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How the Bureau of Customs Spoiled the Fun

I participated in a group contest with WOMWorld and teamed up with 3 other tech bloggers from Sri Lanka, Singapore and Australia to figure out a code from clues individually sent to us. We each got a sealed box delivered via DHL.

I was monitoring the tracking logs from the DHL website and saw that the box arrived by evening of Sunday. I figured it should be home by Monday morning or afternoon. There were some delays according to the logs and I got a bit concerned. It finally arrived this morning after being cleared by Customs.

The box is made of hard transparent plastic with a 4-digit lock. You can clearly see the Nokia E72 inside but we still need to figure out the code in order to unlock the box.

Each of the 4 team members also get a clue so we can all figure out the 4-digit code. Unfortunately, I no longer needed the code to get inside the box. Customs has forcibly opened it for me.

Obviously, the inspectors at the Bureau of Customs got very curious about the Nokia E72 despite the fact that they can clearly see what’s inside the transparent box. They just need to closely inspect the items.

So there you go — no more code-breaking for me, thanks to the people at Customs.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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159 Responses

  1. Drakulita says:

    What a very clever lot those Customs people are…

  2. mack005 says:

    Hey that’s bad, anyway let us try to find the code :)

  3. Randell says:

    Brilliant bunch, I tell yah.

  4. Randell says:

    Somebody ought to file a formal complaint to those people in Customs.

  5. mack005 says:

    What’s next? Game over or we got some more task in hand?

  6. koolitz says:

    di ba pwedeng x-ray nalang nila? kailangan pa talaga buksan? grabe

  7. Onynz says:

    Tsk tsk tsk…

    Grabe talaga mga customs, to think na transparent na nga yung box para hindi na gaano ma question and yet pinilit pa rin buksan.

    Sir yuga, i think you should have filed a formal compaint about this the moment you knew that the package was forcibly opened.

    Hindi na sila marunong mahiya…

  8. Edgar says:

    Noticed the text on the sheet lining the box?

    “How you respond is who you are”, it says. And how did those customs people respond?


  9. ferdie says:

    Pwedeng pinalitan na rin yan ng 2nd hand Nokia E72 by the Customs Head who got the same phone hehehe…. tsk tsk.

    Bad Gorillas!

  10. mhon says:

    bakit mga china phones na nakakapasok sa bansa na hindi nag tatax di nila nahuhuli…

    etong nakatransparent na box at halata naman na galing pa talaga sa Nokia at DHL pa pinadala…
    sigurado naman safe pero binuksan parin mga kurakot na custom na yan…

    baka nainggit sir yuga.gusto ata makahipo ng E72… Papahiramin niyo kasi kawawa naman sila….

  11. bugoy says:

    file a complaint T_T grabe talaga.

  12. chris says:

    I hope they didn’t damage the plastic together with the E72. They are just proving that we don’t have enough technology to scan the transparent plastic. They are not respecting the privacy of the people in their own country.

  13. marco says:

    ganyan talaga ang mga taga customs… mga kurakot.. no wonder madaming taga custom ang mayayaman.. please confirm sir yuga na orig pa din yang unit.. baka pinalitan na nila ng china phone.. ajejeje

  14. lalin says:

    did they charge you anything? so sad they had to open packages without even the consent of the receiver.. this really frightens people into importing anything w/ or w/o value.

    malas talaga tumira sa Pilipinas pagdating sa custom. hope you give them somewhat a lesson XD

  15. Customs Padilla says:

    Dapat jan sa mga taga customs i-pabitag kay Tulfo para maturaan ng leksyon at gawin ng maayos trabaho nila.

  16. RJ says:

    my God! Ganyan ba talaga ka-garapal sa Customs?? Grabe sila, kailangan pa ba talaga nilang i-open yung box?? tsk tsk! Hindi na sila nahiya! Bulok na systema! Sir Yuga, you have to do something about this.. i-report mo sila. :((

  17. chris says:

    @RJ ganyan tlga sila pati un laptop ko noon binuksan nila. pgdatng skn dami ng finger prints.

  18. grafico says:

    sayang naman ang effort ng WOMWorld dahil sa Philippine Custom.

  19. Clare says:

    That’s terrible!…Those Customs employees should be reported and slammed-in into jail!

  20. whaâ„¢ says:

    wtf?? sayang naman sir yuga ang chance at trill.. lintek na CUSTOMS.

  21. daddy joey says:

    sop. hehe! baka inisip nila meron iba pang gadgets nakatago sa loob ng cellphone. lol!

  22. suyog says:

    what is you clue?

  23. Jhay says:

    You got a very good evidence for a solid complaint. Will you file one sir Abe?

  24. petken says:

    I hate customs!!! Yung inorder ko na hoodie sa amazon.com via DHL din yung box ko halatang tampered. Nakadeclare naman dun na clothing yun at from Amazon.com naman yun.

  25. Carl says:

    kayo naman.. ngayon lang sila nakakita ng cellphone! x_X

  26. rico says:

    sir abe,

    we urge you to please file a formal complaint.

    since most of us do not know the policy of bureau of customs in regard to packages/electronics being received from abroad.

    this would be one good example we all could learn from.

  27. rico says:

    ps: did customs charge you a tax or anything?

    a few years ago, i once received a webcam (personal/gift) from a friend in canada (worth php 1500 including stamps).

    the customs in my local post office charged me tax,etc worth 750 pesos!

    I was busy then kaya di na ko naka-pagtanong sa main office if it is really correct and just.

  28. rico says:

    ps: did customs charge you tax or anything?

    a few years ago, i once received a webcam (personal/gift) from a friend in canada (worth 1500 pesos including stamps na).

    the customs in my local post office charged me tax,etc worth 750 pesos!

    may mga personal letters kasing kasama sa package kaya kinuha ko na rin. I was busy then kaya di na ko naka-pagtanong sa customs main office if it is really correct and just.

  29. Kinny says:

    What could their excuse be? Did they think it was a bomb? Was there a real E72 or just a box? Pakialamero naman!

