Balikbayan boxes from Filipinos overseas will be free from tax starting December 25.
Aside from remittance, Filipinos from overseas are also sharing their blessing to their families here in the Philippines by sending them packages. This Christmas will be happier for them, because by December 25, the tax ceiling for Balikbayan boxes containing personal and household goods will be increased to a total amount of 150,000 pesos. It will be implemented after the Bureau of Customs and Department of Finance agreed and signed Customs Administrative Order (CAO) 05-2016, which is the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Section G of the Customs and Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).
Filipinos abroad must pass the following qualifications to be able to enjoy the privilege:
- They must have a valid Philippine passport issued by DFA and validated by DOLE or POEA.
- They should have retained their Filipino citizenship though they already have permanent residency certificate abroad.
- Holders of student, tourist, investors’ visa
- They must submit these requirements: Photocopy of Philippine or foreign passport (with personal details, photo and signature), proof of dual citizenship, invoice or receipts of the goods in the Balikbayan box whichever is available, accomplished information sheet.
The international freight-forwarded must submit the accomplishment sheet to their Philippine counterpart via email. And the local forwarded must send a copy to the Bureau of Customs via email as well within these time frames:
- 24 hours before the arrival for shipments with 3-day turnaround time sent by sea cargo
- 48 hours before the arrival for shipments with 7-day turnaround time sent by sea cargo
- 10 days before the arrival for packages coming from America, Europe, Middle East and other parts of the world not indicate in the first and second bullet.
- 1 hour before the arrival for the shipments coming from Asia to be delivered by air cargo.
- 6 hours before the arrival for the shipments coming from other continents to be delivered by air cargo.
BOC Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon instructed the international and local forwarding companies to follow the regulation and exert extra care in handling the Balikbayan boxes. He continued by saying: “We value the importance of each Balikbayan box. They symbolize the hardship of our overseas Filipino workers and the love of Filipinos abroad for their families here in the country.”
The said ruling should be effective 10 days from the date of publication to newspapers. It means it will be implemented by Christmas day since it was published December 10.