How To Send Balikbayan Box to the Philippines (New Rules for Filipinos Abroad)

​Over the years, I have sent balikbayan boxes to the Philippines for my family. This is very common for all Filipinos working and living abroad. Different gifts and personal items stuff in a big box, it is almost like a Filipino tradition.

I received a few queries about Balikbayan Boxes from fellow Filipinos here in the UK and in other parts of the world. Sending Balikbayan boxes to our families in the Philippines has been a part of the Filipino modern tradition. Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and Resident Filipinos abroad are working hard and saving up to fill up these precious balikbayan boxes.

I wrote in this post about the Balikbayan box rules amendment, how to send a balikbayan box that is compliant with the new Bureau of Customs guidance and how to qualify for the tax-free exemption.

Read More: How to Get A Balikbayan Visa for Foreign Spouse and Filipino Dual Citizen

What is a “Balikbayan box”?

The balikbayan box is a type of cargo corrugated box or other containers that Filipinos are sending to their families in the Philippines filled with toys, clothing, appliances, groceries etc. The Balikbayan boxes come in various sizes (Small, Medium, Large and Jumbo) depending on your preference and budget.

Filipinos who work and live abroad, typically fill the Balikbayan boxes throughout the year and send them to their family a few months before the Christmas season or New Year season and other special occasions in the year.

LBC Balikbayan Box to the Philippines
My LBC Balikbayan Box to the Philippines

Read more: Balikbayan Travel to the Philippines During the Pandemic

How to send Balikbayan Box to the Philippines:

Here is the step-by-step guide on how you can send a Balikbayan box to the Philippines. I personally do this process whenever I’m sending a box to my family in the Philippines.

  • Look for a trusted Balikbayan Box Cargo company. I have listed below a few Balikbayan companies and their contact numbers.
  • Call and order an empty Balikbayan box that will suit your needs. They will ask for a small payment for the box deposit.
  • Once you received the box, reinforce the bottom and side of the box with good packaging tape and duck tape. This is to ensure it won’t collapse/break in transit.
  • Collect and buy the items that you would like to send back, as long as they can fit in your box. Check that the item is not on the prohibited list of the Bureau of Customs.
  • Secure all the delicate and fragile items with a cling film, bubble wrap and zip lock bag. Most especially the liquid items.
  • Arrange the items inside the box neatly to maximise every space. you can put small items inside a carton of the product you will be sending or inside the shoes that you will be sending.
  • List all the items that you put in the box for your reference and for the cargo company declaration form.
  • Seal and close the box with packaging tape, duct tape and fragile tape to ensure it is sturdy during transit.
  • Attach the cargo company’s declaration form on top of the box, and fill in all the necessary details and the item list.
  • Write the name and address of the recipient on the side of the box. Also, include your details as the box sender.
  • Call the cargo company for the collection schedule.
  • The cargo company will collect your box and ask for the fully accomplished declaration form. Upon collection, you can pay them the shipping fee. Ask for a copy of the receipt.
  • Wait for the arrival of your box in the Philippines. The shipping of the Balikbayan boxes usually takes around 8 to 12 weeks depending on the season.

In general, the weight of the Balikbayan box should be up to 30 kilos, but sometimes this is irrelevant as long as you can fit the items inside the box without overfilling it. Otherwise, the cargo company might request that you remove some items or get the next bigger size box.

I wrote an article about Helpful Balikbayan Box Tips in Packing, Preparing and Sending items to the Philippines. I encourage you to read it, you might learn some handy tips on sending you balikbayan box.

New policies about sending Balikbayan boxes:

Since 1st August 2017, the new policy that has been implemented by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) caused a lot of concerns among the OFWs and Filipino Immigrants overseas. The new policy regarding the rules of sending the Balikbayan Boxes to the Philippines categorises the type of sender and if the sender would qualify for a tax-free allowance.

The new policy primarily aims to tackle the illegal importation (smuggling) of imported goods in the Philippines. The tax will also be a new source of revenue for the government public funds.

What do I have to do?

You can still carry on and send your balikbayan boxes as usual. However, there are a few things that you should make a note of if you are part of the QUALIFIED FILIPINOS WHILE ABROAD (QFWA) or the NON-QUALIFIED FILIPINOS WHILE ABROAD (NQFWA).

