Bureau of Customs Releases Revised Rules and Regulations on Balikbayan Boxes

Balikbayan boxes will no longer go through random physical inspections.
by | September 03, 2015

balikbayan box - columbia.edu

OFW Balikbayan boxes will no longer be subjected to random or arbitrary physical inspection. This and other revisions to the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP), via Customs Memorandum Order (COM) 27-2015, was issued on Wednesday, September 2.

According to the Bureau of Customs or BoC, balikbayan boxes–or all non-commercial inbound consolidated shipments of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and returning OFWs bringing in personal and household effects, as per section 105 (f) of the TCCP–will instead undergo mandatory X-ray scanning.

“Balikbayan boxes which are alerted shall be subjected to 100% physical examination at the authorized examination area to be conducted by a customs examiner in the presence of the apprehending officers, freight forwarder consolidator, representatives of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and/or a designated officer of an OFW Association,” added BoC.

BoC Commissioner Alberto Lina signed the order on August 7 after President Aquino released a statement ordering mandatory X-ray scanning and K-9 examination of the 7.2 million boxes and 18,000 containers received by the country’s ports every year.

The new rules will be implemented starting September 3, 2015.

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