Claiming a Parcel at EMS Exchange Center (Philpost)

In search of a good set of nail art brushes and acrylic paint, I decided to order a few different sets via online. I chose the express registered mail option so I could track the package. I was charged a few extra US dollars for this. The parcel will be coming from China and based on experience, I expected it will arrive after 3 weeks or more. But after 2 weeks from date of purchase, I received a notice from Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost) that the parcel has arrived and ready for claiming.

Apparently, all Express Mail Service (EMS) parcels are to be claimed at the Pasay branch of Philpost, particularly at the EMS Customs Unit. And from the word "customs", you're right to assume that there will be taxes.

Here's a step-by-step procedure of claiming a parcel at EMS Customs Unit of Philpost:

1. Wait for a notification mail from Philpost that will inform you that your package is ready for claiming.

Philippine Customs 07
Front view of the notice card.

Philippine Customs 08
Back view of the notice card.

The notice card will state where you should claim your package. The EMS Customs Unit is located at Domestic Airport Rd., 1300 Pasay City.

Don't forget to bring 2 valid identification cards when you claim your parcel.

2. Proceed to EMS Customs Unit.

EMS Customs Unit Philpost
Facade of EMS Customs Unit at Pasay City.

They're open Mondays to Fridays, from 8:00am - 5:00pm. But make sure you arrive before 4:00pm. They will not entertain you beyond that time. The notice card says that the EMS office is open on Saturdays and holidays from 8:00am to 2:00pm. But to make sure, call them first at 854-3580 or 854-4621.

Philippine Customs 02

3. Enter the EMS Customs Unit and submit your notification card to a staff that's situated on your right.

Philippine Customs 04
Present your notice card here.

Unfortunately, procedure on claiming is not clearly stated anywhere within the area. Tables were not properly marked either. There's no choice but to ask for directions. However, don't expect people to be accommodating.

4. After submitting your notice card, wait for your name to be called. Benches are provided outside the main entrance.

Proceed to this table that is located on your left upon entering the EMS Customs Unit, when your name is called:

Philippine Customs 03
Package claim and inspection counter.

Every package will undergo inspection under the supervision of a Customs officer. The parcel will be opened and scrutinized in front of you to make sure there are not prohibited items. After inspection, the parcel will be wrapped and taped again.

Philippine Customs 05
Inspection of parcel.

5. You will be asked to follow the Custom's officer to an airconditioned office after inspection of parcel.

Philippine Customs 06

This is where the horror (!) begins. The officer who inspected your items will then compute for the taxes you need to pay before you can claim your package. Be prepared to see the computation. Really!

Philippine Customs 09
My parcel had a total value of US$60 which was approximately Php2600.

Here's a computation of my 12% VAT:

Philippine Customs 11
12% VAT computation.

I have no idea where the $98.34 came from when the package stated a value of $60! The 44.093 is the dollar to peso conversion rate upon the time of claiming. From this computation alone, my parcel costs Php4,336.10. What?!?

Philippine Customs 10

Even with this breakdown of computation, I still can't understand what all the charges are for! I tried to ask for details but the officer in-charge just said to look at the receipt. Well, based on what they handed me, initials of charges are not helpful. I was not in the mood to complain since I know nothing good will come out of it anyway. It's either I pay for the taxes or leave my items.

To think these are just nail art brushes and a set of acrylic paint! I was taxed more than half of what I paid for!

And so, lesson learned, I'd rather not opt for a registered mail for an online purchase if it is not so important. Waiting for a month to receive a package is better than being over taxed for a nail art kit! I can only imagine how much the Philippines Bureau of Customs will tax imported gadgets!

6. After paying for your taxes, go back to the area where you submitted your notice card. You'll be asked to pay Php40 postage tax.

7. Finally, proceed to the area where your parcel was opened and inspected. Present your notice card and tax receipt to claim your item/s.


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  1. omg this is crazy.. is this bordering on corruption or is it even legal? :/

  2. You poor thing! I would have had a melt down and gone ballistic and wouldnt have gotten my parcel anyway!

  3. Haynakow. Never na tlga ako gumagamit ng post office/EMS na yan. Sana tinawaran mo kasi tinawaran ko ung akin eh at binawasan naman nung matanda na may kyutix na nagcompute ng unknown taxes na yan.

  4. OMG! That's.. just.. wow.. It's very expensive then.. And difficult! I feel for you.. But I hope you enjoy your brushes then :)

  5. i'm so sorry for all yours troubles :-(

  6. Hay naku, a gift (a hardbound book) that was given to me as a gift from the States I had to end up paying P3,500 because of "handling fee" and "taxes". this was just a few months ago.

  7. To Jamie K., unfortunately, corruption is one of the sad truths of my country. :( We're still hoping this will lessen in the near future.

    To Konad-licious, I did get mad and I really thought of not getting my parcel but I figured I would lose more if I didn't get it.

    To doorlight, it was my 1st time to avail of the EMS service. If I knew about the unknown taxes, I would have opted to have my items delivered without registered mail. I also tried to lessen my taxes but the officer I was assigned to was rather unfriendly.

    To Swaafie, enjoying the nail art brushes is the only consolation!

    To nail crazy, don't worry, that would be the last time I'll be a victim of our crazy system.

  8. To Paratwa, I know right? I really don't get how they came up with those charges!

  9. ...That sounds painful. I don't think I'd have the patience to wait in line for that long and go through all of that to have someone tell me that I have to pay more to get a package that was mailed to me. >.< I agree with you; I'd rather wait an extra week or two than go through that process!

  10. Sis Rina I know how you feel. But you should tell the sender of the item to remove the shipping fee you paid for them because Customs officers assume that the value written on the note indicates the value of the items only so they tend to add the shipping fee again (based on their list of shipping fees worldwide thru EMS).

    I was never to leave their office without getting mad at all. They also have a modus with other personnels who tap you and ask for bribe to remove the tax.

    BTW, books should not have taxes! It's in our constitution that books (softbound or hardbound) should not have tax. That's why a lot of used books are being sold in many bookstores. Just my two cents.

  11. To Lady C., the wait was a little bearable because there weren't too many people the day I went to get my parcel. Paying for taxes would have been bearable too if the computation was reasonable. But to pay more than half of the items' value is truly shocking!

    To Meg, I think the seller was in good faith when they disclosed the actual amount of the goods on the package. The problem I saw though was that there weren't any breakdown. The $60 actually included the shipping fee. If a breakdown was indicated, I could have fought with the old ladies inside the office.

  12. @Rins yeah, that could be better. They won't believe on the invoice you printed though. I always bring my invoice with me showing the breakdown but they won't believe me because I could possibly edit it.

  13. hehehehe only in the Philippines. It's somewhere else if it's not like that.

