Good News: Aquino Signs Law That Exempts ‘Balikbayan Boxes’ From Taxes


Balikbayan box tax exempt

Screenshot from youtube.com

Outgoing president Benigno Aquino III has signed into law the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), according to a news post from GMA News Online.

According to Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina:

We, at the Bureau of Customs (BOC), are pleased to announce that Republic Act No. 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), has been approved and signed into law by His Excellency President Benigno Aquino III.

With this law, the BOC will implement several reforms including:

  • full electronic processing of shipments,
  • streamlining of export and import procedures,
  • simplified processes for seizure and disposition of illegal goods

Under this law, OFWs can send up to three P150,000-worth of tax and duty free balikbayan boxes in a year, as long as the goods are not in commercial quantities nor intended for barter, sale or for hire.

Additionally, returning Filipinos will also benefit from this law with the following tax-free ceiling:

  • Stayed overseas for 10 years or more – P350,000 tax-free ceiling
  • Stayed overseas for 5 years but less than 10 – P250,000 tax-free ceiling
  • Stayed overseas for less than 5 years – P150,000 tax-free ceiling

This is really good news for our OFW relatives! However, we hope no one uses this to evade paying taxes.

What do you think of this law exempting balikbayan boxes from taxes?