BOC: Balikbayan boxes must have information sheet, receipts starting August 1

Starting August 1, 2017, Bureau of Customs (BOC) will implement stricter guidelines in the sending of Balikbayan boxes, including the attachment of itemized list and receipts of purchased goods.

BOC issued Memorandum Order 04-2017 entitled Guidelines on the Implementation of Customs Administrative Order (CAO) No. 05-2016 on Consolidated Shipment of Duty and Tax-Free “Balikbayan Boxes” with Revised Information Sheet, which states that a balikbayan box sender should prepare a 3-set of information sheet detailing the items inside the box.

First copy should be attached to the box, second is the sender’s copy, and the third shall be furnished to Customs’ Consolidator.

The new guidelines also states that a Filipino sender should also attach a ‘photocopy of the biographical page of the Philippine passport where the personal information, picture and signature of the Sender are indicated’; and also a ‘copy of the invoice, receipt or proof of payment of the goods contained in the Balikbayan Box’.

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Here’s the full text of the new Customs Memo on Balikbayan Boxes:

Forwarding companies express their fears that the new guidelines may slow down and cause delays in the delivery of the boxes.

“If Customs will implement these guidelines, it will be burdensome to our OFWs,” said Atty. James Ian Dela Vega, counsel for Door To Door Consolidators Association of the Philippines (DDCAP).

But according to Athena Dans, chief of Manila International Container Port’s Informal Entry Division, all the provisions under CMO 04-2017 are basic and similar to what is being practiced in other countries.

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“That’s a declaration. You are declaring what’s inside the box. Basic naman yan sa customs all over the world. You have to declare what you are importing,” Dans said.

They are implementing these measures to curb smuggling, Dans added.

OFWs, what’s your thoughts on this? You may comment below. [With a report from GMA News]

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