  14. I guess it doesn't matter much who the president of the Philippines is or if we have change our country's "initial" from RP or PR or PI to PH or PHI... The old ladies "in-charge" of computations still rule...

  15. A friend sent me a package and it arrived at customs on 4th. Today I received the notice card. So I googled on how to claim a package at their office. Glad I found this plus with images! I've been reading nasty articles about the customs and it worries me that I will be going to the same process like anybody else. Just looking at their desks is quite like a sign that there's something going on under those. And who knows? While you are busy with computations, someone is snatching something in your package. Their process just ain't right.
    Even the people.
    Anyway, I just want to clear this out... do I really have to pay the freakin amount even if the package comes from my friend? or it's just for bought items online? Thanks for this very helpful post! -Nelvin

  16. To Ivy, sadly, I agree with your sentiments.

    To Nelvin, your comment made me realize that yes, when my package was opened for inspection, I was immediately instructed to follow the "old lady" in-charge for computing my taxes while my parcel was being repacked. You'll never really know if all your items were placed back inside.

    Some people claim that you can ask for a discount. But in my experience, when I questioned my computation, I was told I have the option to just leave my package. :( Good luck with yours. I hope you can come back here and share with us what happened.

  17. Hi everyone! I went there last Monday having thoughts of experiences other people have had and luckily, I guess, mine went fine.

    The value of my package was $450 + $119 postage. The guy who opened it just yelled, "ma'am laptop!" then I waited for it to be taped back. It also had other stuff inside it. After that, we went inside the room. As the customs official quickly writes the computations, I was looking at it and saw that she valued it as $400 and added the postage. But to my surprise, the total was just P3,394! I don't know how she came up to that but it was better since I expected I would pay 4k+. It was ok for me but my aunt asked for a discount so she erased the calculations and just started again with $480 (maybe 400 + 80 postage). And so the final total we paid was just P3,003. Not bad at all. I prayed hard before that day! :D

    I guess she turned into a happy mood when a friend came over and interrupted her computation.

  18. Hi, Nelvin! Thanks so much for posting your experience here. Shocks, I consider you very lucky! To think my package was worth only $60 yet I was taxed more than half of its value and yours was worth much much more than mine and you only paid Php3000 ($68 approximately)! When I asked for a discount for my computation, I was told I had the option anyway to leave my item. Yours was DEFINITELY way better than my experience!

    Haha! That's the trick! Pray for a friend to visit the customs officer handling your computation! :P

  19. i am about to receive my yarn package from japan worth 150$. i am so worried.

  20. haist now I dont know whether Im gonna go there today to pick up my items shipped from HK..

  21. Hi, Monchet. What seems to be holding you from picking up your items? Taxes? Your experience may be different from others. Let me know if I can help you in any way. :)

  22. Hi, I was wondering if we can use one of your images on this FB page?

    If not, I'll just replace it :)


  23. Hi, stalkerinstinct!

    I'm sorry, but I would prefer you use another photo for your Facebook page. :)

  24. Hello people!

    Tomorrow I will be claiming a laptop from my sister abroad and I'm still having doubts about their system of computing taxes. My mom got a laptop too from my sister abroad but my mom just paid 40 pesos and this happened in our province only. No additional taxes or whatever. I think this is the most accurate payment--40 Pesos for postal fee because the sender already paid for it abroad and I believe that people in the provincial post offices are relatively honest compared to their manila counterpart. So those who paid for something other than postal fee are being swindled, I think.

    Anyway, how I wish that I could bring a lawyer friend tomorrow. But I'll try to report about my experience. This idea of taxes are pure bullshit in my opinion, especially when the item is for personal use only.

  25. Hi, narj!

    Thanks for dropping by. Here's hoping that there will be a clear guideline as to how taxes from parcels are computed. I hope your experience when you claim your laptop will turn out good. Let us know. :)

  26. Yesterday, the best that I could do was to settle for the lesser evil. The people/fixers were actually nice they gave me their Valentine's Day greetings except for the assigned supervisors and valuators who never gave a damn if what's inside your parcel is just for personal and educational use (it's a gift and I'm not selling it). This Customs Tariff Law in our country is vague, and that Law is very flexible to give the Customs Officials your hard-earned money.

    I finally gave up and paid the personnel/fixer 2000 pesos after hours of waiting and negotiating and after telling them that their provincial counterparts do not impose taxes for the same item. I left them with my parcel, the official receipt of 40 pesos for postal fees (I still believe that this is the legal fee) and the supervisor's handwritten breakdown of tax costs that amounted to 3897 pesos. I'm keeping the handwritten breakdown as a proof of corruption, first class...

  27. To Narj, I'm so sorry to hear about your experience. At least you were able to bring your tax down to Php2000 from the almost Php3900 original computation. I didn't get the handwritten breakdown and I didn't get any discount even though I asked for one.

    Thanks for sharing your story. I'm sure this will be helpful to future readers of this article.

  28. wow..reading all this is makin me nervous....a friend from india sent me a used shirt, some chocolates and a small teddy bear last week and i called the EMS hotline last monday to check if dumating na here and they told me that i have to pick it up sa pasay. First time ako padalan so nagulat ako akala ko kc door to door delivery. Are they goin to charge me for it?? la pa nga yatang 1k ung amount nung pinadala nya. grabe kukunin ko pa naman cya bukaS at sobrang abala nito sakin coz i have to leave work ng maaga tuloy...sana naman walang icharge...bakit nung nagpadala naman ako sa India nung ocotber last year dineliver sa kanya sa office at walang binayaran???worth 2k pa nga ata un na mga chocolates, shirt and souvenir items...kainis nmn...

  29. Hi, Anne! I hope you were able to get your package with no or minimal tax. :) If you have time, do share with us your experience.

  30. suppose if you want to know about how they calculate the duty fees and for your information if you have your parcel's tracking number and track it down and its already confirmed that its already in the customs area you can already get it provided you carry with you a written down note of the said tracking number

  31. Had the same experience just 2 hours ago and I would NEVER EVER get packages that way again...

    There were some foreigners there and I'm sure they'd be pissed and disappointed as well.

    Nakakahiya yung opisina na yun...

  32. Hi, SpecOps!
    I'm sorry to know that you also had a bad experience with our customs. Were you overtaxed for an online purchase as well?

  33. i'm about to go to philpost pasay tomorrow to get a package. whatever happens, i'll make sure to post something here.

  34. Hi, tReB!
    I hope your experience treated you kinder than what happened to me.

  35. hi there! i had just visited you blog site a few weeks back and never had the chance to look at all your posts (since all your nail art designs are so cute that i can't take my eyes off them!).

    Anyways, i had the same trouble like you had when i picked up my parcel from my aunt in japan. They were jewelries wrapped in clothes. The ruthless man who checked the package (which I consider a really good checker), said it would cost me Php12000! I was really shocked and made a scene at their office and immediately said I'd have to leave it first and call up a media person to pick it up for me. They were all rattled that they had to let me in a room where they said, we could make arrangements instead.