Based on the new policy, valuable new items (e.g. gadgets, jewellery, appliances, watches etc.) that are sent thru the Balikbayan box should need to be declared and supported with a receipt if it’s brand new.

The used items, groceries and less valuable new items (e.g everyday clothing, toiletries, chocolates etc.) are not required to have a receipt when sent thru the balikbayan box but you have to list them on the declaration form.

Upon sending the Balikbayan box, the sender is required to fill up the declaration form that is provided by the Bureau of Customs. This will be submitted together with the receipt/s proof of purchase to the Cargo companies that will transport the Balikbayan Boxes to the Philippines, IF AVAILABLE.

The declaration list and the receipts will be the basis of the duty and import tax that you have to pay when the items arrive in the Philippines.

Download Here:
Balikbayan Box Information Sheet from the Bureau of Customs (Declaration Sheet)

What are the exemptions and limitations?

balikbayan box to the philippines
My balikbayan box to the Philippines

Everyone is still allowed to send a balikbayan box to the Philippines. However, the balikbayan box that won’t qualify for the exemptions and limitations will be subject to duty and import tax.

The Bureau of Customs set some special arrangements for Qualified Filipinos While Abroad.

The Qualified Filipinos While Abroad (QFWA) are the OFWs, Non-resident Filipinos abroad who established a Permanent residency overseas but retained their Filipino Citizenship (Dual Citizen), and the Filipino citizens who acquired a temporary visa to stay abroad (e.g. students, business visas etc.)

What is the Balikbayan Box Privilege?

The Balikbayan box privilege is the privilege given to Qualified Filipinos While Abroad (QFWA) and Dual Citizens Filipinos send up to 150,000 Pesos worth of TAX-FREE BALIKBAYAN BOXES. The QFWA can avail of the privilege 3 times or 3 shipments per calendar year containing personal effects and household items only.

You can read the new terms and conditions here.

The HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS refer to furniture, dishes, linens, books, and similar household furnishings for PERSONAL USE.

The PERSONAL EFFECTS refer to the commodities whether new or used for PERSONAL USE or CONSUMPTION and not for commercial purposes such as clothes, personal adornment, gadgets, toiletries etc.

Requirements:

  • A copy of the Philippine passport
  • If dual citizen without a Philippine passport, a copy of their Oath of Allegiance is provided by the embassy during their Re-acquisition of Philippine citizenship.
  • The Information sheet (declaration list) from the BOC (link provided above)
  • Receipt of the valuable items, if available.

The QFWA is limited to avail of the Balikbayan Box privilege three times in a calendar year or three (3) shipments of balikbayan boxes with a total worth value of PHP 150,000 per calendar year to qualify for the duty and tax exemption. The items should not be in commercial quantity and considered to be allowed and/or regulated items.

The Calendar Year refers to the period from 1st of January to 31st of December of the same year.

There is no limit to the number of Balikbayan boxes that you can send PER SHIPMENT but the size of the boxes must be no bigger than 20 cubic metres or about the size of an XL Balikbayan box and the total value of the shipment should not be more than PHP 150,000 in a Calendar year.

If the balikbayan box would be worth below PHP 10,000 it won’t be classified as part of the duty and tax-free exemption scheme but will be classified as De Minimis Importation so it is automatically exempted from the duty and importation tax.

If you go over the allowed limits and conditions, the balikbayan box will be subjected to duty and import tax. Only the direct family and close relatives of the QFWA should be the receiver or beneficiary of the balikbayan box in the Philippines.

The Family and relatives refer to relatives up to the fourth (4th) civil degree of consanguinity or affinity (first cousin).

Suppose the QFWA will be sending the balikbayan box to their friends or non-relatives. In that case, this will also be subjected to the duty and import tax (if over the allowance of De Minimis Importation value of Php 10, 000).

The Non-Qualified Filipinos While Abroad (NQFWA) are classed as Sole Proprietor (DTI registered), Partnership, Corporations and the Non / Previous Filipino Citizens (PH citizens who acquired new citizenship from another country and choose not to retain their PH citizenships), will also have to pay for the duty and import tax (if over the De Minimis Importation value of 10,000 PHP).

