Bureau of Customs Eased Up on “Balikbayan” Boxes Regulation in Time for Christmas

With just less than 80 days away before Christmas, Philippine’s Bureau of Customs (BOC) is loosening up in what appeared to be a tighter regulation which was originally introduced last August 1, 2017.

The tight-fisted regulation which brought forth qualms to both the recipients and the OFWs abroad was temporarily suspended by Isidro Lapeña, Philippine Customs chief, as of Oct. 3, 2017.

boc erases balikbayan boxes regulations christmas 2017

However, the suspension is nothing but temporary as the removal order is set to expire several months later in March 31, 2018.

Previously, the BOC explained that the recently implemented regulations was a means to facilitate openness, restrict the so-called case of smuggling and tax evasion among Filipinos who work from abroad.

Arising from this stricter regulation, many gifts went for long delays but also revealed expatriated Pinoys sending out gifts into the country that are potentially due for duties and taxes.

According to the Bureau of Customs (BOC) memorandum order 04-2017 which made into effect last Aug. 1, all Balikbayan box senders are required to declare the contents of their package. This includes common household items and personal effects like used clothing, cosmetics, and the like.

At the time of its validity, three measures were imposed for the senders to comply: fill up the information sheet, submit a photocopy of their valid Philippine passport, and submit actual receipts of the items that are slated for shipping into the country.

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