    I never paid a single peso for that package (except for P30 for whatever that was for) and had left their office right away.

    Glad I was an actress in my high school years. :P

  36. OMG, I was about to pick up my EMS package until I read this post. I immediately asked NBI and BIR people about the extra charges. Maybe if we go "under the table" without the receipts, maybe they could charge less?! Hay I really hate this system. =/

  37. not so in Legazpi City. THey never opened any of the boxes I myself shipped from USA. When the lady seen I was an American - zip - out came a piece of scrap paper, a stamp on it, and I was charged for my box !! I went to complain two days later, as I had shipped all of my boxes at the same time. This time I only has cards to pick up two more of them. Sure enough, I could see more of my boxes behind the lady and told her I am not going to be ripped off, and I demand all my boxes right now. Sure got her to shut up and stare at me. She sat there for a few minutes doing nothing. I asked for a supervisor- none was available. Then I pulled out my cell phone put it on speaker so she could here the person to whom I called. You should have seen the look on her face when she heard I was talking to the US Embassy in Manila !!!! She was visibly shaking now, and almost lost her composure. Needless to say, I did not have to pay those HUGE FAKE Customs charges that she first quoted me. ( All done without a calculator)

    This is the Phil Post's Mission Statement -

    About Us
    Mission and Vision Statement
    The Philippine Postal Corporation is a profitably operating corporation, professionally managed and run by a corps of committed personnel providing the highest quality and widest range of postal products and services that adequately meet customers’ needs in all areas of the country and throughout the world. It values performance excellence, customer care, company loyalty and genuine concern for employees’ welfare.

    Their mission statement is not followed and I am sure there are good people at some of the offices. But this lady was only out to line her own pockets with my hard earned money.

  38. Thanks for the helpful post. Would it fine to get the items without having receive the notice? I used EMS and tracking says it was handed to customs 3 days ago. My item is just a shirt which marked as $5 and as a gift so I'm really clueless why it got handed over to customs and delayed. Not sure if I should just wait for it to be delivered here or go to customs.

  39. What's surprising is that the tarp saying "1 2 3 punch" is still there, up until now. XD

    That office never changes; both in form and in essence.

  40. I never thought that this post has helped a lot of people. I'd like to use this space to say thank you to everyone who left a comment here or sent me a message via the contact form. I appreciate that you share your experiences here thru the comment section and letting me know thru email how this entry helped you.

    For clarification, I am not in any way associated with PhilPost. I made this entry to journal my experience with them and to help those who would be claiming a package with the office. And so, I apologize to those who sent messages and asked for details regarding specific procedures that I wasn't able to answer.

  41. Hi,

    Todate, I have not received ny packages sent from France 3 weeks ago not even a notification. Tracking from the shows that packages( bicycle parts) arrived on December 6 and 8 at the CMEC but I have not received even a notice from the postal service. Previous packages were delivered to my local post office in Rizal in 2-3 days upon arrival to the central post office. I'm anxious why it's taking too long, I even fear for the worse that is having the same experience of the others of dealing with the customs people, known for their no fear corrupt practices.


  42. Hi! Maybe there's a delay because of the holiday rush. :)

  43. I hope you're right.

    I've reen tring to contact them through their cobtact numbers but the phones are just ringing if you call from 8:00 to 8:30 am and from 4:00- 5:00 pm but in between those times, the phones are just busy. These people are very inefficient and ineffective and have the call to steal from the people straight face. No service at all from this institution.

  44. hi. i intend to get a package there tomorrow. could you give me instructions on how to commute going there from Cubao?
    wouldn't it be difficult to get a cab from there? i'll be getting a big package.
    thanks in advance

  45. My parcel hasn't arrived yet. I bought toy parts from a Hong Kong online store and I chose EMS so that I could have the items on my doorstep in 3-4 days, plus the advantage of tracking the parcel. Unfortunately, it's past 9 days already, fearing the parcel is lost (I know it's Christmas Season so I also expect delays but not double the standard turnaround time), I went to Pasig Post Office. Upon showing the tracking number to a customs officer, I was informed that the parcel will be delivered straight to the address I've indicated in the instructions.

    Rins, did you indicate during your purchase that the parcel be delivered to your chosen address? If yes, I think I have to expect a notification from Philpost and undergo the same ordeal =(

    Alan F

  46. Hi, dianne.
    Please forgive me. I don't know what instructions to give you if you are going to commute from Cubao. I am not good at that and I might give you wrong directions. I hope you were able to find your way.

  47. Hi, Alan F.
    As far as I know, most international parcels go directly to Philpost. But I do know of some couriers that deliver packages straight to your doorstep. If you used EMS, chances are you will get a notification card from Philpost once your item/s arrives.

    As regards the taxes, there are packages that are free from taxes. Based on my experience and from what people have shared here, there are a variety of factors that are considered whether your package will be taxed. On my case, it was on the amount of my purchase. If by any chance your item/s are subjected to tax and you feel you are being overcharged, you can approach the customs officer that computed the tax and ask for a reconsideration.

  48. Hello Ms. Rina! This is Maan Capulong from Malolos, Bulacan. Tina-try ko pong i-figure out kung under what conditions nag-e-end up ang mga EMS packages from abroad sa Philpost Pasay. Kasi sa experience po naming magkakapatid (we all live in Malolos po), lahat po ng goodies na binili namin online at pina-ship to the Philippines via EMS on different occasions e sa post office dito sa Malolos po namin ni-claim. Examples po ay books from Amazon and small toys, stationery, slippers, and even food from Japan, UK, etc. Most of the time po, not more than $50 USD ang total value ng bawat isang purchase. At nilalagay po namin ung exact zip code ng Malolos. Ang usual amount po na kelangan namin bayaran sa post office ay 40 pesos, which according to the staff ay storage fee daw po. Palagay nyo po ba ung small value po ng purchases namin ang nag-exempt sa amin from taxes? Or was it our location? Or was it just pure luck? Your feedback on this po would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance and Merry Christmas! =)

  49. it happened to me last march i received a notice from ems custom's a necklace worth $100, when they opened it in front of me there is still price tag on it..but when the old lady computed the tax..the total is 3,500php wth?? i was so mad my friend in korea paid extra tax too..then here in phils. kailangan ulit ng tax unbelievable because the price of the necklace is 100$ then my tax is 3,500php almost same ng price kung mgkano ko binili...they are really OMG

