The cat is out of the bag. The additional charge that the Bureau of Customs (BOC) has imposed on a container of balikbayan boxes is now out in the open.
First it has been confirmed that the amount of duties and taxes on a shipping container has been increased from P80,000 to P120,000.
Because the increase will eventually be shouldered by OFWs who send the boxes, the pass-on cost is P100 per box. This is based on a usual load of 400 balikbayan boxes per 40-foot container.
It has also been confirmed during the hearing that the Customs is planning to further raise the duties and taxes on a container of balikbayan boxes to P180,000 this October.
Again, this will be passed on to senders of these boxes. If this second round of increases will materialize, the additional charge per box will be P150.
In short, the two increases will force OFWs to pay an additional P250 per box. Kung sino man ang magpapadala ng balikbayan box para sa Pasko, malamang maabutan na ito ng dagdag na singil.
The above information was confirmed by the freight forwarders present. As consolidators, these are the parties who actually pay the duties and taxes to the Customs.
They confirm that they are now paying the new rates. And they confirm that they will pass on the additional duties to the senders.
The scenario of a second round of increase next month was never disputed by any BOC officials present during the hearing.