Balikbayan boxes, free of tax starting December 25

Starting December 25, Balikbayan boxes will be exempted from taxes as the Bureau of Customs and the Department of Finance have signed Customs Administrative Order (CAO) 05-2016, which concerns the consolidated shipment of said boxes.

According to reports, Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon was quoted as saying that the CAO 05-2016  serves as the implementing rules and regulations on Section 800 (g) of the Customs and Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) that covers balikbayan boxes.

The Customs order “covers the sending of balikbayan boxes by Qualified Filipinos While Abroad (QFWA) to their families and relatives, which shall be exempt from the payment of duties and taxes, up to three times and shall not exceed P150,000.00 in a calendar year.”

He noted that balikbayan boxes brought in through means other than consolidated shipments shall be covered by a different Customs order.

“This CAO states that only qualified Filipinos abroad may avail of duty and tax free privileges on balikbayan boxes containing personal effects and households goods,” Faeldon added.

The implementation of tax free Balikbayan boxes on Dec. 25 are applicable to those items amounting up to P150,000 and below.

Under the CMTA, QFWA, the implementation thus reiterates the following:

(1) holders of valid passports issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and certified by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) or Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) for overseas employment purposes regardless of profession;

(2) non-resident Filipinos who have established permanent residency abroad but retained their Filipino citizenship; and,

(3) resident Filipino citizens who temporarily stay abroad (may include holders of student visa, investors’ visa, tourist visa, and similar visas which allow them to establish temporary stay abroad).

And, to be granted with this privilege, the following requirements below must be met.

(1) A QFWA shall submit  the following supporting documents

(2) A QFWA must accomplish, sign and submit the Information Sheet, which will be issued by BOC and will serve as the packing list;

(3) The international forwarder and/or consolidator shall submit these Information Sheets and supporting documents in a secured electronic format to local (Philippine) forwarder and/or deconsolidator; and

(4) The local forwarder and/or deconsolidator shall transmit to the Bureau the Information Sheet and supporting documents in a secured electronic format before the arrival of the balikbayan boxes to the Philippines and within the period prescribed below.

Whereas, for consolidated shipments by sea:

a. For shipments that will take 3-day shipping time: 24 hours prior to arrival;

b. For shipments that will take 7-day shipping time: 48 hours prior to arrival; and

c. For shipments coming from America, Europe, Middle East, and other parts of the world that does not fall under the above shipping time: 10 days prior to arrival.

Meanwhile, for consolidated shipments carried by aircraft:

a. For those coming from Asia – 1 hour prior to arrival

b. For those coming from other countries – 6 hours prior to arrival

(5) A QFWA shall also certify that only personal effects and household goods, which shall not be in commercial quantities, are sent through balikbayan boxes.

In connection to this, Faeldon asked all international and local forwarders foreign consolidators and local deconsolidators to strictly follow these guidelines, to enable customs to expedite clearance procedures, and for them to ensure that all balikbayan boxes are delivered to their receiver with utmost care.

(Source: GMA NEWS)




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