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Avoiding Customs Check

Discussion in 'Asia' started by Corzhens, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    Our country's customs bureau is notorious with taxing goods that we bring from other countries. Last year there was the news that a lady boxer who came home with the championship belt was levied a tax by the customs in the airport. The customs officer said that the boxer should submit a request to the bureau for an exemption. You can imagine if you are caught with a dutiable good in your baggage.

    The rule that we follow is to buy a limited number of the same items. Say a t-shirt, you can have 20 or more provided the designs are different. With candies and other food stuff, the rule would be for personal consumption only. In short, what would be taxed are items that have a commercial volume. But with valuables like the boxer's championship belt, I guess you cannot escape the customs officer.
  2. Phileas80

    Phileas80 Member

    Wow, that sounds pretty bad. Just about anything with any value will end up being taxed. Is there a flat rate or do the customs officers decide how much tax to place on an item?
  3. Valerie

    Valerie Active Member

    Never knew that about the Philippines. Sounds pretty exasperating. I mean, America is pretty strict (depending on where you are) when it comes to bring to and from other countries. Japan is too. You can't bring fruit or vegetables from outside countries, can't bring in animals (unless you want them quarantined for several months), amongst other things.
  4. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    I think when places are crazy strict when it comes to rules and regulations that's absolutely when you find people flouting the law and trying to sneak things in. I think it's reasonable to ask people to only bring in enough for themselves and not be bringing commercial quantities of stuff, but you're only allowed a certain amount of baggage on most flights so I can't imagine people bringing in commercial sellable quantities of much stuff! Unless it was small and light!
  5. maxen57

    maxen57 Member

    I hope this will be remedied by the new administration. Knowing Marcos, if he was put into the customs, things will not be as shady. Because of him the taxation of balik-bayan boxes and remittances of OFWs to their families here in the Philippines wasn't implemented. But I trust that things will get better. Duterete hasn't even formally sat as president yet and already around 300 drug dealers had been taken out. Anyway, I believe anyone who will take over customs under Duterte will be able to do his/her job.
  6. christine

    christine New Member

    Under Section 105 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, “medals, badges, cups and other small articles bestowed as trophies or prizes, or those received or accepted as honorary distinction” are exempted from import duties. The belt shouldn't have been taxed but the Customs staff who processed the transaction has no knowledge that the belt belonged to the Filipina boxer because she wasn't the consignee named in the papers. Hence, the belt was assessed as a collection. Anyway, the tax was refunded to her when she aired her complaints. It wasn't the examiner's fault that there was no declaration that it was a championship belt.

    The Customs Code of the Philippines has been around since 1937 and on May 2016, one of the very last laws signed by the former President Aquino is on the modernization of the Tariff and Customs Code which increased the tax exemption of repatriate boxes from Philippine Peso 10,000 to Phil. Peso 150,000 for those who have been working abroad for 5 years or less and higher for those working for more than 5 years. They can avail of the exemption up to three times a year. The goal is to minimize corruption in customs and to streamline operations, too. This is in keeping with the international convention on customs administration, the revised Kyoto Convention.

    The customs laws are supposed to curb abuses by people who buy clothes and stuff from abroad and sell them to local people without paying taxes or registering their business. I have a co-worker, for instance, who finances her trips abroad by buying bags and clothes and selling them to her co-workers on installment. I never buy from here though, specially if I know that she made a side trip to this place known for selling cheap clothes and bags because I know that these are imitations.
  7. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    Yes, I have heard that the US and Japan are so strict with fruits and vegetables that you can be quarantined for at least a day when caught bringing in prohibited farm products. It is not really the customs but the agricultural department that holds you in the reason of protecting their agriculture from being diluted with other breed of plants and trees. But I know of some relatives who went to the US bringing seeds of local plants. In fact, my father-in-law had planted a citrus plant with seeds coming from our backyard. The citrus plant grew to a height of 10 feet and lots of fruits too. From what I know, that citrus plant is still thriving in the home of my husband's uncle in LA.
  8. There's one way to avoid a lot of hassle at the customs checkpoint. Just don't have a lot of stuff. I just cannot understand how people would bring so much stuff back with them from their trips. I haven't been to Mecca but I have heard that those who do bring things back in boxes. Many, many boxes. In fact, I know one man who started a thriving business just shipping all those boxes back.
  9. Miya

    Miya Active Member

    Well, when you travel you're going to see a lot of interesting things you've never seen before or are not available in your country. So of course it makes sense to bring a lot back.

    And a lot of people are really into parallel trading as it can help them earn a lot of money without much effort.
  10. Parallel trading? That's an interesting idea. So how do you do it? Go traveling and bring back things to sell? Sounds like a plan. Is there some kind of site where this is being done? I must look deeper into this. Thailand is just a few hours away.