This is also applicable to other foreign nationals who wish to send balikbayan boxes to the Philippines.

If you want to know in advance how much is the potential duty and importation tax of your balikbayan box, you can message the Bureau of Customs FB page or email boc.cares@customs.gov.ph .

Don’t forget to include the itemized list of the goods that you will be sending so they can provide you with a correct computation.

If you have decided to apply to reclaim your Filipino citizenship after acquiring new citizenship from another country, I made a blog post about it, please read it on the link below.

Read More: Benefits of having Dual Citizenship (British – Filipino)

Filipino Community trusted and recommended Balikbayan Box Cargo Companies

As I have sent a lot of balikbayan boxes over the years, I have compiled here the names of the companies I have used and the recommendations of my fellow Filipinos thru word of mouth, Filipino online communities and Barrio fiestas etc. I have listed them down below in no particular order.

You will typically pay a minimum deposit upon ordering the box. During the delivery of the empty box, the company will give you their company version of the declaration item list form that you have to fill in ready for collection.

United Kingdom

Pooten Forwarding
Address: Unit 16A, Roxwell Trading Park, Argall Ave, London E10 7QY
Contact number: +44 (020) 8520 6435 | +44 (020) 8509 1434
Mobile: +44 (0) 777 072 74 86
Email: info@pootenforwardinginternational.com | pfil2012@gmail.com

LBC Express – United Kingdom
Address: Unit 9, Victoria Industrial Estate, Victoria Rd, North Acton, London W3 6UU
Contact Number: +44 207 373 2331
Email: customercare@lbcexpress.com

Forex Cargo
Address:  7, Alpha Estate, Clayton Rd, Hayes UB3 1BB
Contact Number: +44 20 8813 7064

United States of America (USA) and Canada

LBC Express
Email:  customercare@lbcexpress.com
Contact Number: +1-888-652-2522

Forex
Address: 328 39 Ave SE, T2G 1X6 Calgary Alberta
Contact Number: (403) 243-2912 / (403) 873-6739
Toll-Free: 1-888-315-5172
Email: calgary@forexcargodeals.com

Umac Express Cargo
See their branches details here. They have different offices in key locations around the world like the USA, Canada, Middle East, Asia, Europe, Scandinavia, UK and many more.

Read more: Detailed Guidelines about the Balikbayan Box Consolidated Scheme

Duty-free items limitations on personal use items and commercial quantity of goods

We do sometimes get carried away on how much stuff we can put in our Balikbayan box for our family and relatives.  Here are the guidelines from the BOC

Here is the list of Duty- free items and allowed quantities from the Bureau of Customs and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In case you go over the stated allowance, the items will be confiscated by the BOC.

PERSONAL USE ITEMS ALLOWED QUANTITIES
Childcare items5 kilos
Toys10 pieces
Perfumes5 pieces
Lipstick10 pieces
Shampoo2 kilos
Lotion 2 kilos
Bar soap2 kilos
Assorted cosmetics1 kilo
Household Hazardous substance5 kilos
Vitamins & other health supplements
intended for maintenance
500 grams in total
Processed food10 kilos
Wines / Liquor2 bottles
not exceeding 1.5 Litres/bottle
List of Duty-free allowance items that may be brought through Passenger baggage, Balikbayan boxes or International parcels thru mail or delivery services.

Import guidelines on Prohibited, Restricted and Regulated items in the Philippines:

Here are the guidelines from the Bureau of Customs on Regulated Import Products. These items have quantity limitations when sent or bringing it to the Philippines via Balikbayan box, passenger baggage or via delivery services and parcels.

Regulated Items:

The Regulated Goods are the goods which are subject to regulation and may be imported or released only after securing all the necessary permits, clearances and/or licenses from the Regulating Agencies in the Philippines.

