EMS Package or Parcel how to claim at Philippine Postal Office and Bureau of Customs (BOC)
Did you buy an item or your friend or loved one sent you a package via EMS? And haven’t received it yet? We’ll, here is what’s I’ve experienced that I would like to share with you.
Most of you may wonder why your package from abroad have not reached your delivery address after a week-long or more waiting for someone who will knock your door to hand over your package. Or maybe your friend or relative who sent the package is asking you if you already received the package. While you are so excited, some people may have got your package on hold while sitting and chatting with their colleagues, they belong to the Bureau of Customs unit. The BOC office is located at the left front corner of Philippine Postal office compound.
By the way, Philippine Postal is the official mail/postal carrier in the Philippines. Philpost website is https://www.phlpost.gov.ph. Some people may have bad experience with this government institution such as missing parcel, pre-opened boxes, incorrect item, etc. In my own experience, I haven’t lost any item or have had any bad experience dealing with them.
Oh well, it is our obligation to obey and comply to the existing laws on taxation which are published at the Bureau of Customs website at http://www.customs.gov.ph. It is clear that all imported articles are subject to duties based on the Philippine tariff and Customs code. So at least now you have an idea where your EMS parcel is? Maybe still at the Philippine Postal Office? Yes, you’re most likely correct.
I write this article to provide tips especially to those first timers and doesn’t know how the system works.
Take note that small items such as mail or other documents, a very small gifts, are not subject to tax. So if your item is similar to these items, you should call them and ask if your parcel is put on hold. Normally, Philpost delivers item on the receiver’s address. For provincial address, you may have to coordinate with the local Philippine Postal Office in your city or municipality. On the other hand, electronic equipment, gadgets, appliances and similar items are taxable. So, don’t forget to bring cash.
I assume that you have your EMS tracking number with you and you are sure that the package has already arrived in PhilPost Office in Manila. Checkout the EMS provider’s website to track you package or parcel. I could still remember an instance where I found that the status in the EMS website is ‘arrived in Manila’ and the following day, I went to Philpost to verify. I approached one of the personnel of BOC and assisted me. He instructed me to go to the Philpost claiming area to verify. I did and they were able to locate my parcel. It went through the same process, where it was forwarded to the BOC for tax computation and assessment of the item. In about less than 3 hours, I was able to claim it. Length depends on how many people are also there and how fast Philpost and BOC personnel will act to expedite releasing of your item.
There are plenty of options how to get there. The easiest way if you are coming from north, Quezon City, Marikina, etc., you can take MRT and alight at the Pasay station. From there, you can ride a jeepney, just ask the jeepney barker to guide you how to go to Philippine Postal Office.
Philippine Postal Office Telephone numbers are:
Tel: +632.851.7268; 851.3028
The address is Old MIA Road, Pasay City, Philippines. It is situated on the opposite side near the old domestic airport. While the Bureau of Customs Office is just inside the Philippine Postal Office compound.
Procedure on how to claim your parcel:
This procedure may not be exactly the same when you got inside the Bureau of Customs office. This is based on my personal experience.
1. Before visiting the Philippine Postal office, ensure that you have the following documents:
a. At least 2 valid or government issued IDs.
b. Tracking number of your parcel.
c. Bring cash. At least 30 to 40% worth of the item you will be claiming.
Note: If you assign somebody to claim your parcel, you must prepare:
a. Authorization letter
b. Original copy of your 2 valid or government issued IDs
c. At least 2 valid or government issued IDs of the person who will pick-up your parcel.
2. Once you get there, Bureau of Customs office is located at the left side after the front gate of the Philippine Postal office compound or you may ask somebody where.
3. Proceed to the front desk and fall in line. You may ask someone from the Bureau of Customs personnel to assist you.
4. Present your IDs and tracking number and fill-up the parcel claim form.
5. Wait until your package there at the inspection area. At this point, somebody will call your name. So take your time to sit back and relax.
6. Once you are called, your parcel will be inspected by a Bureau of Customs employee with your supervision. Nobody is allowed to do it without you or your representative’s presence.
7. After the inspection, next is the tricky computation of tax. You will be asked to get inside the main office where the cashier is also located.
Trust me, the computation is done based on the pre-defined formula. No more no less. Or you can ask how tax computation is done. There is a big chance you could haggle down, just whisper.
8. Pay the tax at the cashier. After computation, a document receipt will be given to you. And then, proceed to the cashier.
9. Proceed to the claiming area. Wait for your turn as the barker will call your name.
1.Tell your sender to undervalue the item for less tax computation. But, beware that huge disparity would cause BOC personnel to be skeptical and might confront you about the real market value of your item. They use the internet to benchmark the market value.
2. Ask your sender to put a note such as ‘Gift for you mom or dad’ or ‘ Gift for you Ate or Kuya’ or what ever note. Just to indicate that your item is not for commercial purposes. As a possible result, lesser tax would be charged to you.
3. Try to haggle down the tax amount. I tried it and got 10% discount. Who knows, you won’t lose anything!
4. Be patient as you may have to wait each step. You may walk around and observe how people from Philippine Postal Office throws tons of parcel boxes being transferred to the Bureau of Customs office. You may bring some reading materials or your PSP at least not to get bored waiting.
If you have questions or clarifications, please post your comments.