Isa sa pinakaaabangan ng mga Pinoy tuwing Pasko ay ang mga balikbayan boxes na padala ng kanilang mga pamilya who are working abroad. Pero nandyan din ang problema sa mga delayed o nawawalang boxes.
The Bureau of Customs is now making it easier for you to track your balikbayan packages via an online tracker. Just go to the Bureau of Customs website and click on ‘Where is My Balikbayan Box?’. www.dof.gov.ph/
Click on Tracking List to open the Excel File. Look for the Bill of Lading number of your balikbayan box. You can get this number from the freight forwarder.
In the last column, you’ll find the status of the shipment – whether it’s been paid and released or pending payment. Paid and released means the Bureau of Customs has released the package to the forwarder. Pending payment means the forwarder has yet to pay the custom fees.
Aside from tracking the shipment, here are other important things you should remember if you’re sending or receiving a balikbayan box.
1. You can only send goods strictly for personal use and the total value should not exceed US $500.00. And you can only send one box every six months. The following items are not allowed:
1. currencies, checks, money orders and traveler’s checks
3. firearms, ammunitions and explosives
4. prohibited drugs and other substances
5. pornographic materials, gambling cards and toy guns
6. pirated products
7. items of commercial quantity
2. Make sure to pack the items securely. Para makabawas sa bigat or weight, remove items like shoes from their boxes.
3. Declare the contents of your box. Tandaan, mahigpit na ipinagbabawal ang smuggling. Customs personnel are allowed to open the boxes to inspect the contents.
4. Send your box through legitimate freight forwarders and brokers only. Be wary of low rates being offered. And always get a receipt for fees paid as well as the Bill of Lading. Check the website of the Department of Trade and Industry for the list of accredited freight forwarders: www.dti.gov.ph/
5. For delays in the delivery, damaged cargo, or missing items, you can file a complaint with the freight forwarder or with the DTI. You may call DTI-Direct (02) 751.3330 or 0917.834.3330 for assistance.
The image below is a sample of average fees as well transit time for a standard balikbayan box (24”x24”x24”).