  50. i had a verry bad experience about this philpost.. this morning dec 22,2011 dumating ung parang climing card so i need to get it here sa caloocan wen im there i pais 40 pesos for postage tax akala ko ok na so napanatag ako ksi sabi ng nag hatid saakin baka daw singilin ako ng libo libo so i was so worrid pag dating ko ng philpost pero nung 40 pesos lang binyaran ko medyo natuwa ako akala ko tapos na so well my bf send me a gif this xmas frm usa hindi ko alam kong anu ang gif nya and den my usapan kami na hindi ko sya ttigann or bbsahin kng anu ang laman kala ko pwede un nag tawagin ang name ko para makuha pacge ko binasa ng matanda mga nakasulat sa papel infront ng box so nalaman ko na sony digital camera pala ang binigy nya saakin plus regalo sa anak ko na transformer at ho wheels na mga laruan bathsoft fr my sis...sabi ng matanda hindi na nya ako ichachages sa ibang item un sony camera nlang daw ang llgayn ng tax so medyo natuwa ako but damn akala ko mga 250 pesos lang pero umabot ng 1334 pesos ang narinig ko lang sa kanya 5 percent na taxs un lang pero haba ng computation ng at ang halaga ng item is $ bf gt mad kasi he already pay the taxes he pay $60 dollar for it...grabe naman mas ok na pera nalang ipadala at here nalang bumili ehh..grabe..

  51. Thanks for sharing your experiences here. They are really insightful. I hope that in the near future, there would be more good experiences that would be shared here. :)

  52. Someone from ems went to my boss condo and left a note(notice card)that her package needs to be picked up at Pasay. Is there any way that it be redelivered? because we're trying to contact them through the contact numbers given in the form but no one is answering. We just want to know if that would be possible? or we really need to pick it up there?

  53. I've gone through something similar to this a few years back. I ordered a blank doll online for a friend and it should have been delivered to my house. When I got the notice,I was surprised. I went there, took me almost two hours to get the package,and what's even more frustrating is that when I got the computation, they had me pay MORE than the dolls' value (the blank doll wasn't cheap).

    NOW, a Japanese watch designer sent me some items as his thank you gift to me for handling his soft launch here in the Philippines, and I am afraid of what I'm going to pay for... If things go wrong, I'm afraid I'd have to leave those masterpieces there and just inform the person who gave me the gifts about the situation... "nakakahiya"

  54. I'm still waiting for a notice or simply, the delivery. I ordered a cellphone from China and it's still on customs since December 26 2011. Should I be worried? Or will I just have to wait? I chose EMS because it's door-to-door delivery. I didn't know you still have to pick it up.

  55. I'm gonna claim a package tomorrow at EMS!
    Yung iclaim po namin is prize ng bf ko na napanalunan nia, includes shirt, poster, and MyPhone na cellphone. So magkakaroon pa din ba ng tax yun?? Natakot naman ako upon reading your sentiments here!

  56. same question. nag regalo sister ko from US, nag padala daw sya and we receive notice card it stated "subject to customs examinations" nung Dec.20 pa daw dumating but kahapon lang dumating ang notice card. my sister said its door to door daw pero the notice said, we need to pick it up from pasay. i was shocked when i red this where i even ask my office-mates about this matter and they even share there experiences. i was wonder, baka mag charge din sila sakin ng thousand. Legal po ba yun? i plan to bring my lawyer friend kase.

  57. I got a notification today about my parcel which actually arrived last December 6, 2011 and when I got to the local postal office I was apparently charged P2700.00 for my parcel by customs. The actual price of the parcel was about US$175.00 including shipping but the computation shows that total cost was US$250.00 and that's where they based the taxes. If that ain't day robbery, I don't know what is.

  58. What does release from customs mean? will they send the parcel to my house already?

  59. I hate this EMS thing.. I got this same experience 2yrs ago when I ordered Victoria's secret swim wear online.. I never expected I have to pay anything, but then there you go.. I also paid around 1,500 worth of taxes. The weird thing is, I actually ordered two batches of swimwear and the first one was delivered door-to-door. I then waited for 2nd batch but it was delayed for at least a week. Then i got this notice card that I need to go to the post-office (this is in taguig city - lower bicutan).

    I stayed and waited for 3hrs for the person in charge on custom area to show up, had a chat with some other old people in the philpost area. They told me that the person always comes in late.
    She either go to work around 10am to at least sometimes even 12noon. I asked them why they don't bother to let the person know that she needs to be on the office from the start of their working hours.. the old man answered me "Wala tayong magagawa.. batas yan dito eh." I was like.. WTF?? Who the f*ck goes to work like that and expect to be paid for an entire 8hr shift?? They are merely extorting those horrendous fees and expecting to be paid, supposing they worked an entire 8hr shift... How good is that..

    I'm sorry but it has always been a nightmare when dealing with government offices... They're all too grumpy.. Don't they realize that we are the ones feeding them through OUR taxes?? This is such a cancer in the philippine society....

    Thank you all! I thought I was all alone with this experience. But it looks like I'm not the only one..

  60. It's really more fun in the Philippines specially if you're a customs employee.
    It's already the 17th of January and todate, I have not received my parcel which arrived at the CMEC last December 8, 2011, not even a notice from the post. I've been calling their office since December and everytime they just tell me to wait for a notification from the post as customs still have my parcel. This is alreaedy giving me anxiety. What is customs doing to keepa simple parcel take more than a month in their office and God only knows when they will finally start to move and do their jobs. I was very hopeful when the new BOC head, Rufi Biazon was installed and thought that corruption will finally be lessened if not totally eradicated, but I guess like a million Filipinos I was wrong. This rotten corruption and laziness in the government agencies is too deeply rooted to be changed.

  61. i also had a experience just for today lang.i almost waited 15dys for my package from my husband base in cousin inform me that my package is in the post office here in our province of quezon. nagulat ako kasi my naka enclosed na white enveloped from custom that my packge is taxable.ang package ko is only 2kls.but the tax i prepared to pay is 6,537.00pesos.ang inisip ko i claim ko pa ba samantalang ang item lang naman ng box eh lumang relo at samut sari lang na gamit na 100yen lang ang mga price.

  62. Wow! This TAX SYSTEM at EMS is still the same way 4 years ago... di na magbabago to not unless the government would strictly implement process and procedures and remove corrupt employees..

  63. taxes for their pockets! napaka corrupt talaga ng mga taga-customs, isama mo na yung mga nasa airport!!!! minsan binabawasan nila yung laman ng bag mo kasi sobra sa kung anung dahilan... nakakapang-init ng ulo! now, we're pickin up my uncles microscope and telescope lenses, pag OA sila mag-wawala tlga ako dun, ipapa-breakdown ko hanggang sa huling singko!!!

  64. erick boquiren2/11/2012 12:04 AM

    hi, pahelp po nag-order kc ako sa GMarket tapos sabi handed over customs.. anung gagawin ko?? search nako ng search eto ang nahanap ko.. im from pangasinan.. panu un inorder ko pa din naman un para sa online shop ku im just 16 ahh!! please help thanks.. e-add ko sana magreply kau.. im really frustrated..