  30. Eizan says:

    Bad! Bad! Bad!
    Did you already inspect the unit?
    Baka nga napalitan na ‘yan.

  31. Calvin says:

    haha lintek talaga mga customs na yan. daming beses na rin ako nadali. kelangan nila talagang buksan kasi baka raw smuggled item. :P

  32. Elizar says:

    you really can’t blame them.. just doing their job siguro… baka ntakot na may bomb or something :)

  33. Lance says:

    I’m pissed really. They should have called the owner right away if they’re really curious to see it.

    Hay such crocodiles!

    Goodluck Abe.

  34. marvin says:

    ouch! that hurts! sayang naman ang enjoyment. ala na yan thrill.

  35. Eizan says:


    Kahit na. Bakit, wala bang x-ray man lang, or any Customs-proper device to inspect goods without tampering them? What they did was bordering on destroying stuff already. So much for being efficient.

  36. Reel Advice says:

    That’s Philippine Customs for you! I have been victimized numerous times! Someone should revise customs laws especially now with online retailing and online shipments on a boom.

  37. Randell says:

    @Elizar, “can’t blame them”? “just doing their job”? “baka ntakot na may bomb or something”? Come on! Are you even aware of their practices? That’s like tolerating those bunch! All of the customs officials and grunts should really be replaced. They’ve done way too much harm already.

  38. Jesus says:

    Wala boss. Sinira nila ang contest. Winakwak pa talaga.

  39. cornflakes says:

    I purchased a Macbook online about a week ago and I’m waiting for it.

    I do hope na wala itong fingerprints and such.

    Navictim na din ako before ng customs. yung binili kong cd sa YesAsia, pagkadating d2, puro scratches and fingerprints yung CD. tapos siningil pa ako ng 500 pesos. DHL din yun dati.

  40. deuts says:

    Dapat jan ipadala sa Xxx, at ipa-entrapment operation! abuso na yan ah.

  41. Erin says:

    @Randell,Eizan: easy lang. the poster was being sarcastic (notice the smiley). sarcasm doesnt really convey well in written media. saka dapat wink ang ginamit. :)


  42. jay says:

    dapat yung title “How the Bureau of Idiots Spoiled the Fun”

  43. Eizan says:

    Haha! Apparently, hindi masyado nade-deliver ng maayos ang emotions through text only.

    Grrr…napa-slow naman yata mag-adapt ng Customs.

  44. Marc says:

    the philippine government sucks, customs people…………………………………………..haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaysssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

  45. Ambo says:

    Every time i hear news about customs, it pisses me off! I forgot the politician’s name but he said customs is one of the most corrupt agencies in the country!

  46. aedos says:


  47. Angelito says:

    Nangyari yan b4 sa akin but with the Post Office. Pinagalitan ko sila yong in-charge sa parcel section at sinabihan ko kakasuhan ko sila and I told them to remember my name. and when another package for me arrived at the Post Office, tinawagan nila ako at gusto nila makita ko daw habang binubuksan nila ang package, hayon natoto ang mga ungas at natakot na rin sa akin. Ngayon when ever I go to the Post Office dito sa lugar namin, serve nila ako agad. Patapangan lang yan. Kung duwag ka ay lulukuhin ka lang nila.

  48. oh shoot!!! i’m so sorry to hear about this abe :T are you considering taking action against the bureau? what have the contest organizers said about this? sana maayos pa rin to.

  49. iamupset says:

    @Edgar: hehehe.. nice one bro.. how you respond is who you are.. hehe..

    customs responded like who they really are.. mga MAGNA.. CUM LAUDE =)

  50. mckulit says:

    wala nang bago sa mga customs na yan mga gahaman talaga mga yan….last month lang nagpadala friend ko ng 3 units ng cell phone sa pinas, pag dating dyan sa atin naging 2 na lang at yung pinaka mahal pa ang kinuha, ang kakapal talaga ng mga mukha ng mga taga customs at alam din ng mga opisyal nila yan dahil kung gusto talaga nila mahuli mga tiwali sa customs napaka dali lang diba, maglagay lang sila ng camera sa lahat ng sulok ng opisina nila eh mahuhuli na nila mga yan….

  51. required says:

    kamote tlga dito sa ‘pinas… kadiri to the max, kahit sa airport ganyan.

  52. iko says:

    omg, this happened to me too with my Kindle! lolll
    this post is the funniest post

  53. Anonymous says:

    If they intent to inspect the parcel make it proper and handle with care. As few poster stated above there are problem with finger prints, they should have handle it with utmost care! What a shame!

  54. Wala ba silang mga sniffing dogs? hehe
    Those pigs with 40-inch waistline.

  55. boo says:

    baka sa sobrang third world ng customs ng pinas eh ang XRAY nila hindi tumatagos sa more than 1mm na material. LOL.

    had a similar issue before, wanted to get an ubuntu free DVD from their site so I ordered one and paid for shipping. Pagdating sa post office at las pinas, they were charging me close to 700 pesos for “taxes”. mahal daw talaga pag electronics. I was shocked. I wasn’t paying 700 pesos for a free DVD. so i went home and downloaded it nalang. I doubt it kung may matalino naman sa kanila na makakapaginstal ng ubuntu at makikinabang dun no.

    BTW, does this mean, yuga, that you have forfeited the challenge?
    I wonder how the other bloggers will react to this. Nakakahiya na naman ang pinas! my gahd.

  56. @Boo I ordered like 10 Ubuntu CDs sa site nila, dumidiretso naman sa bahay namin. Cainta Area here.

  57. james says:

    isang tawag lang yan sa IMB!

  58. andrew says:

    looks like it wasnt just you whose box was already open.


    according to him, the box got damaged during shipping. maybe that is what happened?

    if customs actually held (and opened) the package, it would have accumulated customs duties and taxes for you to pay.

