Filipinos are known to be people who preserve strong family ties despite the distance. One of the things that most OFWs often prepare is balikbayan boxes. They prepare balikbayan boxes that include clothing, toys, and chocolates to send to families back home. This is one way in how they show their love and affection for their dearest ones.
There are several rules and limitations set by different countries abroad regarding balikbayan boxes. As a Filipino worker abroad, an individual must be familiar with some information and details pertaining to the shipment of balikbayan boxes. Knowledge regarding these things would prevent delays and penalties. These rules and policies include:
Contents of the box
The box must contain non-commercial goods. These goods must be for personal use only. Furthermore, the value of the box? content must not exceed US$500.00. Some examples include canned goods and grocery items, clothing and apparel, and others
One consignor is allowed to send only one balikbayan box within a six-month period.
Consolidated Door-to-door Shipment
This is defined as 2 or more balikbayan boxes sent by several OFWs assembled and consolidated at one point of origin. A licensed freight forwarder ships these boxes to the Philippines through its partner agency. Only a foreign freight forwarder who is licensed by the Philippine consulate is allowed to consolidate balikbayan boxes.
Opening of the Boxes
The boxes are opened and examined by Philippine customs as mandated by law. This is done to (a.) protect both the interest of the transacting public, (b.) safeguard the interest of the government (c.) prevent and suppress smuggling.
Legitimate Freight Forwarders
The Philippine Shippers Bureau (PSB) is in charge of verifying the legitimacy of freight forwarders. Furthermore, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) releases a list of legitimate cargo forwarders. Here is the list of accredited cargo freight forwarders by DTI’s PSB.
Delivery of balikbayan boxes
The accredited agent in the Philippines whose name appears on the bill of lading is authorized to claim the packages from the wharf and deliver them to the consignee.
The cause of delays in delivery of balikbayan boxes includes (a.) unforeseen circumstances such as typhoons, (b.) consolidated shipments tainted by the presence of undeclared goods, banned or regulated cargoes, and/or goods in commercial quantity, (c.) shipments abandoned by Philippine agents.
Completely-Knocked Down (CKD) Motorcycles
These items are not allowed in balikbayan boxes. These are not considered personal or household goods and other requirements are needed for these to be legally brought into the Philippines.