27 Items Banned Inside Balikbayan Boxes to Philippines

It’s a great feeling for a family to receive that balikbayan box sent by a relative abroad. The same feeling resonates on senders who feel sense of fulfillment of bringing joy to families back home.

However, not all items are allowed inside the box; some are dangerous or in violation of customs laws. Therefore balikbayan box senders should not include them.

The following items are prohibited inside every balikbayan box sent by Filipinos overseas to consignees/recipients in the Philippines.

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Dismantled Auto Parts (Chop chop)
  • Cultural artifacts and pottery
  • Dog and cat fur
  • Firearms, Explosives & Guns, including parts of
  • Food products such as cheese, meat
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Trophies, gold, Haitian
  • Meats, Livestock and poultry
  • Merchandise from embargoed countries
  • Textiles (roll)
  • Trademarked and copyrighted articles
  • Fluids and Perishable food items
  • Automobiles (any parts)
  • Ceramic tableware
  • Defense articles or items with military or proliferation applications
  • Prohibited drugs and drug paraphernalia
  • Fish and wildlife
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Game and hunting
  • Animal hide drums
  • Medication
  • Pets, plants and seed, soils
  • Used clothing or shoes of commercial quantity (Ukay-ukay in bales / boxes)
  • Pornographic Materials
  • Jewelry
  • Pirated items (DVD, VCD, tapes, etc)

According to Section 101 of Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, the importation into the Philippines of the following articles is prohibited:

(a) Dynamite, gunpowder, ammunitions and other explosives, firearms and weapons of war, and parts thereof, except when authorized by law.

(b) Written or printed articles in any form containing any matter advocating or inciting treason, or rebellion, or insurrection, sedition or subversion against the Government of the Philippines, or forcible resistance to any law of the Philippines, or containing any threat to take the life of, or inflict bodily harm upon any person in the Philippines.

(c) Written or printed articles, negatives or cinematographic film, photographs, engravings, lithographs, objects, paintings, drawings or other representation of an obscene or immoral character.

(d) Articles, instruments, drugs and substances designed, intended or adapted for producing unlawful abortion, or any printed matter which advertises or describes or gives directly or indirectly information where, how, or by whom unlawful abortion is produced.

(e) Roulette wheels, gambling outfits, loaded dice, marked cards, machines, apparatus or mechanical devices used in gambling or the distribution of money, cigars, cigarettes or other articles when such distribution is dependent on chance, including jackpot and pinball machines or similar contrivances, or parts thereof.

(f) Lottery and sweepstakes tickets except those authorized by the Philippine Government, advertisements thereof, and lists of drawings therein.

(g) Any article manufactured in whole or in part of gold, silver or other precious metals or alloys thereof, the stamps, brands or marks or which do not indicate the actual fineness of quality of said metals or alloys.

(h) Any adulterated or misbranded articles of food or any adulterated or misbranded drug in violation of the provisions of the “Food and Drugs Act”.

(i) Marijuana, opium, pipes, coca leaves, heroin or any other narcotics or synthetic drugs which are or may hereafter be declared habit forming by the President of the Philippines, or any compound, manufactured salt, derivative, or preparation thereof, except when imported by the Government of the Philippines or any person duly authorized by the Dangerous Drugs Board, for medicinal purposes only.

(j) Opium pipes and parts thereof, of whatever material.

(k) All other articles and parts thereof, the importation of which prohibited by law or rules and regulations issued by competent authority. (As amended by Presidential Decree No. 34)

Source: UMAC Express Cargo, Philippine Embassy Singapore

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