  59. mckulit says:

    dapat dyan sa mga customs na yan eh padalhan ng anthrax, para pag bukas ng mga punyetang yan eh mamatay agad yang mga hinayupak na yan!!! customs is no.1 currupt agency…taga dyan ang mga taong biglang yumayaman dahil lahat ng pumapasok at dumadaan sa kanila eh pede pagka perahan, pag hindi na nag lagay hindi makakalabas ang shipment mo.

  60. jehzlau says:

    hahahahaha… mga taga customs talaga.. makati ang mga kamay.. tsk tsk tsk…

  61. Eileen says:

    sir yugs, its hopeless but did it passed in your mind to make a scene ?

    ask their names, then show them a picture with the ampatoan clan

    @boo hopefully we dont go lower than Cuba, to think na wala pa tayong embargo

  62. Mel Ardenio says:

    yehey! nanalo si sir yuga! walang kahirap hirap..

    yan ang pagiging matulungin…

    mga kurakot talaga…paano ba mawawala ang mga linta na yan sa customs..

    kaya nakakatakot bumili sa online shop eh..
    pwede ka nang mahack at pwede din mahack ka ng customs.

    File a complain para magtino ang mga ewan na mga taga custom!

  63. mel says:

    tinignan ng customs kung may NTC logo sa likod

  64. @owrangr says:

    Use Johnny air in shipping na Lang.

    -Sent via YugaTech Mobile App

  65. Jay says:

    Whoa! we should be very proud of our very own CUstoMs!

    they are more pea brainer than Saudi Customs. hahaha

  66. the Customs may just be “doing their jobs”, pero di naman ata tama na sirain nila yung package;Dapat they have at least sent a letter to sir Abe regarding the “inspection” they made and the damage they have done. Definitely an unlawful act if you ask me :-|

  67. jdGONEMAD says:

    what if it is the actual Pandora’s box that’s not supposed to be opened else all sorts of evil will break loose. but come to think of it. it’s already too late. all sorts of evil are already lurking around that department anyway.

  68. Raf says:

    Ganyan naman talaga yan mga tiga Bureau of Crocodiles!

    Anyway Yuga curios lang, did you get to keep the phone?

  69. mhon says:


    for ubuntu?

    bakit ka nila sinisingil?

    yung ubuntu disc ko galing pa netherlands…

    wala naman ako binayaran even a single cent…

    Marami na talaga buwaya sa gobyerno…

    dapat sa kanila ilibing gamit ang Back hoe ng mga Ampatuans….

  70. mhon says:

    May kabobohan din ang customs…
    di nila naisip kaya nga inilagay sa Transparent na casing… para pag nacheck sa custom hindi agad nila buksan kasi nakikita naman nila yung laman…
    di naman siguro nakaon yaung phone kaya wag nila sabihin baka bomba…

    no way to trigger it kung hindi nakabukas yung phone? at nasan yung bomba? transparent din?

    palibhasa mga transparent ang utak….hehehe..

    You should file a complaint sir Yuga ng maturuan ng leksiyon yang mga yan.

  71. jun says:

    hehehe.. grabe talaga custom.. boss ko nga nagpadala ng second hand mac mini from US, for testing ko dito sa house, naka declare eh as gift.. tapos ang naka declare na price eh $150.. so sabi ko fedex na lang gamitin para walang hassle.. eh ayus.. pagdating sa custom dito.. sa status eh.. naka hold.. yun pala me kelangan ako bayaran sa custom.. and wooping $96… grrrrrrrrrrrrr.. tapos yung bayad sa fedex ng boss ko eh $164… sana binigay na lang ng boss ko yung sa shipping at custom.. dagdagan ko nalang bili na lang ako ng bagong mac mini.. hehehe

  72. domob says:

    Sir yuga, buti pa mga taga customs na-challenge sa pagbubukas ng transparent box… ng sapilitan.

    Ano ba naman yung kontakin yung receiver ng package so they can inspect it in front of you…

    di kaya nila nakita na may lock and essential yung box sa package? Its for a challenge…

    stupid spoilers. >:(

  73. domob says:

    and btw sir yuga, check the contents if its still complete. Compare with this person who had the same package… link from andrew no. 58 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnpTsRzO6Nw&feature=player_embedded#

  74. i have to admit… my tax money went into 90% of the stupid government employees. technologically illiterate government employees.

  75. Eizan says:

    We really urge you to file a complaint PLEASE! For the sake of the others who’ve had their packages tampered as well.

  76. drew says:

    sobrang OA naman ng customs.. maganda pa naman ung box.. hayz…..

  77. Ton says:

    By law, IT related items coming into the PH from anywhere in the world, when in non-commercial quantities, must be free from duties.

    That applies especially to ASEAN countries where there should be limited taxes at all, if any, for most personal items shipped in.

    Say, a laptop comes from the US. Shipping rates as reflected by the sender (UPS, FedEX, etc.) should be applicable, plus other handling fees (home delivery, etc etc). Otherwise, customs duties must be totally free.

    I emphsize “should”, kasi siyempre, may sarili naman batas yung mga customs natin.

    Now, not because there are no duties, does not mean they cannot inspect. But quid pro quo I say…why inspect when you already know its not taxable?

  78. amphitrite says:

    Dami talaga kurakot sa customs.

    reply ko lang sa comment ni Tom… malamang hindi alam nung nasa customs yan, alam mo naman ang government offices basta may kakilala nakakapasok kahit walang alam diba.

  79. Keith says:

    nababahala ako… bakit walang kasamang charger? LOL.

    o kaya naman, hindi kaya ang tunay na challenge is for you to figure out that you dont have to decode the clue anymore because the box is already open? LOL Kidding.

    damn those crocodiles! if they’re to sell their conscience and brains, i’m sure it’d be very very expensive! good as new e, hindi nagagamit! mga hinayupak talaga!

  80. yuga says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for the suggestions and the comments. I am getting more information so I can file a formal complaint about the incident.

    – yuga

  81. rico says:

    hahahaha. naglabasan tuloy ang mga galit sa customs (sa poor service nila).

    dear bureau of customs,

    pls improve your website for more FAQs and info campaigns about your regulations, taxes, duties, and exemptions.

    madaming nadadale at naiisihan/iniisahan dahil walang nakaaalam sa magulong system nyo.