REGULATED PRODUCTS FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSESREGULATING AGENCYIMPORT PERMIT OR CLEARANCE REQUIRED
COSMETICS
(Face / Hand / Body lotions and creams, facial powders and cleansers, lipstick etc.)
FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA)
Email: info@fda.gov.ph
Tel #: (02) – 8571900
Valid License to Operate (LTO) as Cosmetics Importer and Product Notification
JEWELLERY (real or imitations), PEARLS (real or imitations), PRECIOUS or SEMI-PRECIOUS STONESBUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE (BIR)
Email: contact_us@bir.gov.ph
Tel. No.: (02) 981-7003 / (02) 928-8501
Authority To Release Imported Goods (ATRIG)
LAMPS and RELATED PRODUCTS
(Self-ballasted lamps, fluorescent lamps, incandescent lamps, Christmas lights, lamp starters/holders etc.)
BUREAU OF PHILIPPINE STANDARDS (BPS)
Email: BPS@dti.gov.ph
Tel. No.: (02) 751-3127
Import Commodity Clearance (ICC)
OPTICAL DISKS WRITERS / DRIVES, HARD DISK DRIVES, DVD/CD RECORDERS, DUPLICATORS
(CD Burners, Hard drives, flash drives and Blu-ray)
OPTICAL MEDIA BOARD (OMB)
Email: info@omb.gov.ph or omb_registry@yahoo.com.ph
Tel. No.: (02) 410 – 2488 / (02) 374 0237
Import Permit
LIGHTERS OF CIGARS AND CIGARETTESBUREAU OF PHILIPPINE STANDARDS (BPS)
Email: BPS@dti.gov.ph
Tel. No.: (02) 751-3127
Import Commodity Clearance (ICC)
Regulated Products for Commercial Purposes, Regulating Agencies and Permit and Clearances required

Restricted Items:

Here are the restricted items that you should not send to your Balikbayan boxes. Except when authorized by law or regulation in the Philippines, the importation of the following Restricted items is prohibited.

  • Firearms and weapons of war or parts thereof (e.g. Dynamite, gunpowder, ammunitions and other explosives.
  • Machines, apparatuses or mechanical devices used in gambling or distribution of money or prizes that are dependent on chance. e.g. Roulette wheels, gambling outfits, loaded dice, marked cards, jackpot and pinball machines etc.
  • Lottery and sweepstakes tickets.
  • Drugs or any drug compounds that are declared habit forming.
  • Opium pipes or other parts or paraphernalia.
  • Any other imported goods that are restricted by the Philippine government and law enforcement.
  • Weapons of mass destruction and goods included in the National Strategic Goods List (NSGL) as provided under Republic Act No. 10697 or the Strategic Trade Management Act (STMA).
  • Toxic and Hazardous goods under Republic Act No. 6969 or the “Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990”.

Prohibited Items:

The importation of the following goods is strictly prohibited in the Philippines:

  • Written or printed goods in any form containing any matter advocating or inciting treason, rebellion, insurrection, or sedition against the Philippine government.
  • Written or printed goods containing any threat o take the life of, or inflict bodily harm upon any person in the Philippines.
  • Goods, instruments, drugs and substances designed, intended or adapted for producing unlawful abortion or any printed matter which advertises, describes or gives direct or indirect information where, how or by whom unlawful abortion is committed.
  • Written or printed goods, negatives, cinematographic films, photos, etc that represent an obscene or immoral character.
  • Any counterfeit goods manufactured in whole or in part of gold, silver or other precious metals or alloys.
  • Any adulterated or misbranded food or goods for human consumption.
  • Any adulterated or misbranded drugs or medicine.
  • Infringing goods as defined under the Intellectual Property Code and related laws.
  • All other goods or parts thereof which importation are explicitly prohibited by law or Philippine authority.

If you have other concerns, about the Balikbayan box policy please contact the Bureau of Customs on their  Facebook page or email boc.cares@customs.gov.ph

I hope that this clarifies the process of how you can send your Balikbayan Boxes to the Philippines under the new policy of the Bureau of Customs.

Balikbayan box to the philippines

 Let me know in the comment box below what you think of this new policy and your experience in sending your Balikbayan boxes.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ryazan Tristram EverythingZany Author Bio

Ryazan Tristram

Travel Writer & Photographer

Ryazan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism and Hotel Management. She also has more than 10 years of work experience gained from working in the hotel and travel sectors in Asia and Europe. Her work has been featured and published on Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Discovery Channel, World Travel Guide, MSN, CNBC, GMA, Daily Mail UK, Lonely Planet and many more. She is currently living in the UK as a dual citizen (British – Filipina). Join her in travelling around the UK and beyond with a mission to promote sustainable tourism and share travel guides, travel tips, foodies, history and culture.

