How to Send Tax-Free Balikbayan Box to the Philippines

If you are a Qualified Filipino While Abroad (QWFA), you can avail of duty and tax-free sending of balikbayan boxes through the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act. Under this law, the balikbayan boxes that you will send to your family or relatives will be tax exempt for up to three times a year, provided that these do not exceed P150,000.

Requirements for Tax-Free Balikbayan Box

In order to process a tax-free balikbayan box, you need to prepare the following:

  • photocopy of your passport
  • receipts of your purchases
  • list of the package’s contents.

There are also accredited forwarders to deliver your balikbayan boxes so make sure you send these to the legitimate carriers.

Balikbayan Boxes can be Delivered Duty- and Tax-Exempt

A QWFA is a Filipino citizen living abroad, whether they are OFWs or holders of student visa, investors’ visa, tourist visa or any similar visa. They can have their balikbayan boxes delivered without having to pay duties and taxes. They can avail of this exemption up to three times in a year.

Source: Bureau of Customs Facebook page

Here are the conditions:

  • Recipients in the Philippines should be family members or relatives up to the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity
  • The total value of the shipment must not exceed P150,000 for the whole year
  • Contents of each shipment should only contain personal and household effects. These should not be in commercial quantity. If sending regulated goods, these should also not be in commercial quantity
  • The QWFA (or the sender) must enclose a duly accomplished information sheet, photocopy of biographical page of passport, and (if available) receipts or invoice of the items being sent. The passport will serve as proof of Filipino citizenship.

The Bureau of Customs in the Philippines has a list of accredited international and domestic forwarders which the sender can refer to. Any shipment that does not meet the conditions will have to pay the corresponding duties and taxes. The Bureau of Customs is still accepting questions and clarifications regarding this law. On the other hand, if the sender does not want to avail of the exemption, he or she does not have to meet the conditions stated above.