    NAGING OT na itong site ni sir yuga ;-)
    di bale, favorable nman sa site activity eh. hehe

  82. parenghilton says:

    dapat lang mag file ka kuya.. kakaasar sila..

  83. jill says:

    @rico: It might appear OT in a way, yeas. But it helps that people can vent their frustrations and express their disgust on certain issues in this land of corruption and cretinous officials. Remember the RFID? That too, got so much angst here. At least Sir Abe is doing us a service.

    Long Live Blogging, Long Live YUGA!


  84. AltaKirihara says:

    I bet that when you look at the dictionary, or google for the words devil, demon or corrupt, you’ll see Bureau of Customs, Philippines next to it. Or perhaps under synonyms

  85. marhgil says:

    pang-asar naman yung customs! transparent na nga, binuksan pa. tsk tsk.

  86. Amfatuan says:

    Update mu kami. Dapat maresbakan mga ungas.

  87. Suyog says:

    testing comments

  88. Nakapag file ka na ng complaint? Interesado ako kasi gusto makita na magkaroon ng soluyon ang naging problema. Nalaman mo na ba kung customs talaga ang nag-puwersa na buksan yung fiberglass box? Baka naman talagang dumating na damaged or ang sumira taga DHL? Wala sa kontrol ng customs ang warehouse sa DHL. Kahit puntahan mo, mahigpit security at limited access ang customs doon.

    E kasi taga customs ako. Yung tira ng tira na nilalahat kami, aba, konting hinahanon naman. Hindi pa nga alam kung sino talaga sumira e tira na kaagad.

    Ano ba naman kayo, kung exempted sa duties yan, sisingilin pa rin kayo ng 12% VAT na imposition ng National Internal Revenue Code. Taga kolekta lang kami ng VAT.

    Pinag-uusapan yan sa Congress, meron kaming pending bill na ang tawag Customs and Tariff Modernization Act. Isa sa mga probisyon ay yung “de minimis” – yung bang pag ang halaga ng inangkat ay di lalampas doon, walang buwis. E kasi mga bosing, yung batas natin 1957 pa kaya ang minimum value noon ay pinapa-iral pa rin – 50 pesos, pag lagpas, may buwis na. Ayaw aprubahan ng mga pulitiko kasi hihina ang kontrol nila sa customs.

    Pag nagbayad kayo, tandaan, humingi ng resibo. No BOC receipt, no deal kamo. Merry Christmas.

  89. Erin says:

    at least may other side of the story na rin. :)

    viewed the video showing the other contestant who got his box broken. from the same video it seems that not everything is out in the open. not sure but the background itself looks like a box containing the other goodies. pag ganon *at* assuming na taga customs talaga ang pumwersa sa transparent box ay baka magkaron talaga ng probable cause.

    just my opinion.


  90. This is actually a test of character!!! Hmp! Amf!

  91. jeffrey says:

    they also want to try the phone – kayo naman///sila gusto mauna… ehehhe…. pero… sometimes they scrutinize everything esp. hardware… unless… there is a note saying do not open or case… if open by YOU then u will be assign to maguindanao province..again .. hehehehhe

  92. dyru says:

    this is so funny. the best thing customs did in a while. lucky you

  93. Anon says:

    if customs weren’t THAT shitty I wouldn’t have to “bypass” them. I’ve been customs free since they screwed with my business shipment worth 800k. Bottomdwelling mother F***ers. SEO campaign against customs anyone?

  94. jason dizon says:

    hey guys,sir yuga, hintayin nyo ibabalita ko cgro hanggang before xmas, bukas ko malalaman yung naka on hold ko na ship sa customs ung iphone 2g, $260 bili ko. tgnan natin kng mgkano tax nila or kung mkalusot ma ship na panta dto qc. Godbless us all

  95. Xandrouz says:

    naharang din yung inorder kong item, maliit na earphones lang yun, total of $44.99 (1.1lbs) yung item and shipping. magkano kaya babayaran ko? badtrip nga eh, wala man lang nag inform sakin, kahit yung fedex na dumating na pala yung item ko last dec 17 pa. tapos ngayon nasa customs daw.

  96. cornflakes says:

    yung Inorder ko na Macbook sa Online Apple Store weeks ago, dumating na siya Last Wedneday from singapore in good condition.

    Hindi binuksan yung packaging kasi sealed pa siya and original pa yung seal. and the best of all, wala akong binayarang Tax. =D IDK kung yung Apple Store na nagbayad basta nung dineliver ng DHL, pumirma na lang ako.=D

  97. jason dizon says:

    @xandrouz: mura lang tax nyan tol ang problema ppnta ka pa ang hasel. grabe earphones nalang hinarang pa although electronics yan pero xmpre diba, haiz pinas talaga. mamaya ttawag nako tignatin natin kung ung akin e nakalusot.

  98. Xandrouz says:

    i see. thanks bro. ah talaga? ako pa ang kelangan pumunta? pero may nakapag sabi sakin, halimbawa kasi fedex yung akin, pag ni deliver daw ng fedex, sa kanila ko na raw iaabot yung bayad sa customs tapos sila na ata mag bibigay. hmmmm. pero kung sakaling ako pa pupunta, san ba location ng customs na yan? hindi pedeng pay via paypal or bank account na lang? hassle amp.

  99. jason dizon says:

    hasel tlga yung akin nga kkunin ko cgro tom na forward na sa customs. nagiicp nga ako kasi malapit na pasko baka mas mahal isingil e kaso auko naman tumagal kasi baka mapano. dapat yan itawag ko kung saan pero malamang malapit lang din yan sa airport. dapat ikaw ang kukuha talaga e tapos bbuksan daw sa harap mo tapos icacalculate yungtax. ok lang yan mura lng yan.

