Bureau of Customs removes tax on balikbayan boxes
The Bureau of Customs (BoC) has announced that balikbayan boxes will be exempted from tax as a means of valuing the importance and significance of overseas workers sending goods to their family back home.
The bureau has signed Customs Administrative Order (CAO) 05-2016 for consolidated balikbayan boxes and should take effect on December 25, 2016 — just in time for Christmas Day.
Sunstar reports that this administrative order serves as the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) concerning consolidated balikbayan boxes from ‘qualified Filipinos’.
“CAO 05-2016 serves as the IRR on Section 800 (g) of the Customs and Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), and covers the sending of balikbayan boxes by Qualified Filipinos While Abroad (QFWA) to their families and relatives.”
However, balikbayan boxes brought into the country through other ways other than consolidated shipments will be under a different Customs Administrative Order.
As mentioned earlier, only qualified Filipinos may enjoy these privileges of sending personal effects and household goods. Below is an excerpt to know how to go about this tax-free shipping and who are considered to be qualified.
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).
To be granted this privilege, the following requirements must be met:
(1) A QFWA shall submit the following supporting documents:
a. Photocopy of a page of his/her Philippine passport with personal information, picture and signature, or photocopy of his/her foreign passport with personal information, picture and signature plus proof of copy of dual citizenship; and,
b. Invoice, receipt or equivalent document covering the goods in the balikbayan box, if any.
(2) A QFWA shall accomplish, sign and submit the Information Sheet, which will be issued by BOC and will serve as the packing list.
(3) The international forwarder/consolidator shall submit these Information Sheets and supporting documents in a secured electronic format to local (Philippine) forwarder/deconsolidator.
(4) The local forwarder/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: 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
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.
For consolidate 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.
“We value the importance of each balikbayan box. They symbolize the hardship of our overseas Filipino workers, and the love of Filipinos abroad for their families here in the country, said Bureau of Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon.”