Recto tells Customs: Cut red tape in balikbayan boxes rule
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) should start amending its rules on the shipment of balikbayan boxes “with some commonsensical changes” to its regulations to prevent red tape, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said on Wednesday.
Recto deemed the BOC rule of requiring senders to attach a list of contents as a “keyhole that might tempt unscrupulous handlers to open” the boxes.
If the Customs insists on a declaration of contents from senders of balikbayan boxes, he suggested that the list of contents be placed inside a sealed envelope and taped on the side of the box instead of plastering it for everyone to read.
The envelope, he said, should bear this message: “To be opened by the Bureau of Customs only.”
Recto also said that overseas Filipino workers might find it difficult to comply with the BOC requirement of attaching purchase receipts to brand-new goods.
“Pag bumili ka ng pantalon at isang martilyo sa supermarket, kasama ng isang cart ng mga groceries, at ang resibo ng pinamili mo ay isang metro ang haba, pati ba ito kailangan mo isama?” he said.
“Pag sinabi mo sa OFWs na humingi ng separate receipt para sa pantalon, maraming magaalburoto diyan…and what if you have bought a plantsa a year ago, and it has remained unused and unopened, how can you comply with the BOC rules if you have already lost the receipt?” he added.
He also urged the Joint Congressional Customs and Tariff Oversight Committee to review the implementing rules of the law and “rid it of complicated requirements that will wrap balikbayan boxes in red tape.”
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