  100. Xandrouz says:

    ang kupad talaga ng customs, december 17 pa nila kinakalikot yung earphones ko, hindi pa ba nila na cocompute yun? tumawag ako kanina sa fedex, sabi nila hindi pa raw tumatawag yung customs, sabi naman nila, idedeliver na lang daw dito yung earphones tapos sa mag dedeliver na lang daw ako magbabayad ng para sa customs. [email protected]@ng yan, baka naman iniipit talaga nila para tumagal sa storage nila, me bayad kaya yun kada araw na andun yun. badtrip.

  101. jason dizon says:

    ay hindi ko lang alam bro ang maganda nyan hindi ka na ppunta, kaso ang hirap maghintay sa ganyan eh. mahirap maghintay sa hindi naman sigurado. yung customs ng post office hanggang bukas nalang pasok. kaya try m na pumunta bukas kung ako sau.

  102. Xandrouz says:

    san ba location nung office tols? di ako pamilyar dito sa maynila eh. kung pupunta ba ako dun siguradong makukuha ko na yung item? tumawag na nga pala ako sa fedex and as usual ang sagot di pa raw tumatawag ang bureau of customs.

  103. jason dizon says:

    ask m nalang sa operator malapit lang din ung naia kasi ang pnta ko bukas ung customs ng post office pasay area din. kalayo taga commonwealth kaya ako. sana lang hindi mahal singilin sakin.

  104. Xandrouz says:

    tols, alam mo ba contact number nila? mas magulo pa sila sa pubic hair eh, lols. tinawagan ko yung numbers nila na nasa website nila pero kung san san lang ako pinapatawag, wala rin ako nakuhang info reagaring sa item ko.

  105. jason dizon says:

    guys nakuha ko na iphone P3400 cningil sakin. pero natawaran ko ng 2k. wala e gnun tlga.

  106. Xandrouz says:

    wa. sakin tumawag na kanina, PHP 1,285.00 sinisingil sakin, halos 60% ng total price ng binili ko which is PHP 2,115.00. Pano ka tumawad bro jason? kasi idedeliver na lang daw sa dorm yung item ko. hindi ko nga makukuha eh, binigyan ko na lang authorization letter yung guard namin tapos iniwan ko yung bayad. badtrip. kelangan ko umuwi batangas eh.

  107. Xandrouz says:

    badtrip talaga, nag email nako sa FEEDBACK ng website nila, ewan ko lang kung magrereply sila.

  108. Xandrouz says:

    guys, para sa update about sa ngyare sa package ko,visit niyo lang blog ko. just click my name. Thanks! gud luck sa ating lahat! merry xmas!

  109. GekiDan says:

    This i the third blog na nakita ko na nagtatackle ng customs kurakot. Anyways, natatakot na nga ako sa item ko sa FedEx na naharang ng customs.

    It’s a $30 worth of toy from play-asia.

    Sana lang dumating ito nang maayos sa akin.

  110. Allen says:

    With such horror stories, I am already thinking twice if I should buy online and pay a lot more in the customs. My only reason to buy online is because they cost lesser than buying in the Philippines but if they get stuck in the Customs, you will have to pay the crocs.

  111. GekiDan says:

    Well, I ordered a $30 item via Play-Asia and when it arrived here, customs is asking me Php2k for taxes. That’s double the amount I have paid for.

    Lesson learned ika nga.

    It’s much better to buy here locally than import stuffs.

    Kindly read my whole story here: http://www.jefusion.info/2010/01/onlne-shopping-fedex-and-philippine.html

  112. GAAAAAAAAAA Go ung mga customs bat nila ako pagbabayarin nga 7k sa prize q napalunan sa NOKIA?

    7k daw ksi 50k ung package ( N97 mini ) via UPS to.

    At isa pa ung N97 q CLEARANCE delay parin dahil sa Customs na yan! via FedEx to at 4 days delay na.

    Next is my TRIAL from WOMWORLD, N86 8MP 1 day Delay na dahil Clearance delay rin…mag wawait na lg ako ng balita…ito Via DHL…damn! I need to kick those heads of customs…Bob* ung politiko na nagimpose ng 12% na vat…yan d umasenso ung Pilipinas dahil sa 1% lg ung pumupunta sa tao..ung 11% nsa mga POLITIKO!

  113. koach says:

    OMG! I’ve read the article and the comments. I was thinking of buying stuff online. It looks like a bad idea na. I agree with the sentiments of the people commenting on this post. A complaint should be filed. It angers me on how stupid this guys from customs are. It was in a clear plastic container. I’m sure the sensors would’ve detected something if it had dangerous contents.

  114. Marky says:

    So ano ang gustong iparating ng customs? Buy Pinoy?

  115. JKisaragi says:

    We (me and my family) also experienced something like this last Dec ’08.

    We were expecting a package from the US sent by our relatives. Of course, it’s for the holidays and everyone in the family has at least one item. Well, everyone except my cousin who was expecting a BNEW mobile phone.

    Turns out, there should’ve been two phones in the box. The old used one (for my younger cousin) and a BNEW one with all the trimmings. Alas, the BNEW one went AWOL after a trip into Customs.

    I was infuriated by this and was planning to make legal steps. However, my mom and grandma said that “it’s probably best not to get in their way”. I don’t know if they’re scared of them or something, or maybe they just want to avoid the hassle.

    I guess the rumors are indeed true. Those people from that Bureau make money out of other people’s belongings. That, and they charge you with every possible crap they can come up with. SHEESH!

