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Sending a balikbayan box should be just as easy and convenient as receiving it. Often described as a door-to-door freight forwarding service, it should be as simple as it is described. It is usually picked up from the house of the sender, or dropped of in centrally located drop-off outlets like Filipino stores, groceries or frequently visited retail outlets. One popular and reliable company is Metro Box Cargo. And then, from the end of the recipients, they wait until the bearer of good tidings come to deliver their balikbayan box!
But since you are dealing with sending and receiving of packages, anything that goes in and out of the Philippine shores is subject to the scrutiny of the country’s Bureau of Customs (BOC).
A packing list or INFORMATION SHEET is prepared by the sender indicating the specific contents of the box. It is a detailed declaration of what is in your box. It should include a description, quantity and the cost of the items.
There are restrictions as to what can be packed inside the box and the total value that can be sent. Philippine Laws set the maximum amount for de minimis importations at Php10,000.00. De minimis is a set amount that is of little value to warrant tax.
In order to facilitate the pick-up or drop-off of your box, please take note of the following important information from the Bureau of Customs:

  1. Accomplish 2 copies of the PACKING LIST OR INFORMATION SHEET
    • *1st copy to be attached to the box
    • * 2nd copy to be given to the Freight Forwarding Services Company thru its agent/driver for customs purposes.
  2. Sender needs to fill up rows A, B and C.
    • BOC guidelines | Information Sheet
  1. Photocopy of sender’s Philippine Passport or any government (including US government ID) issued ID. This is for the use of Metro Box Cargo for identification purposes only.
  2. The description of goods which must all be for personal effects should be specific as to quantity and estimated amount or value

For example: Chocolates 3 packs $20.00
Tshirt (4) $50.00

  1. The estimated total value should not go over $200 or Php 10,000 per box. Add to this, any 1 item over $200 value must be declared.
  2. Each info sheet must be signed by the sender at the bottom page.
  3. A tracking number will be provided by the Metro Box Cargo driver or representative at the time of pick up or drop off so that you can track with ease the estimated time of arrival of your package at the doorsteps of the recipient.

You can easily keep track of your shipment via the website of Metrobox Cargo.
Remember: for worry-free shipping and delivery of your balikbayan boxes, take note of the guidelines issued by the Bureau of Customs for the declaration of the contents.
There is a lot of talk regarding Balikbayan Boxes in the Philippines today. From taxes to the ban of several freight forwarding services company. So best to follow the Bureau of Customs Guidelines in filling up the Information Sheet/Packing List. It is also important to choose a reliable freight forwarding company. At Metro Box Cargo, your package is safe! You can always ask for their help in accomplishing the necessary forms. They will be happy to assist you. So with that out of the way, it’s time to go shopping to fill up your boxes!