Bureau of Customs activates online balikbayan box tracker

As deliveries of packages and parcels from overseas Filipinos surge in time for the Christmas season, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) has launched an online tracker that will enable recipients of balikbayan boxes to check on the status of their packages.

BOC commissioner John P. Sevilla (middle), undersecretary Victorio Dimagiba (left) and BOC-MICP informal entry division chief Athena Dans inspect balikbayan boxes that are awaiting clearance and release at the Manila International Container Port (MICP). About 65 percent of all balikbayan boxes arrive in the Philippines through MICP

BOC commissioner John P. Sevilla (middle), undersecretary Victorio Dimagiba (left) and BOC-MICP informal entry division chief Athena Dans inspect balikbayan boxes that are awaiting clearance and release at the Manila International Container Port (MICP). About 65 percent of all balikbayan boxes arrive in the Philippines through MICP

The tracker contains the list of all balikbayan box shipments lodged by local cargo forwarders with the BOC, the country of origin, port of entry in the country, and the Bill of Lading (BL) number of the shipments.

“This is our way of helping our kababayans find their boxes when they encounter problems. We have received several complaints from OFW families blaming BOC for lost boxes. With this tracker, the public will not be given the run-around by people responsible for delivering their balikbayan boxes,” said BOC commissioner John P. Sevilla.

To access the balikbayan box tracker, just go to the Bureau of Customs website and click the “balikbayan box Tracker” banner.

The tracker contains information on all balikbayan box shipments lodged with the bureau, including its country of origin, Bill of Lading (BL) number, name of the foreign forwarder, name of the local forwarder/broker, date entry filed, date cleared, and current status.

Families expecting balikbayan boxes should know the name of the forwarder and the BL number to be able to track the shipment where the balikbayan box is included.

Balikbayan boxes sent from abroad are usually consolidated into batches, and placed in one container van aboard a cargo vessel bound for the Philippines. Each container van has about 400 balikbayan boxes.

Shipments from within Asia typically arrive in the country in 15 to 20 days; while those from North America or Europe arrive in 55 to 65 days.

These container vans are filed in a Bill of Lading and consigned to one entity, usually a local cargo forwarder. The latter handles customs clearance of the entire shipment and handles delivery of each box to the intended recipients in the Philippines.

The Department of Trade and Industry, for its part, expects the tracker to lessen, if not eliminate consumer complaints on loss, non-delivery and pilferage of balikbayan boxes.

“The DTI fully supports the BOC in this initiative that can greatly assist consumers on the delivery and receipt of their balikbayan boxes. Simultaneously, the tracker can serve as a venue for accredited Philippine sea freight forwarders to police their own ranks and prevent questionable acts and dealings,” said DTI-consumer protection group (CPG) undersecretary Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba.

As of November 2014, the Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau of the DTI, has accredited 654 Philippine sea freight forwarders.

The DTI also urges balikbayan box senders to contract the services of cargo forwarders accredited by the Philippine Shippers Bureau. The list can be found in the website of the DTI.

The DTI also urges overseas Filipinos sending balikbayan boxes to list and declare the contents of the box and be suspicious of cargo forwarders offering services at fees that are way below or way above current industry rates.

An estimated 5.5-million balikbayan boxes are sent to the Philippines each year, about 40 percent of which arrive during the so-called “ber” months approaching the Christmas season.

Approximately 65 percent of all balikbayan box shipments arrive at the Manila International Container Port, while the rest are shipped through the Port of Manila (South Harbor), Cebu, Davao and Subic.

6 Comments

  1. rosemarie pineda

    August 9, 2017 at 2:29 PM

    How to send balikbayan box from united kingdom to philippines

  2. Perlita Claros Stuart

    August 21, 2017 at 9:18 PM

    My question how’s going on right now balikbayan packages still in problem the people in custom opening the boxes and stealing inside the box?
    How I secure my box to send to my family?
    Still I hold my boxes here in the USA because of news. There in Philippines.

  3. Genie terry

    September 27, 2017 at 6:19 AM

    I sent my 4 boxes plus the two Oversize boxes on APRIL 22, 2017 until now it was already SEPTEMBER 26, 2017 here in North Carolina….I keep calling my family if they already have it but I feel so frustrated they don’t have it yet. It already 6 months … I remember last year I sent a package to my family something missing in one of the boxes. NOW, I feel bad, tp.know lots of corrupt officials are still there in customs. I will never sent package again. I rather sent money than sending packages which my family won’t enjoy.

  4. Genie terry

    October 20, 2017 at 7:16 AM

    My family still asking me about the package I will sent them. If I don’t hear by the end of October. I sent my package APRILL 22, 2017 , now its OCTOBER already. It takes 6 months but still my packages didn’t deliver yet which my family is waiting for. I will take.as action to make a letter or complain to PRESIDENT DUTERTE . As I hear it is already.in Manila custom 1 month ago. Is that too long for th
    Custom to check the balikbayan boxes?

  5. Carmencita A Bayot

    November 3, 2017 at 8:07 AM

    My daughter left her used assigned office laptop in the US LA airport. With the help if Airport Security the laptop is being sent back to the Phil to my daughter at her office at EPSON Phil at Ortigas THRU UPIS paying about US$360.+.Now its being delivered by UPIS, she was billed P6,100. as tax by Phil. CUSTOMS thru UPiS .unless she pays it now the unit wont be given to her.The Unit is old and depreciated and an assigned office equipment by EPSON to her. WHY THE TAX? Please clarify me SIrs this?

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