  116. GekiDan says:

    I tried EMS the other day. And I received my item from Japan without hassle. Just paid Php35. XD

  117. Zero Mella says:

    LMAO. You know what. Everybody’s got a problem with customs. I got charged 200% of my purchase price! See my blog entry here:


  118. jason says:

    Had a bad experience lately with Bureau of Customs and FedEx, bumili ako online ng educational textbook costing around 35 dollars tapos tinawagan ako ng FedEx sabi I have to pay an additional P 1,900.00 dahil daw sa taxes and custom duties, nag reklamo ako pero until now wlang action, lahat na sinulatan pero wlang nangayari, saan ka makakita ung bayad ko sa taxes is much more higher than the amount i paid sa educational textbooks, yung FedEx naman hindi nag justify sa package ko na ung items are educational textbooks na supposed to be wlang tax, pinabayaan mangkurakot yung taga customs, wlang kwenta ang service, next time meron transaction online im gonna make sure hindi FedEx! only in the Philippines!!! hindi na talaga aasenso bansa natin, daming kurakot

  119. Gino says:

    Yuga, you’ve got a very strong case against customs. I suggest lumapit ka kay tulfo or any media that can expose these guys in customs. Na biktima na din ako nyan… I had a package shipped to me via fedex worth 5k, tapos they billed me around 3.8k… it was just a special computer mouse… kakaiba yung fees nila… may storage fee na 800 pesos just for a damn mouse… kakaiba talaga mga hayop na yan…

  120. Hung Loeurm says:

    Hey, awesome website. I actually came across this on Yahoo, and I am stoked I did. I will definately be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just absorbing as much info as I can at the moment.

    Thank You

    Dog Toys and Clothes

  121. kyleb says:

    putang inang customs na yan. i sent my gf a dslr at im looking at the fedex tracking sabi “clearance delays” im guessing ng pipicture taking na ang mga mokong na un!

  122. jehzlau says:

    @kyleb – ahahahaha.. natawa me sa comment you.. Yeah ur right, ginagamit nila yun para ma test baka ipadala sa recipient.. baka pinasa pasa na yung DSLR.. woooooot!

    Nag fedex din me dati, ang tagal. Bukas na din yung pinadalang phone sakin O__O

  123. kyleb says:

    guess how much i paid? P4,000 para i release. putang ina hinold nila ng ilang days so daily pumpatak ung fee. suppose to be friday at sa house ideliver guess what my gf had to pick it herself kasi dami nila reasons bakit matagal. i had a feeling palusot lng nila un para madagdag ang stocking fee kasi balak nila tuesday pa i deliver. i am gonna write a complaint to them. and to the customer service na they ignored my gf’s call whenever they see her number. humanda kayo i want this on the news.

  124. Xandrouz says:


    may nag email sakin dati, sa 24 oras ata or sa saksi, nabasa niya kasi yung pinost ko regarding the issue, gusto sana ako mainterview para daw sa segment nila sa news kaya lang busy ako that time at kapamilya ako, lol, try mo mag contact ng tv news station, kailangan ng mapigilan ang ginagawa nila, sobra na eh.

  125. shedya says:

    same experience with customs.
    my friend sent fossil watches neatly packed and invoiced as gifts.
    kunwari pa e sa harap daw ng pinsan nyabubuksan.
    pgopen e ala n ung 2 tin cans and ung 3 watches pinagsamasama sa isang tin can.. which means ala n ung mga protective foam etc, puro gasgas tuloy.
    tpos my nerve p cla n icharge cya ng 1900PHP n taxes?

  126. dzx says:

    Guys, if ever one of you goes up against these people through media or whatever, i can contribute by giving my story as well… dapat talaga maexpose na mga bwayang customs na yan.

  127. Romel says:

    guys share your stories here malay natin mapansin to at maayos


  128. RN says:

    Hello folks! I’m doing research regarding case studies the Bureau of Customs messing with people’s packages. Are there folks who are willing to share their stories?

  129. parenghilton says:

    katako naman.. balak pa naman ng friend ko from japan ipadala sa akin yung iPhone 3G kasi bumili sya ng iPhone 4… ayoko mag bayad pag kinuha ko yung iPhone. dati kasi noong chocolates at pictures ang pinapadala nya nag babayad pa kami ng 70 pesos i think. paano pa kaya pag iPhone..


  130. DZX says:

    RN i can share two stories and my packages that were taxed so much more than 70%. i really want these customs agents get busted, lakas nila mangurakot.

  131. gon says:

    wow galing ng mga taga customs. anu kaya mangyayari sa c905 ko pagdating nun dito. dapat sir nag file ka ng complaint.

  132. BoCC says:

    Please lets help each and everyone, to stop corruption by sharing and revealing info/ details experienced rendered by this government.


  133. JamesGirl says:

    BF ko nasa states, sabi niya padala daw niya sakin Citizen watch. Ive been waiting for one week already. ng worry ako baka makapagbayad pako nito ng mas mahal pa? update ko lang kayo what will happen next.. :)

  134. katherine Gajasan says:

    Hi all,

    Good Day!

    I’m Katherine Gajasan from the show Brigada of GMA 7. We are currently doing a story about the Bureau of Customs to be aired by May 16, 2011. Regarding this matter we have read your blog about your experience on the anomaly of your package by charging it up to 200% tax. Could we request to have an interview you about this matter?

    Thank you very much!

    Hoping for your soonest reply

    Katherine Gajasan
    Program Researcher,
    [email protected]
    9827777 loc 3011

    • Ramon Anquilan says:

      Hello Catherine,

      I just hope its not the “usual” investigative journalism piece – 30 minutes from the aggrieved parties and 15 seconds from the Bureau of Customs featuring the Commissioner saying something with his pants down.

      Everytime I get to see these “stories” as you call them, you injure the reputation of the rest of the 3,500 people who comprise the customs bureau. Most often than not, the problem lies in the ignorance of the parties about customs regulations so blame it on customs for not telling the public. Never mind that the public has the obligation to know what the regulations are.

      Good luck.

      Collector of Customs I

  135. jun says:

    yeah.. pero wag tayo magbulag bulagan sa nangyayari… daming red tape at coruption dyan sa BOC.. kung iilan man sila o marami.. kelangang sugpuin ito.. and Mr. Ramon.. I know you know some of them.. sana makatulong ka sa pag pin point sa mga bulok na kamatis sa BOC..

