Oops… Philippines Customs did it again

Aarrghh! I still can’t believe the insane amount of tax that Customs asked me to pay for something that I didn’t buy. This time it’s not through Fedex or any of those external couriers but something that was shipped through the Post Office.

My aunt sent us some thermal underwear from Taiwan for us to use on our trip to Beijing. Last week, I got the claim card from our Post Office telling me that my package has arrived.

Philippine Postal Corporation Claim Card

I went there this morning not knowing that I still have to pay for Customs Duty and Tax. There was no indication that I had to bring lots of money just to claim it. I had to pay an additional P1,435 for something that cost about P2,300. Insane I say!! So in short, I wasn’t able to get my package.

I got this summary of payment instead giving a breakdown of how they arrived with the amount that I have to pay. Hopefully, it will help you compute for your tax if you’re thinking of having something sent to you from overseas.

Rate of Duty will depend on what type of item you bring in. They said it was 15% for clothes but the electronic gadget that I bought a few months back was only 5%. Hmmm.

fixed charges

I am going back again next week since the customs official wasn’t around to explain the summary for me. What I would like to know is why should I pay for those fixed charges twice!

I don’t mind paying taxes but they should be reasonable. If the tax is going to be half or more than half of the total cost then it’s totally unreasonable. And where do they use the money? To pay for our president’s dinner party? Sigh.

Here’s what I suggest:

  • Don’t tax items that:
    • are second hand or clearly used already
    • cost less than a set amount ($300 maybe?)
  • Don’t include freight charges to the amount of customs duty. If I want to expedite shipment it’s going to cost me. That’s ok but if customs will hold it for a few days and charge me some more… [insert profanity if choice here]
  • Tax less for items that are of personal use or sent as gifts

Maybe there are some flaws with some of my suggestions that I can’t see at this point but BOC should really do something about how they tax items sent from abroad. Clearly, a lot of Filipinos are displeased with our BOC.

Better think twice if you’re going to send something to your relatives in the Philippines via the post office.


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250 Responses

  1. steven says:

    sent a card. and necklace to my girlfriend in Cabu , used fed ex , cost for both was under $100.00 fed ex said to insure for 100 , i paid 96.00 for delivery , when it got to my gf they want 4550.25 peso more , why ???

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