THE Department of Trade and Industry’s Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (DTI-FTEB) warned the public against 43 freight forwarders, which it said were the subject of complaints about undelivered balikbayan boxes.

“In its latest advisory, DTI-FTEB listed these erring foreign and local sea freight forwarders to prevent consumers from patronizing their services.

The advisory also cited the 54 foreign freight forwarders/consolidators from Asia, Australia, Europe, Middle East and USA that have pending complaints pertaining to Balikbayan boxes,” said DTI Undersecretary Atty. Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba.

The FTEB, a line bureau of DTI’s Consumer Protection Group led by Dimagiba, regularly posts its advisory about erring foreign and local sea freight forwarders in the DTI website.

Balikbayan boxes usually don’t get delivered when foreign consolidators or principal sea freight forwarders fail to remit a portion of their collected charges to their accredited Philippine agents or local sea freight forwarders.

“When necessary funds are not remitted to accredited Philippine agents and local freight forwarders, the shipment or the balikbayan boxes with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will not be released and will not be delivered to consignees,” Dimagiba explained.

Unfortunately, the DTI-FTEB records show that some incidents of undelivered balikbayan boxes involved freight forwarding companies that had been accredited.

In its press statement, the DTI said it has revoked the accreditation of D’Winner Logistics Philippines Inc. and Globalnet International Freight Inc. It also wants to revoke the accreditation of Steadfast Air-Sea International Inc. for “abandoning a shipment consigned to it,” Dimagiba said.

The DTI-FTEB implements an accreditation scheme for sea freight forwarding companies.

As of Jan. 9, 2015, the DTI-FTEB has accredited 664 sea freight forwarders, of which 57 also handle balikbayan boxes.

The DTI advised the public to regularly check the following websites for guidance on which sea freight forwarders they can transact with: (List of accredited door-to-door sea freight forwarders and DTI-FTEB Advisory) and (Bureau of Customs Balikbayan Box Tracker). (PR)