Customs issues new memo banning inspection of balikbayan boxes
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - September 2, 2015 - 4:26am

MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Wednesday released a new memorandum order which bans the random physical inspection of balikbayan boxes.

The revised rules and regulations in the importation of balikbayan boxes from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) state that the boxes undergo mandatory x-ray scanning instead.

Boxes tagged "suspect" after x-ray scanning will be subjected to 100 percent physical examination to be conducted by a Customs examiner in the presence of the apprehending officers, representatives of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and a designated officer of an OFW association.

The BOC will also acquire K-9 units and install CCTVs in all authorized inspection and examination areas, according to the memo.

The said order seeks "to contribute to the enforcement efforts in suppressing unscrupulous individuals using the balikbayan boxes privilege to smuggle goods."

The new memo applies to all non-commercial inbound consolidated shipments of OFWs and for returning OFWs, as provided under the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines.

President Benigno Aquino III earlier ordered the BOC to stop conducting random physical inspections of balikbayan boxes.

RELATED: Balikbayan boxes to undergo X-ray, K9 checks

BALIKBAYAN BOXES BUREAU OF CUSTOMS CUSTOMS INSPECTION OVERSEAS WORKERS WELFARE ADMINISTRATION PHYSICAL PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO QUOT RAY TARIFF AND CUSTOMS CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES
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