now everyone was somewhat winded. As a method of showing affection, balikbayan boxes are bit inconvenient, Marie conceded. Amy Guzman, who will be visiting her family in the Philippines, displays the contents of the two balikbayan boxes she will take to her family.
Here's what's inside:. Colgate, Crest and Secret deodorant: American brands like Colgate and Crest seem like mundane inclusions, but they are especially desirable in the Philippines, where a history of U.
Clothes: Many balikbayan boxes contain new or used clothing for relatives in the Philippines, often contributed by relatives in the U. And U. Purses, perfumes and makeup: Boxes also contain more traditional gifts from overseas Filipinos who want to share their relative wealth with their less fortunate family members back home. The peak of the balikbayan box season is always Christmas.
The boxes: Large door-to-door balikbayan box companies like Atlas, LBC, and Starkargo have professionalized the practice of sending balikbayan boxes via shipping container or airmail. Backpack, towels and sheets: A balikbayan box is typically preceded by weeks of communication between overseas Filipinos and their relatives in the Philippines to try to learn about the needs and wants of each of their family members. Guzman has included a backpack, towels and a comforter according to her family's needs.
Chocolate: Chocolates, and many other kinds of sweets, are one of the most common balikbayan box items. Carmelita De La Cruz, 70, has leg pain and travels through airports in a wheelchair. They scold her, but with smiles. Virgines remembers a time when the boxes her mother sent were the best proof of her love. When Virgines was 9, De La Cruz, along with thousands of other Filipinos, relocated to another country to earn money for her family.
The s brought high unemployment to the Philippines and a state-sponsored effort to export labor around the world. Thousands of Filipinos like De La Cruz accepted vast distances from their families as a requirement for survival. For many overseas Filipinos, balikbayan boxes became the best way to to bridge that distance. The practice was formalized by an official government initiative to encourage returning Filipinos, or balikbayansto spend their foreign wages at home in the Philippines.
Tourism officials offered reduced airfares on the then-government-owned Philippines Airlines, hotel discounts, tax breaks and, most important, generous baggage allowances. The balikbayan promotion was supposed to last only six months, but the profitable initiative was extended repeatedly until it became permanent.
Now, about 10 million Filipinos work abroad. At leastbalikbayan boxes are sent every month, according to the Door to Door Consolidated Assn. That number drastically increases during the holiday season.
Inthe government officially waived taxes and duties on goods in balikbayan boxes. Around that time, in Los Angeles and other Filipino enclaves in the U. Nunga, who founded one of the first door-to-door companies insaid the box sizes were set large to maximize the space inside standard shipping containers.
And when De La Cruz retired after 40 years cleaning houses in Hong Kong, Virgines brought her to America so that they could finally be together.Balikbayan boxes are a tradition among Filipino households who have a loved one working abroad, especially during the holidays.
These boxes are filled with a variety of items from small souvenir items, to necessities such as clothing and groceries items, to big-ticket surprises such as appliances and toys. However, some loan and credit card products may be unavailable until further notice. Much like any package sent from abroad, the sending of a balikbayan box is governed by a variety of rules, regulations, and policies. To help out our hardworking OFWs and take some of the stress of the season off of them, here are a few handy tips to packing and sending balikbayan boxes.
Make a checklist and a budget. Double check and stick to it. The biggest mistake OFWs make when sending Balikbayan boxes to their families back home is giving in to the urge to cram every bit of space in the box with whatever they can.
Although it is difficult to resist the thought of sending pasalubongs to your families and relatives, racking up in debt is a lot more difficult especially during emergency situations. Be a smart spender.
Before you make a purchase think hard about whether it is something you really want to send your family back home. A good way to control your spending yet still send back a balikbayan box stuffed with items your family and friends will love is to make a list. Write down what you think should go into your box. This includes any special requests or wish lists that were sent to you.
Balikbayan Boxes 101: An OFW's Guide To Packing And Sending Packages Home
Try to include the prices as well. Now, take a long, hard look at your funds. Decide on how much you can afford to spend on items for the box and how much you will need to hold back for your own living expenses. Go through the list and decide which of these are really essential and wanted. Estimate how much you will spend on each item. Keep trimming till you come up with a list of items that fit your budget. Make sure you prepare and submit your info sheet along with your box. A photocopy of any valid ID with your citizenship, full name first name, middle name, surname and suffixdate of birth and place of birth.
Work permit g. Any Philippine Government issued ID with Filipino citizenship or any foreign government issued ID with full name, date of birth, place of birth and Filipino citizenship i.
Figure out if your box is tax exempt There is a tax exemption if the declared value of your Balikbayan box does not exceed P, However, you can only send 3 Balikbayan boxes each of which should not exceed P, per calendar year from January 1 — December However, a balikbayan box that only has a De Minimis value, is considered still considered one allotment of your allowed three boxes a year.
