Thursday, September 24, 2015

BOC: BALIKBAYAN BOX SHALL NOT BE SUBJECTED TO RANDOM OPENING UNLESS WITH VIOLATION

New, revised rules and regulations in the importation of “balikabayan boxes” by OFWS was issued by the Bureau of Customs.

The Customs Memorandum Order 27-2015 states that 
balikbayan boxes of OFWs shall not be subjected to random or arbitrary physical inspection, instead, they shall only undergo mandatory X-ray scanning.
Also, mandatory container X-ray scanning shall be conducted at the X-ray Inspection Project Designated Examination Area for preliminary examination of non-commercial inbound consolidated shipment.
For non-commercial inbound consolidated shipment tagged “suspect” after X-ray scanning, the XIP image analysis inspector shall identify the balikbayan box/boxes with possible violation. The package would then be segregated and released provisionally to allow continuous processing.
The balikbayan box/boxes which are alerted shall be subjected to 100 percent 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 designated officer of an OFW association be present.
Also, for purposes of trade facilitation and to address port congestion, the BoC may allow 100 percent examination of alerted balikbayan boxes to be conducted at the warehouse of the freight forwarder/consolidator upon submission of an affidavit of undertaking subject to existing laws, rules and regulations.
Commissioner Bert Lina said that the order is applicable to all non-commercial inbound consolidated shipments of OFWs and for returning OFWs bringing in personal and household effects.
The objectives of the order is to contribute to the enforcement efforts in suppressing unscrupulous individuals using the balikbayan privilege to smuggle goods and to prescribe simplified customs procedures for OFWs sending balikbayan boxes to the Philippines and to protect the legitimate interests of OFWs in sending balikbayan boxes as tangible sign of their love and concern for their family members. See the actual memorandum below. 
READ HERE