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Bureau Of Customs And The Tighter Rules Being Imposed On Balikbayan Boxes

For Pinoys who have family members or relatives abroad, balikbayan boxes make up for the absence of the person working abroad. It takes months before the boxes can be filled with the family member’s favorite things. Without a doubt, the balikbayan boxes are a tangible sign of the Overseas Filipino Workers’ love for the family members. With the most recent announcement on the stricter rules and regulations imposed by Bureau of Customs, OFWs and their families could not help but go ballistic on the revised rules.

The BOC’s rules and regulations subject balikbayan boxes to 100% physical examination. However, not all balikbayan boxes will be placed under alert. The boxes that have been deemed to have violated the law on importing articles will be brought to the authorized area for examination or inspection. 

Under Section 105 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP), the following items cannot be brought into the Philippines:

• Coffee

• Used clothing and rags

• Toy guns

• Onions, potatoes, cabbages, garlic

The following commodities are prohibited to be brought into the Philippines:

• Marijuana, opium or any type of synthetic drugs or narcotics;

• Roulette wheels, loaded dice, marked cards, gambling outfits, apparatus, machines or mechanical devices used in gambling;

• Opium pipes;

• Tickets for lottery and sweepstakes except those authorized by the Philippines government, advertisement thereof, and list of drawings therein;

• Dynamite, ammunition, gunpowder and other explosives such as fire-arms and weapons of war, and parts thereof, except when they are authorised by law;

• Articles, drugs, instruments, substances designed, intended or adapted for producing unlawful abortion, or any printed matter which describes or advertises or gives directly or indirectly information regarding where, how or by whom unlawful abortion produced;

• Written or printed articles in any form containing any matter advocating or inciting treason, or rebellion, insurrection, sedition or subversion against the government of the Philippines, or forcible resistance to any law of the Philippines;

• Written or printed articles, negatives or cinematographic film, photographs, engravings, lithographs, paintings, objects, drawings or other representation of an obscene or immoral character;

• All other articles or part thereof, the importation of which is prohibited by law or rules and regulation issued by competent authority.

The physical examination of balikbayan boxes are in accordance with Section 3604 of the TCCP. The revised rules and regulations are also said to put a lid on violations made by individuals who use balikbayan boxes to break the law such as bringing thousands of anti-anxiety drugs, misdeclared as food supplements into the Philippines. 

All boxes are expected to undergo mandatory x-ray and K-9 examination at no cost to the person who sent it. Once there are derogatory findings, the physical inspection of goods will be considered. 

Pinoy Attorney

Written by : Pinoy Attorney

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