MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has blacklisted 54 foreign sea freight forwarders amid complaints about balikbayan boxes.
According to Trade Undersecretary Victorio Mario Dimagiba, the DTI has blacklisted 54 foreign freight forwarders or consolidators from Asia, Australia, Europe, Middle East and the US due to pending complaints on undelivered balikbayan boxes as of Jan. 9.
The list of blacklisted freight forwarders can be viewed on the DTI website: www.dti.gov.ph.
Balikbayan boxes are not usually delivered when foreign consolidators or principal sea freight forwarders fail to remit a portion of the collected charges to their accredited Philippine agents or local sea freight forwarders.
“When necessary funds are not remitted to accredited Philippine agents or local freight forwarders, the shipment or the balikbayan boxes with the Bureau of Customs will not be released and will not be delivered to consignees or recipients,” Dimagiba said.
Based on the DTI’s records, there are some incidents of undelivered balikbayan boxes involving freight forwarding companies with accreditation.
As such, the DTI has revoked the accreditation of firms involved in those incidents such as D’Winner Logistics Phils. Inc. and Globalnet International Freight, Inc.
The DTI is also working on the recall of the accreditation given to Steadfast Air-Sea International Inc., together with its licensed customs broker Victorino C. Guilles Jr., for abandoning a shipment consigned to it.
The DTI is implementing an accreditation scheme for sea freight forwarding companies to ensure that only qualified firms can engage in such business.
“The accreditation scheme helps professionalize the freight forwarding industry and the DTI will continue to strictly implement its criteria to weed out those companies that are not qualified to engage in this business,” Dimagiba said.
As of Jan. 9, the DTI has issued accreditation certificates to 664 sea freight forwarders, of which 57 are engaged in handling balikbayan box shipments.
To avoid incidents of undelivered balikbayan boxes, the DTI is reminding the public to deal only with accredited firms.