108 thoughts on “How To Send Balikbayan Box to the Philippines (New Rules for Filipinos Abroad)”

  1. Hi… I sent 3 Medium Size Boxes in the Middle of July 2017
    so am I exempt from the Rules that started on August 1st ??
    Also I sent a Tool Box of Used Tools within the Box, is this OK??

    Reply
    • Hi Billy, I can only assume that you’ll be exempted from the new policy since you sent your boxes around July. I would suggest to contact Bureau of Customs directly to be 100% certain. I put the contact info on my blog post. Good luck!

      Reply
  2. Thank you for your very informative article! We’re in Republic of Ireland and it applies to us here because most Filipinos here still send Balikbayan Boxes to our hometown. I have read somewhere about equivalent price for used items, do you have it? I believe that even if you send used items, it should still be worth upto PHP10K only…

    Reply
    • Hi J, Thank you very much. Yes, Even the used item will be accounted for the PHP10k limit under the De Minimis privilege. I don’t have an equivalent list for it because it will be calculated based on the information (declaration) sheet that you will have to submit together with your balikbayan box. I would suggest to drop an email to Bureau of Customs (I put their contact details on this blog post) regarding your itemised list of used items to see it they will get value below PHP 10k. Or, try to estimate a value for it.

      Reply
  3. How will those used clothing be priced then? Does that mean I have to keep every single receipt I have for every single item in case I decide to send it in a few years? And if they were bought on the sale, but I have no receipt will they google the price and come up with the full price? This is a rip off!

    Reply
    • Hi Jan, As for the used items, you don’t need to provide a receipt but you need to list them on the information sheet provided by the BOC ( link is in this blog post). As for their pricing, I’m not so sure how would they calculate it. I can only assume to give the estimated value of it. If you want to clarify this you can contact the BOC on the email address I included in this post. I must admit it is pretty difficult for us OFW.

      Reply
  4. Sending balikbayan boxes used to be fun experience because it makes us feel good to know we can make our relatives and friends happy….but with these new requirements, it became a hassle! I don’t understand the necessity of copying one’s passport when you are aware that confidential and pesonal information are contained in this document. When we purchased the items, we were already taxed….why do recipients have to pay taxes on new items again? Just letting you know how ridiculous these new requirements are!!!

    Reply
    • Hi Lily, The BOC suspended the policy until the 31st March 2018. So just send your balikbayan box as usual until March 2018. I put the link to the memorandum on the top of this blog post.

      Reply
    • good day mam,
      i would like to know how much kilos of date fruit i can send to my family and relatives in the Phils via freight forwarding or thru the balikbayan box
      thank you

      Reply
  5. Is this ruling still applucable, now that faeldon is gone? I think this rulung is for the benefit of rhe forwarders. If you’re only limited 3 boxes per year and at 10k per box what is this 150k limit per year for? I don’t get it. Like here in the US the box cost 5 bucks freighting to our province is 80 bucks that’s 85 bucks for freighting alone. For 200 dollars worth of goods? That’s rediculous. Can they just leave the ofw alone. Balikbayan bix is the only thing that makes our family happy and connect us atleast. Why always the ofw have to suffer for the failure of the BOC to collect if they’re not yet collecting. Those taxes from the big importers. Is it because the tax is for their pocket and since ofw is not as big as those importers they will let us pay taxes. What happened to the ofw bagong bayani? I hope this stupid ruling will be recalled.

    Reply
    • I understand your concern. I’m an OFW as well. The latest update that BOC confirmed with is that they suspended the policy until 31st March 2018 to give way to the holiday period and to amend the policy.

      Reply
      • I am a British man
        Who is getting Married to a Filipino later this year after I emigrate there?
        My Questions are.
        Has the Tax exemption been lifted again?
        Also, when I am there, can my friend send me a Balikbayan box to the Philippines, as I will be leaving a few things behind.
        Due to the weight allowance on the plane.
        Like my DeWalt Battery operated Drill, and other things.

