Customs employees are warned by Senator Sonny Angara not to tamper balikbayan boxes and to impose the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act that is set to be less intrusive when it comes to examining these boxes.
The Angara also stated that balikbayan boxes are clearly never to be opened or tampered.
“We pushed for this law in response to the complaints of our OFWs and their families that some items in their balikbayan boxes were allegedly stolen or damaged upon inspection,” says Senator Angara.
As per the rules and regulations implemented on balikbayan boxes, consolidators must obtain their own warehouses equipped with CCTVs, Customs facility,and baggage x-ray machines so they wouldn’t have to open such boxes.
“We are hopeful that with this law in place, violations never happen again,” says the Angara.
The Angara, the sponsor of the Republic Act 10863 that gives higher tax exemption of balikbayan boxes as much as P150,000, hopes that there will be lessened reports of tampering and opening of balikbayan boxes especially now that the Christmas season is nearing.
As per the records of the Bureau of Customs, there are about 400,000 balikbayan boxes being sent to the Philippines every month but this number is doubled during the Christmas season.
The amended rules and regulations on balikbayan boxes were just released on August after receiving numerous criticism surrounding the tight requirement on the previous guidelines.
On the old guidelines, the sender of balikbayan boxes must submit an itemized list which includes copies of receipts alongside the photocopy of their passports.
This time, you are not required to provide receipts. All you need to secure is any of these documents; overseas employment certificate, passport, work permit, resident ID, or any equivalent ID.