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List of Restricted and Taxable items in Balikbayan Boxes

Kabayans, are you tired of reading and hearing the news about the issues between OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) against the BOC (Bureau of Customs)? Well this time we need to clarify some of the important things that every OFW should know.

What are the lists of Prohibited and Restricted items inside Balikbayan Boxes?

This is as per Bureau of Customs, Chapter VI Prohibited/Restricted Importations,  check it out:

Prohibited importations are generally those not allowed to be brought into the country except when given permission under high controlled conditions as provided for in the laws prohibiting them. Some of these prohibited items are the following:

  1. Dynamite gunpowder, ammunition and other explosives, firearms and weapons of war, and parts thereof;
  2. Written or printed articles in any form containing any matter advocating or inciting treason, or rebellion, insurrection, sedition or subversion against the government of the Philippines, or containing any threat to take the life of, or inflict bodily harm upon any person in the Philippines.
  3. Written or printed articles, negatives or cinematographic film, photographs, engravings, lithographs, objects, paintings, drawing or other representations of an obscene or immoral character.
  4. Articles, instruments, drugs and substances designed, intended or adapted for producing unlawful abortion, or any printed matter which advertises or describes or gives directly or indirectly information where, how and by whom unlawful abortion is produced.

See the full lists here:

BIS attachment 4 2013

To clarify how much each OFW is entitled to bring upon arrival, according to the Chapter II. Privileges No. 3 of the Bureau of Customs, 


The extent varies as follows:

1. Returning Resident. Personal effects and household goods used by him abroad for at least six (6) months and the dutiable value of which is not more than Ten Thousand Pesos (10,000.00) are exempt from duties and taxes. Any amount in excess of P10,000.00 is subject to 50% duty to the first P10,000.00 exemption across the board as provided for under Section 105 (F) of the TCCP.

2. Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW). In addition to the privileges granted to Returning Residents as described above, an OFW may be allowed to bring in, duty and tax free Ten Thousand (P10,000.00) of USED home appliances, provided:
the quantity is limited to one of each kind;

  1. the privilege has not been enjoyed previously during the calendar year which fact must be declared under oath by the owner;
  2. the owner’s passport is presented at the port/airport of entry;
  3. any amount in excess of P10,000.00 will be subject to duty and tax.

Basically all Electronics and Appliances are hereby Taxable. Examples of which are the following:

  • Televisions (LCD/LED, Plasma etc.)
  • Refrigerator
  • Computer / Laptops
  • Printer / Fax machines
  • Etc…

Read through the other sources to learn more about the Do’s and Dont’s

Sources: BOC | JB Solis | Phil Embassy

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