        Regards

        Derek

        Reply
  6. my brothers and cousins asked shoes for their gift this christmas. You know how expensive basketball shoes are, i patiently bought every one of them monthly as not to rip my pockets. How in the world would this shoes get there without getting taxed absurdly? How would it be possible to send a balikbayan box that would cost only 10,000 pesos??a single pair of shoes is already more than that. They playing OFWs as dirt poor. Let us have the chance to give our family decent gifts not garbage.

    Reply
    • Absolutely! I hope they will change the policy soon and adjust their limits or better yet remove it. BOC just confirmed with me that they are suspending the policy until 31st March to give way for the holiday season and amend the policy.

      Reply
  7. The Philippines is turning out just like all the other countries. They don’t understand that foreigners are what keep the place going and soon they won’t go there with all these restrictions in place.

    Reply
    • Hi Dwyane, BOC confirmed with me earlier that the policy is currently suspended until 31st March 2018 to give way to the holiday period and amend the policy. I think the government main concern here is about the smuggling of goods to the Philippines.

      Reply
    • Hi Sierra, The BOC balikbayan policy is currently suspended until 31st March 2018. So you can send your balikbayan box as usual without requiring your passport while the policy is on hold.

      Reply
  8. Hi Ryazan Tristram, do i need to pay the tax now if i spent more than 10,000 pesos for my balikbayan box ?am about to send it tomorrow. thank you.

    Reply
  9. Hello Ryazan.. I am sending balikbayan boxes this afternoon. Do I need to accomplish 3 copies of balikbayan-information sheet? Thank you.

    Reply
  10. Hello there. Since the policy is currently suspended so meaning to say we could send boxes even without accomplishing the information sheet with the itemized stuff or goods inside the boxes. Is my understanding of this is right? Please advise. Thank you.

    Reply
  11. My thoughts on this memorandum…I guess the Philippine government agency would like to encourage Filipinos abroad to spend their hard earned money in the Philippines to help the economy grow and patronizing Philippine made products well of course most product now are made in China and sold ridiculously in the Phils. I understand that memorandum is currently suspended and I hope and pray that it will not take effect at all. I am a Filipina married to an American citizen and we are planning to retire in Manila next year. I have used clothings that I wish to send back home so that I won’t have to buy clothes anymore plus other items my husband and I will need to start a new life in the PI. Where the heck will I get the receipts when it is all been thrown to the trash bin. This memorandum/policy is just way out of hand. Whoever thought about coming up with such policy is thinking about how to get more taxes on OFW and the like. I can only shake my head in disbelief. We can only hope for the best.

    Reply
  12. Worker Needed soon with $300 Weekly allowance in USA. contact me with your Details if anyone like to work as House Work,Gardener soon and Driver. roberthandersonhall500(@)gmail.com

    Reply
  13. Hi, I’ve been searching about the new policy of BOC for balikbayan box and check-in baggage. Your blog is very helpful.

    I have some questions.

    1. Since the New policy is suspended until 31st of March 2018. What if I send my package on the last month of suspension date (March 2018) and will arrive on May 2018. Is the suspension policy still applies? Or Does it mean that the package must arrive ON or BEFORE the Suspension date? I just want to make sure that I will still be able to use the old policy which is more easy and convenient.

    2. Is this New Policy of BOC applies also for check-in luggage? It is my first time to travel back again to Philippines from Europe. I only know that I must declare all my baggage especially if there are pasalubong included. I just want to know if the policy also the same as balikbayan?

    Thanks a lot and sorry to much question hehehe..

    Reply
  14. Apparently
    12% VAT
    up to 40% income tax
    yearly property tax
    foreign liquor tax
    fuel tax
    unsubsidized farming, water and electric
    unsubsidized public transport

    higher taxes and less public services than other comparable nations, where does all the money go?

    Now they have to tax “the people’s in family welfare.” No doubt these new duty and taxes are “the project of X senator” that’s not willing to put their name on it. RIGHT?

    Reply
    • This is a Disgrace! As if life isn’t already hard enough for the Filipino People! the Filipino people work very hard abroad to pay for these Boxes for their family in the Philippines! No doubt the Extra Taxes from these new changes will go into the wrong hands as usual! I just hope the People Stop sending Parcels for a while and see how quickly this will change! The Government will soon change their Rules!

