No more Import Fees on Balikbayan Boxes

Good news for Filipinos who receive balikbayan boxes from abroad: The Bureau of Customs (BOC) will no longer collect the import processing fee of P250 for packages arriving in the country’s ports.

BOC has waived the import processing fee for packages sent by sea freight through Customs Administrative Order (CAO) No. 08-2014 which will take effect today, Dec 15.

“No amount shall be collected as import processing fee on any importation filed through informal entry,” Commissioner John P. Sevilla said in the recent order.

“The BOC shall cease to collect the import processing fee,” he added.

In the same order, he reduced the “amount of Documentary Stamp Tax for Informal Entry” from P265 to P15. “An amount of P15 shall be collected from each importation filed through the informal entry,” Sevilla said.

Around 5.5 million balikbayan boxes are shipped to the country every year and the bulk enters the ports from September until yearend.

More than half of those packages enter the Manila International Container Port (MICP), while the rest arrive at the Port of Manila, Cebu, Davao and Subic.

The BOC has launched an online tracking system that will enable the recipients to check the status of their packages from abroad.

With the tracker, Sevilla said, “the public will not be given the run-around by people responsible for delivering their balikbayan boxes.”

Sevilla issued the CAO, approved by Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, in pursuant to Section 608 and Sections 3301 and 3304 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP), in relation to Section 36 of the Administrative Code of 1987.

(Source: Raymund F. Antonio – Manila Bulletin)

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