  65. @erick boquiren
    Hi, I don't really know if I am the best person that can help you with your problem. With the details that you provided, I am assuming that you bought something online and the seller told you that the item is in customs? If this is correct, as far as I know, you need to wait for a notification card from Philpost. This card will say that your item is ready for pickup. Other details on how and where to get your parcel will be on the notification card too.

    Perhaps you can ask your parents to accompany you when you pick up your item. :)

    Good luck!

  66. HI!

    Im from baguio at na-claim ko parcel ko kanina at 40php lang ang binayad ko my declared value is below $50.

    May gusto lang po ko itanong, lahat po ba ng mga packages ay pinapadala sa mga local post office? Or may possibility na kunwari taga dito ka sa Baguio at papapuntahin ka nila sa pasay para i-claim ang packages mo?

  67. Hello! I need help finding the EMS unit; could you cite some landmarks near it? My dad is driving me there, and he knows the area. Just need some landmarks to help us along. Thank you! (BTW, I'm bracing myself for the horror in unexplained taxes. I'm only receiving a letter with a museum ticket worth 500 pesos, not really a parcel. It was only sent via EMS for speed. Gaaahhh)

    Thank you! :)


  68. I ordered Victoria's Secret Brassieres and had to claim the package at Paranaque Post Office.. China-charge nila ako ng Php1700 para ma-claim yung inorder ko. Ang ine-expect ko lang yung Php40 na charge.. Halos 30% na nung price ng product yung hinihingi nila.. pano kaya yun?

  69. @ian r
    Where will you be coming from? Along the road, near but not beside it is a commercial compound in orange. I'm sorry I couldn't give that much detail for landmarks because it really doesn't have much.

    Good luck with claiming your ticket. :)


  71. Hello. I would like to share my experience regarding EMS. I waited for about 2 hrs today to pick a doll that I bought online. Total amount (including shipping) is Php 8500. I paid Php 1085 for the tax and Php 40 for the postage. I think it's too much. I tried to get a discount but the custom officer said that the computation was final. I bought dolls through online before and they were delivered directly to our house. I wonder why it's different with this item.

  72. Oh my gosh, Im quite worried now. When im trying to search for something helpful when it comes to customs issues, I ended reading all your post here. It gave me ideas truly. I dont received any notification from custom, but when i checked EMS tracking site, i found out that my item was in customs last March 13. Nagtka ate ko bakita napunta sa customs, dapat door to door at laman nung dress ko para gagamitin ko sa binyag ng baby ko this Saturday na at digicam lang nman un at noodles and chocolates. Im afraid kung ilang libo hihingin nila sa akin. :( ano ba yan. now pa ako na ganyan pala pag customs.

  73. Here is an idea on how much tax you need to pay for an item shipped from abroad: (total USD value of the package x 10% customs dues) + (total USD value of package x 12% VAT) + (750 php customs miscellaneous fees) + (40php Philippine postal handling fee). In short, you'll have to pay more than double the declared amount of the item you bought online.

    Upon the advice of those who have sent their packages, they say that if you declare an amount other than the US dollar currency, like for example, RMB or Yen, they are less likely to tax you since they will not have time to compute the real value of the item. But nonetheless if the item is above $50, then you should quite expect to be taxed.

  74. yeah, I also got screwed with EMS. Paid for books that were gifts to me :O If I had known, I should've bought those books here instead.Grrr! Second I got again gifts delivered through EMS and they charged it for 8K coz they told me the item costs $300. I literally begged coz there's no way I'm gonna pay for a gift sent to me? I mean it was paid by the sender, why in the world would they need to partake money from some packages which are supposed to be delivered directly to the recipient and not being claimed and pay for their stupid bullsits!

  75. After reading these posts I am very concerned.
    My wife is visiting her family and her cell phone and purse was stolen.
    I am considering sending her another one; but after reading all these posts??
    The phone would be very cheap phone around 30 US dollars; but after the taxes I don't know.
    It is clear this "postal" system is set up for the "employee's" to supplement their income by bogus "Taxes"..
    I am also trying to figure out how to get a replacement debt card to her since she is very low on money.
    Would sending these by UPS, FEDEX of another company be safer and faster?
    I was looking at US Postal Priority International Flat Rate at 4 lbs for 17.00 US dollars shipping.

    I am also very curious why there isn't a "Tax" table for value posted on a wall in these post offices?
    As well as the "other" expenses as well?
    Maybe if that happened all these games would stop.

  76. SAMPLE COMPUTATION: (sample posted above)

    (total USD value of the package x 10% customs dues) +
    (total USD value of package x 12% VAT) +
    (750 php customs miscellaneous fees) +
    (40php Philippine postal handling fee)

    WTF is this 'miscellaneous fees'?? Can somebody tell what the hell those are for?

  77. @Anonymous
    Here is an idea on how much tax you need to pay for an item shipped from abroad: (total USD value of the package x 10% customs dues) + (total USD value of package x 12% VAT) + (750 php customs miscellaneous fees) + (40php Philippine postal handling fee). In short, you'll have to pay more than double the declared amount of the item you bought online.

    Upon the advice of those who have sent their packages, they say that if you declare an amount other than the US dollar currency, like for example, RMB or Yen, they are less likely to tax you since they will not have time to compute the real value of the item. But nonetheless if the item is above $50, then you should quite expect to be taxed.

    This is not always true. I had a package for $47 and I got taxed P1.285. Guess Pnoy is going to buy another luxury car for himself.

  78. I live in Baguio and I ordered a laptop and a flat screen monitor from ebay. Will I have to travel all the way to Pasay to pick up the item, or will the items be forwarded to the Baguio Post Office for me to claim?

  79. I received a notice from the postal service today and that I need to pick up the package in pasay because it was held up by customs daw.

    It was a pair glasses from China which is given to me as gift by a company for blogging about their products. I'm now thinking if I should claim it or not after reading the comments above. :( Baka they might charge me too much for the texes and stuff. I think the value of the glasses is $70USD :(

  80. somebody should have report this in a public affairs program. yung parang may undercover operation to expose how they overcharge... para naman the next time, di na sila madalian magcharge ng hindi tama.

  81. I'm waiting for a phone my friend sent me.
    Its a Thank you gift from her.
    It should have arrived by now 3 days after.
    Nagaalala ako kasi
    its the 1st time na my ng padala saakin...
    At binuhos nila ang effort at time nila para ipadala yung gift na yon.
    Usually how many days do you have to wait for the notice?
    If you live in Quezon City?

    Nakakapressure omg!