    • Ramon Anquilan says:


      Ginagawa yang sinasabi mo. Maraming dilat sa bureau, hindi natutulog ang karamihan. At may nangyayari. Ano ba sa akala mo ang “corruption”? One way, na para bang likas na corrupt ang lahat ng tao sa bureau? Hanggat ang negosyante at mamamayan ay mali ang pag-intindi ng buwis – ang mga negosyante ang tingin sa buwis ay pupuwede isakripisyo para tumaas ang kita nila at tayong mamamayan ang tingin natin sa buwis ay isang bagay na dapat iwasan dahil gastos, walang makabuluhang repormang mangyayari. Lahat gustong lumamang. Ang marapat ay tingnan ang buwis bilang “patriotic duty.”

      Sa loob ng 21 taong kong pamamalagi sa customs, ang aking pag-intindi sa trabaho ay isang marangal na gawain. Sa tingin ko, hayaan lamang ako sa aking payak na daigdig, gagawin ko ang aking sinumpaang tungkulin. Nagkakaproblema lamang kung may nakikialam sa kagustuhang lumiit ang bayaran. Dito pumapasok ang mga “influence peddlers” o yung “corrupters” – sila ang ating sugpuin.

    • Art says:

      Hi Sir Ramon,

      I’m trying to understand the regulations in sending goods here in the Philippines. I admit, it’s alarming to see all of these commments. But I am certain that not everyone in your department are doing the same thing.
      I’m sure that you hold “fairness” as number one principle.

      If you don’t mind, can I get your number please? I’m waiting for a package, and I honestly need to get it as quickly as possible. It says on the tracking that it has entered philippine customs but I haven’t received any updates yet. I hope you can help me.

      Please shoot me an email with any of your contact numbers and i’ll give you the details of the package.

      [email protected]

  136. Jun says:

    yes tama ka.. merong iilan talagang tapat sa tungkulin.. pero meron ding bulok at kinakain ng sistema.. kung alam mo na gumagawa ka ng tama at going straight ka.. God Bless you.. pero di paren naten maiaalis na me gumagawa ng kalokohan dyan sa ahensya nyo.. hindi lang sa BOC.. sa iba pang sangay ng pamahalaan.. marami ding bulok.. :)

  137. dumbCustoms says:

    very dumb customs indeed!!! DON’T THEY HAVE X-RAYS??? HAHA

  138. Trace says:

    My fiance sent a package fr0m da states few days ago tru UPS and today i recieved a call from a guy (UPS pers0nel) and informed me that my packaged had arrived in manila. I was happy ofcourse but then he started talking about payment. I have to pay the cust0ms 13,056 pesos! OMG! I was surprised! My fiance already paid everything and just expecting to have the box delivered at my do0r. I’ve been recieving packages before but i didnt pay anything. Not a single cent. But why they are charging me n0w? And its way t0o much! I don’t know what to do! Pls help

  139. Ramon Anquilan says:

    Tell the UPS guy that the transaction value is ZERO because it is a gift and therefore there should be no duties imposed except that there will be cost for the form, the Import Processing Fee and the Documentary Stamp. The transaction value is the basis used for computing the duties and taxes. In your case, the transaction value is zero because the acquisition cost for you is zero – it is given as a gift to you. While it may be true that the parcel has value because your fiancee bought the item, the value of the goods is not the cost of buying it because it is being given to you.

    If UPS Clark insists on their computation, write to Collector Eduard dela Cuesta, Port of Clark Bureau of Customs, requesting reconsideration using the above as basis.

    Good luck.


    • claire says:

      Good day Sir Ramon. I would like to query about something. My bf will send me a used iPhone as a gift for valentine’s day. I’ve read that it’ll be taxed even if declared as gift?? Because the first time he sent me a package as a gift for my birthday,the guy in the customs explained to me that I should pay the taxes and duties even if it’s a gift,especially electronics as declared in the law.it’s even posted in their walls(but he let me go free saying cause it was my first time and it’s my birthday). Anyways if I’m not oblige to be taxed, is there a written law that would support it? if I have to pay, I’m wondering if how much will it be taxed? Any advice on what I should do and how I should plead my case @ the customs? Any courier you would suggest from Taiwan? Would really appreciate any help/advice as I don’t have a job right now and couldn’t pay a big amount. Thanks in advance.

  140. Jennie Lao says:

    I have the same problem. A friend from Singapore sent a Christmas present through DHL last week. The personel from DHL called me up earlier to say that a sum of more than 5 thousand pesos needs to be paid for taxes and it will be collected upon delivery.

    To whom should I write or contact if they insist on me paying the extra fees?

  141. Ramon Anquilan says:

    Jennie, if its DHL go see Ferdie Legaspi – the Import Manager at DHL Hub in Villamor. Ask him to accompany you to explain to the customs officer in charge that the parcel is a “gift.” Ferdie knows me personally.

    Under the our customs laws, the price that is used as basis for computing the duties and taxes is defined as the “price actually paid or payable” or what we refer to as PAPP. If you did not pay for the goods because the same is just a gift then the transaction value should be zero.

    How do you show that you did not pay for it? Show to them the Commercial Invoice of the article which shows that the one who sent you the goods is the buyer. A copy of the charge slip of the credit card used is also useful.

    If you have problems convincing customs at the DHL, then send me a direct email. I will help out in the explanation.

    Good luck.


    • Jennie says:

      Thanks for the response.

      I called DHL’s hotline earlier and they said that it wasn’t declared as a gift, only the lithium content in the batteries was claimed. I got the receipt of purchase from my friend but the problem is that his name doesn’t show in the invoice and it was paid in Cash (so no credit card billing). I’m in the worst case scenario right now.

      More so, the operator told me that I was informed and agreed regarding the payable amount. Of course, I was surprised and just said ok. I told them that its just in the evening that I consulted my friends and forums about the situation.

      Btw, do I really need to make a personal appeal at the DHL office in Villamore? I’m from Nueva Ecija and I don’t think I can visit them any day soon.

  142. Ramon Anquilan says:

    You said okay when asked whether you are willing to pay duties and taxes? Then DHL will go ahead and file the customs entry, they will pay the assessment and ask for from you the payment upon delivery. The problem is we cannot ask for a re-assessment because DHL has already paid the duties and taxes. If the duties and taxes have been paid, then the only remedy left is to ask for a refund for overpayment of taxes and this is impractical because of the stringent requirements.

