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New Guidelines in Sending Balikbayan Box to the Philippines

On the second quarter of 2017, a new rules or guidelines about the Balikbayan box policy was announced by the Bureau of Customs or BOC. According to the new policy, the content of the balikbayan box must be listed and pasted on it. Likewise, a receipt or proof of purchase for newly bought items should be included in the box.

But, the policy was suspended until March 31, 2018 allowing the Bureau of Customs to amend the guidelines to avoid further criticisms from the OFWs.


If you’re an OFW or has a family member working abroad, it makes sense to know some of the salient points about the new guidelines.

Here’s the Balikbayan Guidelines

  • Ceiling value of the tax-free items

The ceiling value for tax exemption for balikbayan boxes was raised to Php150,000 according to the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act. The balikbayan box should not exceed the ceiling value; otherwise it will be subjected to applicable duties and taxes.

  • Qualification

There are some conditions to qualify for tax-free balibayan box. An OFW must be a holder of a passport issued by the DFA and certified by the POEA or DOLE. A Filipino citizen temporarily staying abroad and holds either a student or tourist or investor visa. A Filipino who is permanently residing abroad but still upholds Filipino citizenship. The recipient of the balikbayan box must be a relative of the OFW up to the 4th degree of affinity. In the same manner, the sender of the balikbayan box must satisfy the eligibility requirements in order to avail the privilege.

  • Frequency of sending balikbayan box

You can avail the privilege of tax-free balikbayan box three times within a year. However, there’s no limit in the number of boxes you can send in 1 shipment as long as it does not exceed the ceiling value and the required size.

  • Item categories

The balikbayan box must contain only personal or household items. Prohibited items include alcoholic beverages, disassembled vehicle parts, explosives or firearms, drug paraphernalia, antiques, and meat, cheese, fruits and vegetables.

If the balikbayan box exceeds the ceiling value, the sender will be liable to pay the excise taxes or the value-added tax. The processing fee is Php250.00 and should be paid to the BOC by the sender.

Read Also: 

Regular rates for Balikbayan boxes by Manila Forwarders

Destination Mini Jumbo
Luzon $25 $85
Visayas $50 $100
Mindanao $50 $105
Odd-size Odd Size & Shape Shipping Rate Calculator

Regular rates for Balikbayan boxes by Forex Cargo


$108 MNL

$115 LUZ

$115 VIS

$122 MIN

23″ x20″ 17″


$60 MNL

$65 LUZ

$65 VIS

$70 MIN

18″ x18″ 16″


$35 MNL

$40 LUZ

$40 VIS

$40 MIN

17.5″ x9″ 16″


$118 MNL

$125 LUZ

$125 VIS

$132 MIN

23″ x20″ 20″


$70 MNL

$85 LUZ

$85 VIS

$95 MIN

23″ x20″ 17″


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