AS a Christmas gift to overseas Filipino workers (OFW), the Bureau of Customs (BOC) temporarily suspended its guidelines in sending balikbayan boxes into the country.
Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña told reporters in Cebu yesterday that they’ve decided to suspend the guidelines for the duty and tax-free privilege of balikbayan boxes following the complaints of some OFWs over the tedious requirements they need to comply.
“I know how hard it is for our countrymen to work abroad just to make the lives and the future of their families better. That is the purpose of balikbayan boxes that even if they are abroad, they can still give something to their loved ones,” he said.
According to BOC guidelines, OFWs planning to send their balikbayan boxes are required to submit a photocopy of their passport, a copy of the invoice, a proof of purchase of the goods inside the boxes and the duly accomplished information sheet provided by the bureau.
The guidelines are based on Customs Administrative Order 05-2016 and Customs Memorandum Order 04-2017.
At present, Lapeña said that BOC is reviewing the guidelines for the duty and tax-free privilege of balikbayan boxes.
The suspension of the guidelines for balikbayan boxes will only last until March 30 next year.
Aside from the suspension of the guidelines, Lapeña said that OFWs won’t have to worry about sending their gifts to their relatives this Christmas after the bureau and the Department of Finance approved the increase of tax exemption ceiling of balikbayan boxes to P150,000. (JKV)
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on December 13, 2017.
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