Balikbayan box are now tax free up to 150,000

Balikbayan box are now tax free up to 150,000

Starting December 25, balikbayan boxes with values not exceeding 150,000 will be exempted from paying duties and taxes. This is a great news for our fellow Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who are sending out balikbayan boxes regularly.

To be covered by this ruling, balikbayan boxes shall contain only personal and household items, and should not be commercial quantities or for sale.

The Customs administrative order lists the following Filipinos abroad who can qualify or avail of the duty and tax privileges on balikbayan boxes:

  1. Holders of valid passports issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and certified by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) or Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) for overseas employment purposes regardless of profession
  2. non-resident Filipinos who have established permanent residency abroad but retained their Filipino citizenship
  3. resident Filipino citizens who temporarily stay abroad (may include holders of student visa, investors’ visa, tourist visa, and similar visas which allow them to establish temporary stay abroad).

The following requirements must also be met or submitted by a “qualified Filipino while abroad” (QFWA):

  1. Supporting documents:
    • Photocopy of a page of his/her Philippine passport with personal information, picture and signature, or photocopy of his/her foreign passport with personal information, picture and signature plus proof of copy of dual citizenship; and,
    • Invoice, receipt or equivalent document covering the goods in the balikbayan box, if any.
  1. A filled up, signed and submitted information sheet, which will be issued by BOC and will serve as the packing list.
  2. The international forwarder/consolidator should submit these information sheets and supporting documents via a secure electronic format to a local (Philippine) forwarder/deconsolidator.
  3. The local forwarder/deconsolidator should transmit to the Bureau the information sheet and supporting documents via a secure electronic format before the arrival of the balikbayan boxes in the Philippines and within the period prescribed:
  4. a) For consolidated shipments by sea:
  • For shipments that will take 3-day shipping time: 24 hours prior to arrival
  • For shipments that will take 7-day shipping time: 48 hours prior to arrival
  • For shipments coming from America, Europe, Middle East, and other parts of the world that do not fall under the above shipping times: 10 days prior to arrival
  1. b) For consolidate shipments carried by aircraft:
  • For those coming from Asia – 1 hour prior to arrival
  • For those coming from other countries – 6 hours prior to arrival
  1. A QFWA should also certify that only personal effects and household goods, which shall not be in commercial quantities, are sent through balikbayan boxes.

Meanwhile the Bureau of Customs advised the public to be wary of illegal fireworks being imported in the county.

“Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon has issued a memorandum to remind all officials and personnel to keep a tight watch on the entry of illegal finished firecrackers, fireworks, and other pyrotechnic devices in the country,” said Estrella.
Source: PIA, Rappler

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