Balikbayan Boxes New Rules take effect on August 01, 2017

Update!

The new rules have been suspended until March 2018.

Starting August 1, 2017, 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 04-2017.

Updated October 10, 2017

At least five million Filipinos abroad send shipments of durable and consumable goods to their families back home every year, according to the Door-to-Door Consolidators Association of the Philippines (DDCAP)

(the information below is based on information we have obtained on the internet. No rights may be derived from this publication and is purely to give information about the situation as currently known)

WHO CAN SEND BALIKBAYAN BOXES’ TO THE PHILIPPINES?

Anyone can send Balikbayan Boxes to the Philippines, even Corporations,
Partnerships and Sole Proprietors. But only a Qualified Filipino While
Abroad can avail of the tax and duty-free privilege of balikbayan
boxes under Section 800 (g) of the Customs Modernization and Tariff
Act (CMTA).

WHO ARE QUALIFIED FILIPINO CITIZENS WHILE ABROAD?

They are Resident Filipinos. Non-Resident Filipinos and Overseas Filipino
Workers

WHAT IS THE SECTION 800 (G) PRIVILEGE UNDER THE CMTA OR THE BALIKBAYAN BOX PRIVILEGE?

This is the privilege given to a Qualified Filipino Citizen While Abroad to send Balikbayan Boxes to a Family Member or Relative, tax and duty free.

HOW MANY TIMES CAN I SEND BALIKBAYAN BOXES?

There is no limit unless you will avail of the Balikbayan Box Privilege.

HOW MANY TIMES CAN I AVAIL THE BALIKBAYAN BOX PRIVILEGE?

A Qualified Filipino While Abroad can avail of the balikbayan box privilege up to 3 times or up to 3 shipments in a calendar year. The total amount of all the shipments should not be more than Php 150,000.00 in a calendar year.

HOW MANY BALIKBAYAN BOXES CAN I SEND IN 1 SHIPMENT IF I WILL AVAIL OF THE BALIKBAYAN BOX PRIVILEGE?

There is no limit to thenumber of Balikbayan Boxes that you can send per shipment but thesize of the boxes must be no bigger than .20 cbm (about the size of an XL box) and the total value should not be more than Php 150,000.00
in a calendar year.

WHAT CAN I PUT IN MY BALIKBAYAN BOX IF I WANT TO AVAIL OF THE BALIKBAYAN BOX PRIVILEGE?

You can only send household effects and personal effects. You cannot send items which are in commercial quantities (a good rule of thumb is not more than 20 items of each kind for consummable goods and not more than 5 items of each kind for non-consummable goods), or send items which are for sale, barter or hire, or those which are prohibited” or restricted” . Importations of up to 2 litres (2000 ml) of wine and liquor, 2 reams of cigarettes and 50 sticks of cigars shall be subject to payment of excise tax only. Any excess is subject to duty, VAT and excise tax.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DECLARE THAT I WANT TO AVAIL OF THE
BALIKBAYAN BOX EXCEED THE ALLOWED QUANTITIES OR VALUES?

Anything in excess of the allowable quantity, amount or frequency shall be subject to duties and taxes, and civil and criminal liabilities, if any.

WHAT IF THE VALUE OF MY SHIPMENT IS LESS THAN PHPl0,000.00?

You can avail of the De Minim is privilege and you don’t need to be a Qualified Filipino While Abroad but you must have only 1 consignee or recipient. An invoice or equivalent document is required for immediate release of shipments sent by or to be received by a Corporation, Partnership or Sole Prorpietorship. Even if you are a Qualified Filipino While Abroad a De Minimis Value13 shipment shall not be counted as an availment under the Balikbayan Box privilege.

Definitions

Balikbayan Boxes

refers to a corrugated box or other container or receptacle up to a maximum volume of two hundred thousand (200,000) gross cubic centimeters without regard as to the shape of the container or receptacle. For purposes of duty and tax exemption, the ba likbayan box should contain only personal and household effects that shall neither be in commercial quantities nor intended for barter, sale or for hire sent by Qualified Filipinos While Abroad often shipped by Freight Forwarders specializing in balikbayan boxes by sea or air.

Qualified Filipinos While Abroad

collective term used to refer to Resident Filipinos, OFWs and Non-Resident Filipinos entitled to send or bring-in balikbayan boxes entitled to duty and tax exemption pursuant to Section 800 (g) of the CMTA.

  • Resident Filipinos – refer to Resident Filipino Citizens who temporarily stay abroad which may include holders of student visa, holders of investors’ visa, holders of tourist visa and similar visas which allow them to establish temporary stay abroad.
  • Non-Resident Filipinos – refer to Filipinos those who have established permanet residency abroad but have retained Filipino Citizenship, whether or not they have availed of the benefits under Republic Act No. 9225 or the Citizenship Retention and Re- Acquisition Act of 2003.
  • Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) – refers to a holder of valid passport issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and certified by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) or Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) for overseas employment purposes. This covers all Filipinos working in a foreign country under employment contracts, regardless of their professions, skills or employment status in a foreign country. This includes also Filipinos working abroad under job contracts who do not require a certification from DOLE or the POEA.

We hope that after reading this information you can understand the situation a little bit better. Since these rules have been introduced recently there may be changes in the course of the time. We therefore advise you to check this page regularly for updates.