Former President Benigno Aquino signed the Balikbayan Box Law or BBL last 2016. This law is otherwise known as Republic Act 10863. But Bureau of Customs was only the guidelines this year 2017.
Balikbayans and OFW’s can now send balikbayan boxes or pasalubong Tax Free for items worth up to P150,000 total per year.
If you are an OFW, make sure you know about the Balikbayan Box Law, especially which Christmas season is nearly approaching. Many of our OFW’s will surely send their Balikbayan Boxes to their families here in the Philippines. It would be advantage if you maximize the tax-free sending for the benefit of your love ones.
Itemized List Required
The Bureau of Customs requires senders to list all items inside the balikbayan box including the value of each item. This is for security purpose and a precaution in case something went missing inside the box. You can use the balikbayan box list in case you need to file a case against the receiver of even against customs officers, as necessary.
The Tax Free Law includes Balikbayan boxes with personal items and household stuff worth P150,000 and below sent within the calendar year. However, the sender must fill up the special information sheet to avail the balikbayan box privilege.
Prepare 4 copies of the Information Sheet List per box. It’s recommended that you have the cargo forwarded signed and acknowledge your items declaration list.
- One copy of the balikbayan box list inside the box (not required but we strongly suggest you do this)
- One copy pasted on the box itself
- One copy to the forwarder or receiver
- And one copy for yourself
The Bureau of Customs shall not open the boxes unless there is something suspicious inside the box.
The following are the allowed recipient under the Balikbayan Box Privilege law:
- Sibling of Parent
- First Cousin
- Niece or Nephew
- Sibling of Grandparent
- Grand Niece or Nephew
- Great Grandchild
- Great Grandparent
Possible Concerns and Questions about the Balikbayan Boxes
What can you put inside the box? You can put personal items and household effects in limited quantity.
How much can you put in the balikbayan box? To enjoy the tax free perk, you can put a maximum of P150,000 in total value in one year.
Do they have to submit a receipt or invoice of the things inside the balikbayan box? No there is no need if the value of an item is Less Than P10,000. If the item you put inside is a high-value item or brand new product worth more than P10K, then a copy of the receipt or invoice is required.
How many boxes can you send using the balikbayan box privilege? As many box as you want as long as the total value of all boxes sent in a year will not exceed to P150,000. Any excess of the P150K value limit is subject to duty and import tax.
Who can send Balikbayan Boxes to the Philippines? Anyone can send balikbayan boxes to the Philippines, even Corporations, Partnerships and Sole Proprietors, but only a QFWA can avail of the duty and tax-free privilege of the balikbayan boxes under Section 800 (g) of the CMTA.
For more information or queries about this topic, you may visit Customs website.
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