  82. @Anonymous
    A lot of factors affect the time of arrival like where the package will be coming from and what courier will handle the shipping. :)

  83. madami na palang reklamo d2 but still wala pa ring aksyon?? grabe sobrang bagal na ng serbisyo.. sobrang laki pa maningil ng tax!! para sa brochures lang sisingilin aq ng 1,674? eh yung una ngang brochures na pinadala samen , direktang dinilover sa office!! tigas ng mukha ng mga tiga customs na yan..

  84. Anonymous
    dami nko nightmare experiences sa local post office nmin d2, tnatanung nila kung mgkano dala mo pera at gusto nila yun lhat ibayad mo. dati ubra pa yun p100 kasi 40pounds lng item, pero nun dumating yun parcel order ko online worth $200, p500 na bnayad ko, tawag nila dun "discount". ngyun Express gnamit ko delivery (dati Priority Mail)kya sbi sa Philpost na tinawagan ko, for pick up daw sa Customs EMS. Ist time ko ppunta dun, try ko humingi ng "discount" pero kung ayaw mapilitan akong ipakita yun chapa ko (police badge) tignan ntin kung anu mangyayari...

  85. Oh my... i am going to pick up a package soon kasi nakareceived na din ako ng claiming stub pero sabi nung nagpadala sakin eh dapat nga door to door... I am searching fo a guide on how to claim a parcel when i came across this post... Now im worried...

    Siguro ill dressep up like the most gusgusing look i could have when i claim that package and bring just the exact fare money... Plus a 100 extra siguro just in case they insist on the postal fee...
    And bring just the voters id and not my sss or company id..

    So just the other person before... Lets see what happens with the acting...

  86. my friend who sent the package told me he paid all the fees including taxes.. is it different from the tax that the customs is computing?

  87. I just got my parcel from hong kong and i live here in baguio city. i was surprised that i didnt paid a single peso. is it because i went to our local post exactly the day it was forwarded there? or is it because my parcel's value is just 46$? or is it because im just lucky? xD

  88. i was informed by my supplier from china that the parcel arrived the Philippines Last fri may 18,until
    Now i haven't received any notice.i traced where i can reach EMS and for 4days,it's either phonelines are busy or noone answered.finally,this afternoon,i qas able to speak with a lady and informed that my parcel is with the customs.i thought it'll be delivered to me.the value is just $30.00. no notice from them until now.can i just go to the ems customs unit to claim my parcel?

  89. @jen
    Based on what I know, you have to wait for the notice card before claiming your parcel.

  90. may na recieve po ako na notification para i-claim ko yung package ko (Taguig City). May binili po ako online na earphone (worth like $2)at isang laruan (worth mga $4). I remember I did not chose EMS, but instead yung regular na airmail para free shipping. Im about to claim it now. Mga magkano pa kaya babayaran dun? THank you.


  91. I'm going to claim a package tomorrow. It's worth 75 Euro and after reading all the comments here, I guess I'll be "harassed" at the post office tomorrow with big tax.

    There was a time Ubuntu Linux sent me some Educational DVDs (Opensource Operating System). All I know is that educational materials are non-taxable. They (post-office) were saying that the DVDs are pirated and the MTRCB is strict with those kinds of DVDs. WTH! They were asking me almost 4k as tax. I left the DVDs. I don't know if they are stupid or just plain corrupt people.

  92. Ok I got my package... At first I was told to pay 40 php for the postage tax... Then the lady asked for my PayPal printout... The cost of my package is 75euros (4,250.62 php) so she computed the "tax" ek-eks... It amounted to 1200 php!!! WOW! "Wala bang tawad.", I asked her. "First time nyo sir?", she asked back... Then she went inside her boss's office, kinda like negotiating a kidnap ransom deal. Anyways, she came back. "600 na lang daw!"... So I paid 600 php WITHOUT a receipt. The only receipt I got was the one for the 40 php postage tax. :(

  93. Facts of life? Nothing is for free? If you want a "discount", you can't be the only one to gain right, 'syempre hati kayo'. If you want an Official Receipt, then you will have an Official Tax Computation for the books, which will be high, can be 35% or more.

    I think what can be unfair is how they will value/compute your 'official tax', as seems in the mainpost, maybe either to meet their quota, they're in a bad mood, or want you to suggest the 'non-official'. If you're getting it way cheaper than buying it locally, then maybe it's still a good deal, official or not.

  94. I'm ordering a DVD from AmiAmi and it's on back-order, so I don't have to pay for anything yet... Should I have it shipped by EMS or Registered SAL? I don't really mind the wait, as long as it gets to my doorstep.

    PS. When you ship via EMS or SAL, does it get delivered to your doorstep, or you have to claim it at their office?

  95. After reading all these comments nagwoworry ako.May item ako na hinihintay at ang date of delivery ay bukas. sana walang maging problema. ang sabi kasi it will be deliver to the house directy.

  96. Will the custom charge me tax if i receive a used laptop? The parcel is in the custom already but haven't receive anything yet.

  97. I recently sent a package to a friend in the Philippines and the package is held up at Customs. It is really insane as the package is meant as a surprise and gift but now she has to pick it up and pay for duty too. It's just so frustrating!

  98. I am about to pick up my parcel on wesnesday. I didnt receive notice from them. I called the cmec and knew that the parcel was held by custom and i need to claim it there. the lady told me to bring some cash. i asked about the notice card as i dont receive any. she said they will give the card to me in the custom. Really weird. my first time.

  99. Hello Ms. Rina, I ind this column interesting. Am here in the US I sent a priority flate rate envelope sa kapatid ko last may 24th this year lang. I am just wondering kung ilang weeks/days dumarating and international mail sa pasay post office branch.


  100. @Shie
    Based on my experience, it usually takes 3 weeks for international packages to arrive here in the Philippines. I even had an item that arrived a month later after it was shipped. Hopefully your package would arrive faster. :)

  101. Uhm.. Ok, now Im scared. My BF sent me e-cigarettes as a way of helping me quit smoking and I got a notification that I need to get the package from EMS... Patay paano yun? Hindi ako mayaman, mangagawa lang ako, yung package na yun is a gift from someone abroad, now kelangan ko bayaran yun ng almost the same amount ng binili nya? Eh di sana ako na lang bumili dito, hindi pa ko na-hassle? kaloka naman to :( Sad... Nakakahiya naman kung iwan ko na lang dun, di ba? Does it really work to make tawad? Sana may magbigay ng tips kung paano matatawaran yun kasi wala talaga ko pera pangbayad nung package na yun...

  102. Im a ebay seller from Japan, when buying from overseas choose registered mail which don't go through customs cuz its a "small package" that can't weight more than 2 kg. they dont check these packages like EMS however it will take longer, not to arrive to the Philippines but to be delivered to your house by Philpost .

    In provinces they don't have the "resources " and corrupt people to do the whole process they do in Manila so parcels are delivered smoothly but you are taxed 40 pesos always which is one of the hundreds of taxes the government invent to rip your pockets and keep up the salary of good-for- nothing politicians.