      Reply
  15. OMG! this is ridiculous, So i am pilipina was married to an american and i am american citizen now. Is this mean that i will pay TAXES to the balikbayan boxes i send?. I already payed taxes here in america for each items i bought for my bro’s, sis’s, nephews and nieces not to mention inlaws. What, 10k pesos? limit in 1 box, how in the world is that? if you buy 2 nike shoes or 3 thats’s already over 10k pesos. BOC ARE RIPPING US OFF specially me because i’m not a pilipino holder anymore. I send balikbayan boxes to my relatives every year for them to enjoy, How in world can i do that now?.. I mean, BOC will say: YOU CAN STILL SEND BALIKBAYAN BOXES as advertise, WELL, LOTS OF LIMITATION as in I got 10 nephews. They want Jansport bagpacks, i bought 10 pcs and the limit is what? 2!…. Crap!
    BOYCOTT on BOC….. I hope this will change!

    Reply
  16. My niece and her husband own a small hospital and I would like to send charitable donation cloth materials, in yards, for patients gowns and gifts to indigent patients. Some pay patients can’t pay hospital, doctor, RN etc. With this help, I would Javonillo Hospital help more patients in need. This my first time to send balik bayan box. If this not possible, please suggest how I can do it.

    Reply
  17. hello!if i send a balikbayan box in the philippines,do i need to follow the new rules for requirements or not?because it said so its still suspended this new rules until march 31, 2018?thanks

    Reply
  18. hello… can i send a balikbayan box to my fiance in the philippines??? or do have to i send it to my brother??? thank you…

    Reply
    • Hi Al Jude, I think its ok. I have sent cellphones and laptop before in my balikbayan boxes. You have to make sure its properly wrapped and with silica gel to absorb moisture while in transit. Also you have to remove the battery from the mobile phone or laptop unit.

      Reply
  19. Hello Ryazan Do i still need to give receipts for the rice cooker, shoes,tablet and phones na papadala ko sa Pinas this second week of march. FIRst time ko po magpadala for my family sa Manila philippines d ko din sure if paano ko ililista sa form ung items pwede ba isulat ko lng din if my damit or toys d na xa itemized like sa toys if my barbie dolls or car toys. PWEDE BA ILISTA KO NLNG 2 toys like that. Thanks in advanve

    Reply
    • If the items are brand new, I suggest keeping the receipt. You can list the items using the balikbayan box form from BOC or from your cargo company. As for the toys, you can label them collectively and just give the rough estimates for it.

      Reply
  20. hello, my sister sent us a balikbayan box and until now we still not received the box. She sent the balikbayan box since december and until now no response from it? The last update that my sister told us was it is still in the Customs’s custody. With whom we can follow-up for it

    Reply
    • Hi Jennifer, I suggest to check on the cargo company first as it is their responsibility to update you on what’s the status of your cargo box. They should be the one who has contacts within the BOC to chase this up for you.

      Reply
  21. hi there,
    per box to be tax exempt, the de miminis value should be 10K in PHP, my questions are:
    is it possible to send 2 boxes at the same time, worth P9,500 each since the limit is 3 boxes with a total worth of 150K per calendar year?
    is the new rule already in place?
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Hi the balikbayan tax suspension is still valid and extended. So you can send your boxes as normal regardless of their value but you still have to itemised the stuff in the box.

      Reply
  22. Hi, does the balikbayan box need to be sent by specific freight forwarders? Or can it be sent by any preferred courier to qualify as a balikbayan box?

    Reply
  23. Is the new balikbayan-box/de-minimis ruling in place now?

    Because i want to send some items by de-minimis-rules,
    i wonder how they will check the items. I want to send
    mostly food, but have no receipts for the items.

    Reply
  24. Am I allowed to send my collection of used CDs through Balikbayan boxes? What are the requirements to do this? Thank you for the response?

    Reply
  25. Hello! Do you think I can send 10 new signatured purses in one box? Any idea how much will they tax it if it exceeds to 10thou php?

    Reply
      • I’m about to send my balikbayan box next week. Is the new policy still suspended? Do I just need to list the items that I put inside the box? No need for them information sheet that the BOC provided?

        Thank you!

