We’ve all heard about the Bureau of Customs fiasco where they proposed all balikbayan boxes should be opened and checked. Fortunately, that law was shot down after heavy opposition from OFWs and their families.
In relation to this, however, one of the BOC officials took the time to explain which luggage items are taxable when travelers arrive in the country. With these simple guidelines, you will be able to avoid any hassle and you can even prepare some money whenever necessary.
Of course, it has already been said that balikbayan boxes are exempted from tax if it is brought by a passenger plus the overall cost does not go beyond Php 10,000.
Under BOC’s conditions, Filipino and foreign travelers will be tax-exempt for the following items:
- Used personal effects in non-commercial quantity
- Wine not more than 2 bottles
- Tobacco and cigarettes not more than 200 sticks
- Cosmetics and perfume not more than 1 bottle
As a special consideration, OFWs entering the country are allowed to carry 1 used item of electric or electronic appliance.
In cases where the total cost of the balikbayan box surpasses than the allowed amount, the passenger will have to pay an ad valorem tax amounting to 50% of each item.
Art Lachica, Deputy Commissioner, said that the policy implemented by the Bureau of Customs “is a bit liberal.”
Unaccompanied balikbayan boxes exceeding US$500 in cost, on the other hand, are required to pay tax duty. BOC charges the freight forwarders for it and the companies charge that to their clients.
For any complaints of possible violations to these rules, you can get in touch with the Bureau of Customs via email at [email protected]. You may also reach them via Twitter at @customsPH or like their official Facebook page at Bureau of Customs Public Assistance and Complaint Desk.