    I have shipped many items to the Philippines by airmail registered without troubles but its dangerous if its an expensive purchase cuz registered mail can be insured up to $60 only unlike EMS.

    At the end EMS is the fastest but the corrupts will find a way to steal from you everytime its a shame they don't put their resources to find bigger and real smugglers at ports instead they prefer the packages coming legally direct to their desks (of course finding real smugglers is a hard work they are not willing to do moreover there is a different corrupt Mafia running un ports already)

    Its real sad and discouraging to read all the post here but you have corruption made like a "culture" already i can't believe when i see the news where politicians and journalist ask the government to "learn" to forgive and not pursue criminal charges to the ex chief of justice, so the message is " you can steal we will just remove from your post and you are forgiven cuz we are good Christians , now go enjoy the millions you robbed"

    Good luck for all of you at customs and if they want to charge an amount you can't paid, destroy the merchandise in their faces after all its yours and if you can't get it , they won't too! ( that's what i did once and walked away)

  103. Hi! reading all your comments makes me more sad... I can't sleep because of my package ;(( It's suppose to be a surprise gift from my husband. A necklace worth P10,000 and Bag worth P15,000. I went to their office early this morning and I fail to get my Package ;( now I don't know how to celebrate my Birthday with this problem. they want me to pay P7,900. I was like WTF do I really need to pay this huge amount just to get my own package? The funny thing here is when I was talking to the lady/granie inside. Lady: P7600 total! I ask them "panu niyo po na-compute yan?" Lady: na compute nya (tumuro sa kabilang table) ayy mali meron pa siyang hindi nadagdag P7900 total. Me: what if ipabalik na lang ung package, kase hindi ko mababayaran? Lady: edi bayaran mo muna dito, tapos ikaw magpadala sakanila para mabalik!
    namilosopo pa... hay now I'm thinking na humingi ng legal advice about this.

  104. this is Monica/mhon Tabora

  105. i'M SO WORRIED reading all the bad experiences in the thread...don't you think it's time to disclose this malpractice in the media? My Japanese friend sent a gift and it's a laptop...apprehending all those comments above made me worry so much. Anyways, I'll take this as an adventure in the metro..I will post my experience once I have to pick it up...

  106. Hi , i purchased a cellphone from China , and i chose EMS as a carrier, and it promised me to be delivered up to 9 days , and its almost 11 days,and no signs o be delivered at all , what will i do , im afraid , should i contact them ? what no. ? is this the number ? 8543580 . please reply to me . tnx . helppp . :(( worried . they might steal it .

  107. Hi, to everyone.

    I'm thankful to everyone who shared their thoughts and more importantly their own experiences here. I'm sure that our collective comments can help bring awareness on what to expect when we need to claim packages. I am also hopeful that eventually there will be a clear guideline on how taxes on parcels are computed.

  108. hi po..hindi ko pa narerecive ang camera ko galing japan..july 3 dito na Pinas kaso hanggang ngaun di ko pa rin narerecive o napapadalhan ng notice..nag woworied na po ako..anu dapat gawin???

  109. Hi! I tweeted your link to Commisioner Biazon. I said, "Sir, i hope you find time to read the horrible stories about the vultures/custom employees at EMS in Pasay."
    The next morning he replied on my tweet, "Read it already. Thanks!!"
    I hope nabasa nya talaga especially the comments contributed by other blog readers who have fallen prey to these hungry vultures.

  110.'s my story..last sept pinadalahan ako ng sis ko sg s2 from only took 2weeks or 15days nun na claim ko dto sa post office nmin and it only cost me 40.00..feb 2012 nag padala ulit sya same item as a gift sa pinsan nmn..this time it took 3weeks before na claim ang item and the woman ask her to pay 1.5k..i live in laguna while my cousin is from pasig..i was shocked when she told me nag bayad sya 1, worried that it might happen again..nag padala ulit sister ko gift for my brother same was last june 16 pa so inexpect nmn june28 andto n sa was also confirmed by tnt..ang sabi nsa custom na daw..almost 1month na wala prn notice from our provincial post office..tinawagan namn knina ang sabi mon or tuesday dw plus payment 2,000 pra sa tax..

  111. @Ayante Tangunan

    i am going to pick up my package at ems... but i have already contacted Wanted sa Radyo TV5 regarding this. If we have these horrific experience we can go there together and complain and then they may be able to assist us in claiming our packages with only the correct tax to be paid.

    1. Hi.did you pick up ur package already?how was it?if something bad happens when I pick it up this week,id be willing to complain with u.I'm planning to record the conveesations n everything

  112. i have already contacted Wanted sa Radyo (TV5) and they said that they need complainants to be able to do an entrapment. if anyone wants to complain you may call their office at 4107962. look for Aldrin. he already knows the scenario as ive already explained to him about this blog. Maybe they can help.

  113. oh god. i'm supposed to pick up the package my aunt had sent from the U.K. i kept on searching where the hell that office was. I was trying on google maps, and tried google images, and then i found this. As of now, i'm having doubt if i'll pick it up!i don't even give a damn on the items coz it's not for me. and if i'll be there tomorrow, i won't just be silent.i'll argue with them and ask what the hell that is, if there's tax, they should notice us and include that in the fucking letter. and i'm not ready for any payments....
    and is it required that i'll bring 2 i.d? i'm just 17, and at college, all i have is my school i.d.
    help me please..

  114. Omg. Kinakabahan tuloy ako sa package ko. D ko pa rin natatanggap from Australia. Used Kobo Ereader yon from a friend. Magkano kaya maichacharge sa akin? I was thinking of bringing my mom if kukunin ko na. My mom's scary when she wants her to be and could make a scene there. Or we could call up my aunt from DOJ and ask her to help us. :-\ as of now, wala pa akong natatanggap na notice or anything. Should I call them up or something?

  115. This blog is really helpful. I've already cried a couple of times already because the signed books I've won from various authors contest hasn't arrived yet. Last December pa and I have not received any notification. Naloloka na ako sa kakahintay. :(

  116. @Anonymous
    I suggest you tag along an adult such as your parents to help you in the process of claiming your parcel. I am not sure with the regulations of Philpost as regards to minors claiming a package.

    You can call Philpost to inquire about the status of your item. :)

  117. @lexiechan
    Based on stories I've heard and posted here, gadgets and electronics are often taxed. Perhaps you can tell the officers that it is not brand new. It would also help to bring your parents so they could help you talk to the custom officer. And yes, you can contact Philpost to inquire about the statis of your parcel. :)

  118. @Lory Lee
    Thank you! It is possible that the notice card got lost in the mail. Try calling Philpost to know the status of your package.

