BOC eyes higher duties, taxes on balikbayan boxes
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - August 18, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The government is losing approximately P600 million in taxes per year due to technical smuggling through balikbayan boxes, a Bureau of Customs (BOC) official said yesterday.

BOC deputy commissioner for assessment and operations coordinating group Agaton Teodoro Uvero said balikbayan boxes are used to transport commercial items for businesses, including watches, bags, perfumes and other imported goods.

Uvero said they found 11 brand-new LED television sets inside a specially sized box during a spot check conducted recently.

“We do not have an exact figure on the losses, but we are estimating that there is around P50,000 in underpayment for every shipping container (carrying balikbayan boxes). If there are 1,000 containers coming in every month, that means a rough estimate of P50 million lost (by the) government,” he said.

If this is not immediately resolved, he said monthly losses were expected to double or triple, especially due to the volume of balikbayan boxes being sent to the country during the Christmas season.

Uvero said the BOC is planning to implement higher duties and taxes on packages.

At present, a container loaded with balikbayan boxes is charged about P80,000. The BOC said it may increase the amount to about P120,000.

The regulations on the new taxes will be released before Oct. 1.

ACIRC AGATON TEODORO UVERO BALIKBAYAN BOC BOXES BUREAU OF CUSTOMS CONTAINER DUE TAXES UVERO
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