PH Customs clarifies guidelines on sending duty, tax-free balikbayan boxes

Robie de Guzman   •   December 18, 2019   •   824

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Wednesday clarified its guidelines in sending balikbayan boxes and the persons qualified to benefit from the privilege.

In a statement, the BOC said that overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and other Filipinos, while residing abroad or upon their return to the Philippines, are allowed to bring or send duty- and tax-free goods to their families and relatives, under the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

The bureau said that qualified Filipinos while abroad (QFWA) refers to OFWs with valid passports issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and certified by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) or the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) for overseas employment purposes.

The QFWA are Filipinos who work in a foreign country under employment contracts, regardless of their professions, skills or employment status.

It also includes Filipinos working abroad under job contracts that do not require certification from DOLE or POEA.

Resident Filipinos, on the other hand, refer to resident Filipino citizens who temporarily stay abroad, including holders of a student visa, investor’s visa, tourist visa and similar visas which allow them to establish temporary stay abroad.

The BOC said that balikbayan boxes may be sent up to three times in a calendar year, provided that the total value shall not exceed P150,000.00.

“Any amount that exceeds the allowable value is subject to payment of duties and taxes,” the bureau added.

To qualify for the duty and tax-free privilege, the ultimate recipient or consignee of the balikbayan box must be family or relative up to the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, the agency further stated.

Under CMTA’s Section 800 (g), balikbayan boxes should only contain personal and household effects such as wearing apparel, personal adornments, electronic gadgets, toiletries.

Goods in commercial quantities and those intended for sale or for hire are not covered by the duty and tax-free balikbayan box.

The sender is also required to submit an accomplished and signed Information sheet, which may be obtained from consolidators, value-added service providers or through the BOC website at customs.gov.ph.

The sender must also secure a Tax Exemption Indorsement from the Department of Finance -Revenue Office.

Undeclared watches, commercial goods worth P1.1-M seized at NAIA – BOC

Robie de Guzman   •   July 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Various branded watches and other commercial goods estimated to worth P1.1 million were seized at the port of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said Thursday.

In a statement, the BOC said the undeclared items were confiscated on June 29. These were part of a consolidated shipment from the United States of America labeled as “personal effects.”

The seized goods include branded watches such as Michael Kors, Fossils, Anne Klein, Charriol, Invicta, Kate Spade, Diesel and Tommy, as well as bags, wallets, shoes — all in commercial quantity, the bureau said.

The items were intercepted after the shipment underwent X-Ray inspection.

The BOC-NAIA said it has issued a Warrant of Seizure and Detention against the confiscated goods for violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

The bureau added the case records shall also be referred to the Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS) for a possible criminal complaint against the personalities behind the foiled smuggling attempt.

Customs seizes over P1-M worth of marijuana at Port of Clark

Robie de Guzman   •   June 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday said it has intercepted P1.1 million worth of marijuana from a misdeclared shipment at Port of Clark.

In a statement, the BOC said the 966 grams of marijuana was found in a shipment declared as “art-work fine” which arrived from California, USA on June 9.

The shipment was subjected to strict profiling of documents and x-ray examination, the bureau said.

“Physical examination on the subject shipment yielded two vacuum-sealed clear plastic packs of suspected fine kush weeds,” it added.

Said shipment was likewise subjected to K9 sniffing which indicated presence of illegal drugs.

Thereafter, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chemical analysis was conducted affirming the findings of BOC-Clark personnel.

The BOC said the seized marijuana has been turned over to the PDEA Region 3 on June 18.

Also turned over to the PDEA were two other shipments containing separately one bottle of CBD Oil and six tobacco rolling papers which likewise positively resulted for presence of marijuana.

“Warrants of Seizure and Detention (WSD) were issued by District Collector Ruby Alameda against the subject shipments for violation of Sections 118 (g), 119 (d) & 1113 (f), (i) & (l) of R.A. No. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) in relation to Republic Act No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002,” the bureau said.

The BOC also reported that last March 30, 2020, the Port of Clark also apprehended P13.2 million worth of marijuana bringing the total to12.535 kgs of illegal or illegal substances seized by the port in 2020.

P17-M worth of fake cigarette shipment seized in Port of Manila – BOC

Robie de Guzman   •   June 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs-Port of Manila (BOC-POM) on Wednesday said it has seized a shipment containing fake Mighty and Marvels cigarettes estimated to be worth P17.38 million.

In a statement, the BOC said the shipment consigned to Mvestisery Industrial Supply arrived from China on May 22, 2020.

It was placed on hold and was issued a pre-lodgement control order last May 27 after the POM received derogatory information from the BOC-Enforcement Group, the bureau added.

Upon physical examination, the assigned Customs Examiner assessed its total duties and taxes amounting to Php 9.96 million.

District Collector Arsenia Ilagan ordered the issuance of Warrants of Seizure and Detention against the entire shipment for violation of Section 1401 “Unlawful Importation or Exportation” in relation to Section 1113 “Property Subject Seizure and Forfeiture” of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

“The Bureau of Customs maintains its steadfast commitment to curb unlawful trade and anti-smuggling in the nation’s border and inside customs territory,” the bureau said.

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