    I really do not know why the name of the consignee will not appear in the Invoice even if you pay cash, especially for an expensive item. If you go to CDR King, they will ask you to put your name even if the damn thing costs only a few hundred pesos.

    Please call up DHL and ask to speak to Ferdie Legaspi and try to find out what is the status of the shipment. If the parcel is already cleared from customs we cannot do anything anymore.

    Good luck.


  143. Jennie says:

    Thanks for the information. That was just a bit disheartening but I guess both parties has fault in this situation.

    My friend clearly told DHL Singapore that its a gift and its declared in the invoice and DHL PH told me it wasn’t. I’m still asking for a copy though.

    Also he said anything lesser than 3 thousand, they don’t bother asking the name of the consignee because they think its cheap if it just cost a little below 1 thousand (price of the tablet).

    Any idea about the requirements in refunding the over payments?

  144. sharine says:

    i am worried about the gift which was sent to me last dec 3.and upon tracking it says that the parcel was already cleared by the customs last dec 21.but to date i haven’t receive it yet. please need help.what shall i do?

  145. sar says:

    I am scanning the blogs. Im kind of hopeful upon reading Mr. Ramon’s replies implying some level of heartfelt concern for fellow Filipos who had some real or perceived bad experiences with BOC..My sister was once a victim. Umuwi from US..yung luggage bag nya, after lumabas from customs screening, wala na yung dalawang expensive watches..iniwan pa yung box ng watches. I believe hindi lahat sa BOC Buwaya… kaso, so happen mas marami ata sila…nakakatakot ano..

    • Ramon J. Anquilan says:

      sar, did you ask your sister if customs opened her boxes? what we have downstairs are x-ray machines with CCTV cameras. we do not open boxes under the conveyor belts. we only open luggage in the presence of the passenger because our rules require us to interrogate the passenger for purposes of determining probable cause for smuggling violations.

      please consider that customs does not handle your baggage – the airline, ground handling and others have that responsibility. customs will not interfere except in extreme cases such as smuggling in plain sight, for example the luggage is spirited out of the area without passing through the customs controlled zone.

      i think your sister was a victim of pilferage. it happens all over the world. it happened to me in Hongkong. when my luggage came up, its contents were stewn all over the conveyor area and my canon slr camera was nowhere to be found. i filed a complaint but the ground crew pretended not to understand english.

      heck, nowadays because the airlines do not want to pay overtime to customs personnel, only a few baggage pieces are ever opened. i shudder at the thought that some anti-social goods (porno, explosives, guns, ammunition, fakes goods and drugs) are passing through the airports at this moment. if you have traveled abroad lately you will notice that there are only rare instances when customs will open luggage because there is no time to do that with only 2 customs personnel handling some 4 to 6 flights.


  146. sar says:

    Sir Ramon: Your explanation make sense to me. Enlightening. Was probably a decade ago when that happened. My sister was actually suspecting it happened in the airport..she called the airline. I cant remember what they told her but after that call she just blamed the BOC. She was crying, I was crying too as one of the watches, I suppose was a gift for me and before that I never had a watch more expensive than a fancy ones for 100 pesos (on sale on the sidewalks). Sorry, but from that on, I have a “not so nice” impression of the BOC. Some, if not all, Culprits are behind the scene. Taking advantage while other suspects are pushed to plead guilty. Anyways, thank you very much for your time and effort helping us “losts” (appropriate word?:p ) find our way and for speaking in behalf of the good kind in the BOC. I will be going thru the BOC soon. I still have some fears, but unreal(he he). Stay transparent and unBiased. GodBless!

  147. Claire says:

    Good day Sir Ramon. I would like to query about something. My bf will send me a used iPhone as a gift for valentine’s day. I’ve read that it’ll be taxed even if declared as gift?? Because the first time he sent me a package as a gift for my birthday,the guy in the customs explained to me that I should pay the taxes and duties even if it’s a gift,especially electronics as declared in the law.it’s even posted in their walls(but he let me go free saying cause it was my first time and it’s my birthday). Anyways if I’m not oblige to be taxed, is there a written law that would support it? if I have to pay, I’m wondering if how much will it be taxed? Any advice on what I should do and how I should plead my case @ the customs? Any courier you would suggest from Taiwan? Would really appreciate any help/advice as I don’t have a job right now and couldn’t pay a big amount. Thanks in advance.

  148. sar says:

    hi..me again. Does anyone have any idea if steamed and peeled bananas are allowed on the check in baggage on the int’l flights? how about bottled (plastic)juice?..pls., thanks!!

  149. miron says:

    sir ramon, my sister sent me a gift coming from london. she shipped it thru fedex. however, when i tracked the delivery it stated that there was a delay since i need to pay the import tax. i asked my sister in london reagrding the terms of her contract with fedex there and she told me that fedex never told her about the import duties and taxes that she should pay. all they did was to ask her to declare the value of the goods. i was enraged when i learned of the amount of the import tax because i felt and truly believed that she was deceived. she later on called fedex in london and asked them regarding the import taxes imposed here in our country and their only response was that they are not aware of the Philippines (how stupid are they notto know about that – almost every country imposes an import tax). moreover, the receipt states that it is them that will shoulder the import taxes. however, they told her that it does not contain an importer’s number hence I as the consignee should shoulder the taxes. i’ve read in your previous comments about declaring it as a gift. my problem is that my sister never declared it when she shipped the package. is it still possible for me to use it as an argument even though my sister was not able to declare it? what other options can I avail? hoping to hear from your reply soon. i’m in a limbo right now. more so my sister,who only wanted to make me happy in my birthday.thank you in advance

  150. sageguruamos says:

    tell nokia that you are still in the game. the code was not breached, tampered, whatever. it is code-busting not container-smashing. customs were just doing their jobs.

  151. rsgoldjw says:

    very good, it’s very useful to me, thank you very much!

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