BOC charges higher custom fees for balikbayan boxes; a reader reacts

Earlier this month,  Bureau of Custom (BOC) chief Alberto Lina announced an increase in duties and taxes for consolidated shipments entering the country. As a result, Pinoy balikbayan box freight forwarders are expected to increase their rates.

Migrante party list chair Connie Bragas-Regalado told PhilStar that she has received information that the BOC intends to increase clearing fees for all containers entering ports in the country to as much as P100,000 to P120,000. According to Regalado, the first increase in tariff rate was implemented in July, while another will take effect in October.

Regalado was quoted asking, “What is the reason and rationale for this increase? Why was it imposed despite strong opposition from forwarders and OFWs alike? Where will the added cost go?”

A DailyPedia reader decided to share his opinion about BOC’s decision to charge higher custom duties for balikabayan boxes.

Here’s what Earl Maghirang had to say about the issue.

Philippine Customs Targets ‘Balikbayan Boxes’ for additional revenue

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) abroad looking to send their balikbayan boxes filled with Christmas goodies for their loved ones at home may find themselves needing a few more dollars to pay the freighters. According to reports from the Manila Bulletin, newly-minted Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Alberto Lina approved two consecutive increases tariff increases for consolidated shipments (the category in which balikbayan boxes belong). The first increase of Php 40,000 per container was implemented on July 27, 2015, and another increase of Php 60,000 is set to take effect on October 1.

In a story posted on the Pinoy Weekly , Filipino freight forwarders expressed that they “have been on edge” due to the continuous rise of operational costs brought about by delays due to last year’s truck ban and port congestion problems in the Philippines. “And now we have to contend with these new round of increases in customs duties,” said Joel P. Longares, president of the Door-to-Door Consolidators of the Philippines (DDCOP).

The Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Bizz Buzz, a business rumor-mill section, also picked up the story, with some added suspicion on the timing and purpose of the increase, especially since the BOC is doing very well in its collection quotas.

Sources also revealed that the tariff surge shocked even the biggest freight and shipping companies in the Philippines, as the mandated increase was implemented without a circular nor a memorandum. Industry insiders also mentioned that, while most of the shipping companies are doing their best to keep their prices as they are, the Php 100,000 hike is enough reason for most of the freighters to increase their fees.

Any potential increase in freight prices couldn’t have come at a worse time because Christmas time, or what Filipino’s lovingly refer to as the “ber” months, are when OFWs send their balikbayan boxes home.

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  1. Ang daming problema n dapat unahin ng goberno para ma lutas bakit ito pa ung inuna nyo…mga personal n gamit ng mga kababayang pilipino at pinag hirapan para lang maipadala sa mga mahal sa buhay ,pano kung wala ng mgpapadala dahil sa bagong pinalabas na law???dapat bang buksan ang mga personal na gamit ng mga ofw???kung walang ofw walang box pano na kau???ang ofw ang pinakamalaking naetulong sa bansang mahirap kaya dapat bigyan nyo ng considerasyon iyon….pinaghirapan ng mga ofw ang mga bugay bagay na pinadala sa pinas sana naman unahin nyo ung problema sa bansa d yung gagawa kau ng problema d na kau na awa…pinagpaguran at nagtiis mka abroad lbg tapos ganito lng ang ginawa

  2. let our congressman and senators na gumawa ng batas para sa mga ofw and balikbayan natin. wla magagawa ang customs kung may batas cla matatakbuhan… as of now 10,000 pesos ang exempted nla basi sa customs code of the phils. kya mga congressman and senators gawin nyo 100,000 or 500,000 ang exemption nla para wla clang bayaran ng duty and taxes.

  3. gusto nla open pra mapabilis at madami pa clang MANAKAW! galawang LUPIN hanep!!kapal ng muka nio mga #CUSTOM respeto nmn khit konti kau p unang mkakakita ng padala kesa s pamilya wow aah!,,tigil tigilan nio n mga strat. nio, magnanakaw lng kau! anong SILBI ng mga scanning device nio kung bubuksan nio pa or my agenda tlga kau MAGNAKAW!! boycotin ang #Custom tss only in da Phil. nga nman lalagyan p ng tax ee from padalahan hnggng pinas my tax at s pagkakaalam q my tax din s ibng bnsa ano doble2 tax wla n kau awa s mga ofw n nagtitiis n ndi mkakain my mpdala lng s pamilya mga hayup kau!!!

  4. I don’t think na dapat nila gawin eto,invasion or kurakot na yan,hindi naman magpapadala ang family ng makakasama sa pamilya or sa mga kababayan,PINAGHIRAPAN PO NAMIN ETO!!!dugo at pawis at tulog ang sakripisyo namin…..Improve the good strategy of handling Balikbayan Boxes but not OPENING IT?

  5. An open letter from a concerned citizen. To all the boc employees that not only checklng but also stealing other family’s goods that been bought by there family members hardwork and sacrifices. My grandma and my aunties will have all the things listed on what inside the box and we will make sure that none a f*cking single thing was stolen. And if there may be one. We’re going to report and sue all the people involved. Human rights and privacy has been avoided by this st*pid policies i don’t think that this is the right way to do things. This is inhumane. don’t wait for karma to come get you and not only karma even the people whom you give inconvenience. May you have a clear mind and check on how you handle and solve smuggling cases. This is not one of it. This is so inhumane ( hindi na ito makatao)



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