BOC eases rules on ba­lik­bayan box du­ties

The Philippine Star - - FRONT PAGE - By MARY GRACE PADIN

The Bu­reau of Cus­toms (BOC) has eased the rules for Filipinos avail­ing of duty- and tax-free priv­i­leges for con­sol­i­dated ba­lik­bayan boxes val­ued up to P150,000.

Cus­toms Me­moran­dum Or­der No. 18- 2018 is­sued on Oct. 11 su­per­sedes CMO No. 04-2017, which lists the guide­lines on the avail­ment of the priv­i­lege by qual­i­fied Filipinos on their con­sol­i­dated ship­ment of ba­lik­bayan boxes.

In­stead of stick­ing to a Philip­pine pass­port as proof of cit­i­zen­ship, the BOC said it is ac­cept­ing other doc­u­ments such as a pho­to­copy of the page of a Philip­pine pass­port with per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, pic­ture and sig­na­ture.

In case of dual Filipino cit­i­zen­ship with­out a Philip­pine pass­port, a pho­to­copy of for­eign

pass­port with per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, pic­ture and sig­na­ture plus a copy of proof of dual Filipino cit­i­zen­ship are needed.

The bu­reau also ac­cepts per­ma­nent res­i­dent ID or equiv­a­lent doc­u­ments in other coun­tries, over­seas em­ploy­ment cer­tifi­cate or Over­seas Work­ers Wel­fare Ad­min­is­tra­tion card, work per­mit, uni­fied gov­ern­ment ID is­sued by the De­part­ment of La­bor and Em­ploy­ment (DOLE) and any other equiv­a­lent doc­u­ment ex­cept birth cer­tifi­cate.

To fur­ther sim­plify the rules, the BOC said qual­i­fied Filipinos are not re­quired to sub­mit the com­mer­cial in­voices of the goods con­tained in the ba­lik­bayan box. In­voices are to be sub­mit­ted only if th­ese are avail­able.

How­ever, they are re­quired to sub­mit through their freight for­warders or de­con­sol­ida­tors three copies of the in­for­ma­tion sheet, which will serve as the pack­ing list of the ba­lik­bayan box.

The first copy should be placed on the top­most por­tion of the box. The sec­ond copy should be kept by the sender and the third one must be given to the con­sol­ida­tor to be for­warded to the BOC to­gether with other doc­u­men­tary re­quire­ments.

The BOC clar­i­fied that qual­i­fied Filipinos abroad in­clude hold­ers of valid pass­ports is­sued by the De­part­ment of For­eign Af­fairs (DFA) and cer­ti­fied by the DOLE or Philip­pine Over­seas Em­ploy­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion (POEA) for over­seas em­ploy­ment pur­poses re­gard­less of pro­fes­sion.

Also qual­i­fied are non­res­i­dent Filipinos who have es­tab­lished per­ma­nent res­i­dency abroad but re­tained their Filipino cit­i­zen­ship, and res­i­dent Filipino cit­i­zens who tem­po­rar­ily stayed abroad, in­clud­ing hold­ers of stu­dent visa, in­vestors’ visa, tourist visa or other sim­i­lar visas that al­low them to es­tab­lish tem­po­rary stay abroad.

The BOC ad­vised ba­lik­bayan box senders that their ship­ment must only con­tain per­sonal and house­hold ef­fects.

Ba­lik­bayan boxes may be sent up to three times in a year pro­vided the to­tal value per sender will not ex­ceed P150,000 and the items or goods sent are not in com­mer­cial quan­ti­ties.

The bu­reau said de­con­sol­ida­tors and freight for­warders are re­quired to en­sure that only per­sonal ef­fects and house­hold goods are sent through con­sol­i­dated ship­ment of ba­lik­bayan boxes.

“De­con­sol­ida­tors and all other par­tic­i­pants who use ba­lik­bayan boxes as con­duit for smug­gling will be pe­nal­ized ac­cord­ing to Sec­tion 1401 of the Cus­toms Mod­ern­iza­tion and Tar­iff Act,” the BOC said.

The BOC as­sured the pub­lic that ba­lik­bayan boxes tagged as “no sus­pect” af­ter the manda­tory X-ray in­spec­tions will not be opened or sub­jected to phys­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion.

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