        Reply
  26. Hello everyone, I have a fond woman friend that lives in Leyte Philippines and I normally send pkgs by way of USPS. How can I send using these “balikbayan boxes”.
    thank you, Joe

    Reply
    • Hi Joe, You can start by looking for a trusted cargo/balikbayan boxes courier in your area and just follow what I explained in this blog post. Good luck! This will definitely save you some cash in the long run instead of sending it with the premium cargo companies. You have to remember balikbayan boxes can arrive to the Philippines around 2 to 3 months.

      Reply
  27. Hi! Is the rule still suspended today? I am about to send 10 signature bags. Is the 10k for each item or for overall package? Also what if these items are put on check in baggage? Do i still need to declare it. Thanks

    Reply
  28. My fiances cousin is willing to send a box on my behalf. How do you determine the value of used goods, here I can get 2nd hand jeans for 5 usa dollars ea or half that on sale at a thrift store. that is 1250 to 2500 pesos but my fiance says used jeans are only 300 pesos in manila. also I can get jeans from garage sales for 1 us dollar ea or 50 pesos.
    can I use a handwritten receipt from a garage sale? Can you advise me? where do I ship from the usa?

    Reply
      • Hi, I will be sending about 20 pairs of boots/sneakers/sandals to my family in the Philippines. This will be my first time to send a balikbayan box and only one this year. I don’t understand if the rule is strictly 10k per box. And what is the 150k limit about then?

        Reply
        • Hi Angel, the 10k limit is for the tax free limit for small packages/box. The 150k is for big balikbayan boxes. As long as you list the shoes on your balikbayan list, you should be fine. IF the cargo provider ask for the receipt you can show it. otherwise, you will be ok.

          Reply
      • Hi I’m a foreigner and I want to send a few big balikbayan boxes to my girlfriend in the Philippines including stuff for her of course but also my personal collection of used vinyl records (a few hundred of records). Of course these are old records with music of the 70s and 80s. Will I need to pay taxes also on these preloved records cause my intention is to stay in the Philippines and get married. Thanks

        Reply
  29. Can we send prescription medication to elderly parents who are on extended stay in Philippines through balikbayan boxes?

    Reply
  30. Good Day Mam,

    Paano po yong mga appliances tulad ng Washing Machine at Refrigerator na wala nang receipt dahil dalawang bisis na kami naka lipat at nawala ito.

    Ano dapat gawin?

    Jeddah Saudi arabia,

    Reply
  31. Hi this is is Jun I just want to inquire if the courier company of balikbayan boxes cater personal effect, what would be the requirements of the company for adding importing commercial products?

    Hope for the response. Thank you.

    Reply
  32. Dear Madam,

    I would like to send balik bayan through LBC express sea cargo shipping from the UK to the Philippines, inside the box I have some red wines about 3 or 4 bottles for personal use and I did not put on the list item for my declaration. my question is, are they allowed in sea cargo or Should I declare in the form?

    I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon.

    Yours faithfully,
    Pablo

    Reply
  33. Hi, would it be safe to send a laptop in a balikbayan box? What’s your advice?
    Also, if it’s an opened laptop, that means it’s already “used” right?

    Reply
  34. Hi. Would you know if an ipad that will be sent thru fedex for faster shipping will be exempted of tax and duty fee if sent by a filipino citizen?

    Reply
  35. How do you pay the duties or taxes if any are levied/ How will I know if there is a problem with my boxes contents? Will I be notified by the shipper?

    Reply
  36. Are boxes moving properly? Meaning a box to Cebu, is Covid-19 slowing things down or will the box be properly delivered? I’m just wondering how Covid is affecting balakbayan boxes.

    Reply
    • Hi Steve, The travel time of the balikbayan box is severely affected by COVID-19 due to port congestion etc. When I sent my box late last year that was supposedly for Christmas, it arrived after the New Year. There is at least a 4 to 6 weeks delay. So if you are sending one for a special holiday like Christmas better to send it way in advance on top of the usual 8 to 12 weeks travel time of your balikbayan box.

      Reply
  37. Hi. I would like to send a used laptop via air cargo (LBC express) to Manila, is it allowed? will it be taxed? it’s a laptop that is 6 years old and i do not have the receipt, even the box anymore.

    Reply

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