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Sunday, October 25, 2015

What is in Sen. Recto's Balik-bayan Box Law?

Sen. Ralph Recto has issued a press release  that his proposed Balik-bayan Box Law will be submitted to the senate for approval today. 

The following are the highlights in his proposed law:

Value exempt from tax: Php 150,000

“residents of the Philippines, Overseas Filipino Workers, other Filipinos while residing abroad or in their return to the Philippines shall be allowed to bring in or send to their families or relatives in the Philippines balikbayan boxes which shall be exempt from duties and taxes.” 
The “total dutiable value” of the boxes shall not exceed P150,000."
OFWs can send boxes up to 3 times a year: 

 The privilege can only be enjoyed “up to three times in a calendar year,” Recto said, quoting the proposed law.
“This means that an OFW can send two boxes at the same time provided that their total worth is not more than P150,000. That will be counted as one shipment,” Recto said.

OFWs are allowed to send personal and household effects only:

“personal and household effects only and shall neither be in commercial quantities, nor intended for barter, sale or for hire...This is to prevent senders from abusing this privilege. With this privilege comes the duty to observe the law. And it also comes with penalties so that smugglers won’t take advantage of it,” Recto explained.
For returning OFWs/residents who lived abroad for 10 years, they can bring (tax free) Php 350,000 worth of personal and household effects:
Recto said the proposed CMTA also increases to P350,000 the tax-exempt ceiling of “personal and household effects” that a returning resident who had lived abroad for 10 years may ship to the Philippines.