Failure to comply with the obligations stated required documents and accepted value will result in exclusion from tax exemption. A P, fine shall be imposed on violators and they may face criminal prosecution.
Medium box: 3. Check that the items are of allowed quantities Check ahead of time with your chosen cargo company about their allowable quantities per items are. Also, check that whatever you put in your box is not for importing.
Here are some items that you can include in your Balikbayan boxes and their allowed quantities.Dubai: A new set of regulations for cargoes sent by Filipinos back to their home country will take effect next month, and some senders could expect delays or incur additional duties and taxes, a source has warned.
Starting August 1,all senders of parcels containing personal effects and household items, commonly called "balikbayan boxes," will be subjected to stricter requirements, as stipulated under Philippine Bureau of Customs memorandum order OFWs who are sending brand-new goodies, such as 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. 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 P, approximately Dh10, The Bureau of Customs order also stipulates that the package should be adressed to a family member or relative of the sender.
So it is very shameful to ask for receipts from them," he said. Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon of the Bureau of Customs also posted the following clarifications on Facebook:.
Estimates are fine. For example, if the t-shirt included in the box was originally purchased for P and has already been used, the sender can declare the price as P You can manage them any time by clicking on the notification icon. Monday, April 13, All Sections. Filipino expats send Balikbayan boxes regularly to families and friends back home. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive Dubai: A new set of regulations for cargoes sent by Filipinos back to their home country will take effect next month, and some senders could expect delays or incur additional duties and taxes, a source has warned.
What you need to know: Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon of the Bureau of Customs also posted the following clarifications on Facebook: 1. Receipts are required for items that are brand new and worth more than P10, each. Sign up for Coronavirus Newsletter.
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Emirates to fly from Terminal 3 on April Posted by Ryazan Tristram Last updated Feb 9, Read the latest updates about the Balikbayan box rules amendment, how to send a balikbayan box that is compliant to the new Bureau of Customs guidance and how to qualify the tax-free exemption. I also received a few queries about it from fellow Filipinos here in the UK and other parts of the world.
Sending Balikbayan boxes to our families in the Philippines has been a part of the Filipino modern tradition. Overseas Filipino Workers OFW and the Resident Filipinos abroad are working hard and saving up to fill up these precious balikbayan boxes. For those who are not familiar with this term, these are the boxes that Filipinos are sending to their families in the Philippines filled with toys, clothing, appliances, groceries etc. Filipinos who work and live abroad, typically fill the Balikbayan boxes throughout the year and send it to their family few months before the Christmas season or on several occasions in a year.
The new policy primarily aims to tackle the illegal importation smuggling of imported goods in the Philippines. The tax will also be a new source of revenue for the government public funds.
You can still carry-on and send your balikbayan boxes as usual. However, there are a few things that you should make note of. Based on the new policy, valuable new items e. The used items, groceries and less valuable new items e. Upon sending the Balikbayan box, the sender is required to fill up the declaration form that is provided by the Bureau of Customs. The declaration list and the receipts will be the basis of the duty and import tax that you have to pay when the items arrive in the Philippines.
The QFWA is limited to send 3 balikbayan boxes with the total worth value of PHPper calendar year to qualify for the duty and tax exemption. If you go over the allowed limits and conditions, the balikbayan box will be subjected to duty and import tax.
How To Send Balikbayan Box to the Philippines? The Ultimate Guide
Only the family and close relatives of the QFWA should be the receiver of the balikbayan box in the Philippines. If the QFWA will be sending the balikbayan box to their friends or non-relatives, this will also be subjected to the duty and import tax if over the allowance of De Minimis Importation value of Php 10, If you have decided to apply to re-claim your Filipino citizenship after acquiring new citizenship from another country, I made a blog post about it, please read it on the link below.
We do sometimes get carried away on how much stuff we can put in our Balikbayan box for our family and relatives. I hope that this clarifies the process on how you can send your Balikbayan boxes to the Philippines under the new policy of the Bureau of Customs.
She also has more than 10 years of work experience gained from working in the hotel and travel sectors in Asia and Europe.
She is currently living in the UK as a dual citizen British - Filipina. Join her on travelling around the globe with a mission to share the best of the world. Yes, it will be. As long as the item is not over the De Minimis Value of Php 10k, you should be ok. I put the contact info on my blog post.
Good luck! Hi … I just sent a comment to you but my E Mail Address was wrong, could you please amend it for me. Thank you for your very informative article! I have read somewhere about equivalent price for used items, do you have it?
I believe that even if you send used items, it should still be worth upto PHP10K only…. Hi J, Thank you very much. I would suggest to drop an email to Bureau of Customs I put their contact details on this blog post regarding your itemised list of used items to see it they will get value below PHP 10k. Or, try to estimate a value for it.