Frequently Asked Questions

What to do in shipping balikbayan boxes?
A. The following are tips to ensure that your balikbayan boxes reach its destination:

1. Check the list of Foreign Freight Forwarders and their DTI accredited Philippine counterparts/agent at

2. Always remember that the following items are NOT allowed to be sent through balikbayan boxes:

  • currencies, checks, money orders and traveller’s checks;
  • jewelries:
  • firearms, ammunitions and explosives;
  • prohibited drugs and other substances;
  • pornographic materials, gambling cards and toy guns;
  • pirated products i.e. DVD, CD;
  • items of commercial quantity;
  • plant seeds and plant materials, and
  • any food stuff that are not in cans, sealed packages, or in bottles
3. Declare all the contents of your balikbayan box in the packing list per item and its corresponding value, if possible, as well as your preferred shipping date. Ask for proper (or extraordinary, if needed) packing, wrapping, strapping, sealing and labeling of your box.

4. Secure shipping documents such as official receipt, cargo receipt, invoice, house Bill of Lading, shippers’ declaration or waybill.

5. Get the name and contact details of the consolidator’s Philippine counterpart/agent. Be sure that this information is indicated in the shipping documents that you have secured.

6. Beware of exceptionally very low rates.

7. Beware of persons posing as representatives of freight forwarding companies in your place. Ask for proper identification, check with the freight forwarding companies if they are an employee or authorized to represent the said companies.

8. Monitor the movement of your cargo from origin to destination. You may inquire for a tracking scheme or continuously contact the forwarding company. You may ask them to provide you details of your shipment such as the bill of lading number, name of shipping line, vessel’s name, voyage number, container number, and expected time of departure and arrival of your package. You can use the Bureau of Customs Balikbayan Box Tracker ( to monitor your shipment. Or go the main BOC Website at and click the Icon shown below

Parcel and Balikbayan Box Tracking System

9. You may also procure insurance for your cargoes. Ask the freight forwarding company on how to go about it.

10. Inform your consignee to check your cargo with the Philippine agent even before it arrives. When it does, make sure to inspect the seal and wrapping of the box before signing the receipt of delivery. If you feel it has been tampered with, do not receive the box and ask the delivery agent to have it double-checked.

11. Immediately file a complaint for any loss, non-delivery, pilfered or damaged cargo to DTI-FTEB at G/F Floor, UPRC Bldg., 361 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City.

Source: Commission on Filipino Overseas

Last Updated 5 years ago

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