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Balikbayan Box, Not Over $500 Value, PH Customs Says

door-to-door (200x133)The Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) reissued its policies and rules regarding the popular ‘balikbayan’ door-to-door’ boxes and appealed to senders not to abuse the system.

BOC defined ‘balikbayan boxes’ as packages of persona effects or ‘pasalubong’ sent by Filipinos residing or working abroad to their families or relatives in the Philippines to enhance a Philippine tradition and culture for the promotion of strong family ties through love and caring expressed through gif-giving.

Things that are allowed in Balikbayan boxes include non-commercial goods or goods not in commercial quantity such as wearing apparel, clothing, foodstuffs/grocery items and canned goods the value of which must not exceed $500.

How often can one send a ‘balikbayan box’? BOC said one consignor or sender is allowed to send in a six-month period.

When two or more balikbayan boxes are sent by two or more individual senders/consignors abroad, assemble and consolidated at one point of origin/exportation and shipped together under a single master ocean bill of lading or single airway bill by a freight forwarder or consolidator to its breakbulk/consolidator in the Philippines, the process is called consolidated door-to-door shipment.

A foreign freight forwarding entity /consolidator duly licensed and registered with the Philippine consulate office is allowed to consolidate balikbayan boxes.

In the Philippines, the agent or representative of the freight forwarder/consolidator named in the bill of lading or airway bill as consignee, duly licensed by the Philippine Shippers Bureau of the Department of Trades and Industry (DTI) is allowed to release a consolidated door-to-door shipment.

BOC performs 100 % examination of the consolidated shipment as required by law to protect the legitimate interests of the consolidators/senders and their consignees to protect the interests of the government and to prevent or suppress smuggling and other fraud upon customs.