  119. Mam Rin,

    Your blog is very informative especially for people like us who don't have any idea how EMS Philippines work. I thought at first by having my package deliver thru EMS will help ease the trouble on delivery but with your blog I've found out there is going to be a lot of headaches.My package was just shipped from korea today and only time will tell how long would it take for the package to arrive. Once I receive it (if ever i receive it! T_T ) i will share my experience with you guyz. Eniweiz I really appreciate your blog and more power :)


  120. Hi mam Im Mike Harold ask ko lang po regarding sa parcel nowadays since last year pa po ako last tumanggap ng parcel eh I know n mabigat yung naging tax nila sa akin sa halagang 109 dollars na gadget. . . well plan ko po ulit mag buy online using ebay aalamin ko lang po ang status today sa EMS ngayo'y bago na ata ang BOC chairman natin at mukang mahigpit siya alamin ko na din po if may update po kayu ngayun na kung nabago na ang sistema sa TAXATION ng mga parcel na inoorder abroad thank po sa replies ^^

  121. thank you ms. rins. i think they've changed. coz when i got there, within 5 mins. i got the package, all i've paid was 40 pesos. i'm very nervous that time. haha. the lady just asked me who the sender and what was the package
    ---salamat po dito laking tulong po talaga and i'm thankful that i've got it easy even though all i presented was my school i.d ... thanks for the comments also it means a lot po talaga.
    good luck po sa mga kukuha ng package nila sana makuha niyo un as easy and fast nung sa'ken
    God Bless us all!!!! :))

  122. Maybe ladyluck was on your side Ms. Anonymous, but you did not mention what were the contents of your EMS package. Don't get me wrong, kaya na release siya ng walang hassle kasi hindi mamahalin bagay ang laman. Kung mamahalin yan, iba ang usapan luluwa ang mga mata mo kung saang ere binunot ang tax computation nila na babayaran mo. O di kaya naman isa ka sa mga kamag-anak ng empliyado sa loob na meron pakisama.

  123. A grift package from my girlfriend arrived today (door to door), but the only person there to receive it was my maid and told her that she shoulda been authorized to get it. so they just left their address with her and told her that I should pick it up. Do you think I'd still have to pay? I'm so worried ;(

  124. Mr./Ms. Anonymous it's not that i have any relative there. if i had,why should i go there? i could've just ask that person to get it.And maybe it's just a matter of luck like what you've said coz it's just my school i.d that i presented:)
    And it's my first time getting a package there
    The package is from U.K and i think you're right that the items was not that expensive coz it was just dresses and shoes and some other stuffs. and i don't know how much they cost coz they're not for me. i was just the one to get it.

  125. Hus blog has been really helpful. I'm very anxious abt my box.the notice evn indicates 'large'. It contains varioys items bf in the US.Birthday surprise sya so he wouldn't tell me what's inside and how much the value planning to hv everythng recorded so id have evidence n case I need to complain.its my first time to receiv a box through ems and I didn't realize it wud b this bad.

  126. Hi Rins

    This blog post is really very helpful.. I claimed my package two weeks ago, it's a Polaroid 600 instant camera from NY.. It was my first time to claim an EMS package.. The item was worth $181 (shipping + NY sales tax included).. The day I received my notice, I searched the net for directions going to Domestic Rd & I came across this blog, buti na lang! I was so worried na baka malaki ang bayaran ko sa tax so what I did was "photoshop" the invoice that was emailed to me by the seller.. I changed the amount, naging $111 na lang pero I still brought the original copy of the invoice just in case may kasamang invoice yung package at hindi mag-match dun sa "photoshopped" invoice ko.. So pag dating ko sa post office I waited for almost 2hrs yata until I saw my package dun sa mahabang table.. One of the guards there (maliit na guy na malaki ang mata) asked me, "andito na ba yung package mo?", then tinuro ko kung alin dun ang package ko.. Tinanong nya kung ano'ng laman and I told him It was a 2nd hand camera.. Nung tiningnan nya yung box, the package was marked as a gift and the value declared was $10.. Then sabi nya, "camera? $10? magkaka-problema ka nito, hindi sila maniniwalang $10 lang yan", kinabahan ako bigla.. So pinakita ko sa kanya yung dala kong invoice tapos kinuha nya, sabi nya sya daw bahala.. Now when the customs officer came to check my package, the guard showed her immediately the invoice.. Binuksan nya yung box at tinanggal nya agad yung may nakalagay ng $10..

    Before going there, I was actually expecting to pay around ₱3,000 or more, pero ang pinabayaran lang sa akin is ₱1,672.. Tinanong ko kung anu-ano yung mga nasa computation ang inexplain naman ng maayos, I just don't know kung tama yung amount ng bawat entry.. Medyo namahalan pa rin ako sa ₱1,672 pero binayaran ko na lang, thinking na mas ok yun than ₱3,000+ kung yung totoong price ang pinagbasehan ng computation.. Yung isang nakasabay ko dun, nagclaim ng wrist watch from Bangkok, ₱1,200+ ang sinisingil sa kanya..

    I don't know kung anong basehan nila ng mga dapat at hindi dapat i-tax.. I remember about 2 months ago I purchased a used Polaroid SX-70 camera from New Jersey worth $80.. The Item was sent through USPS First Class Mail, I picked it up at QC post office in NIA Rd. They opened the box in front of me, total value declared was $15, hindi ako siningil ng tax, I paid only ₱40 for postal fee.. Medyo matagal nga lang yung First Class Mail at hindi mo ma-track..
    Siguro next time we purchase items online let's ask the seller to underdeclare the value of the item pero yung medyo makatotohanan naman.. Kasi if the package is marked as a gift, hindi na yun nakakalusot, yung customs ang nagdedecide kung magkano ang value ng items..

    Anyway, sana makatulong itong experience ko sa EMS & salamat ulit sa blog na 'to.. :)

  127. @Karl Lim

    If the item was just marked as gift with no receipts or purchase value, you'll probably just be asked to pay the postage fee.

    Thank you for taking the time to share your experience here. I'm sure that your story would be helpful to readers of this blog post. :)

  128. I had nth transactions using EMS and super hate this service talaga, I mean i hate our customs on how they charge taxes. I bought silver jewelries from China item was declared 25USD plus 10USD shipping and custom was charging me 1,800Php. I told them what was their basis with this computation how come na ang total of 35USD item ay magka tax ng 1,800???? How come na mas mataas pa ang duties ko sa actual value ng item, good thing is that i provided them a copy of my transaction thru paypal indicating the amount of the item.

    After which my total tax became 545, malaki padin kung tutuusin but much better than 1,800.

    >> I bought the same item with different supplier last July 18, this time I used DHL thinking na i won't charge that much but to my surprise the item that was declared USD52 including shipping costs me 590USD duties and 20USD handling fee.

    i provided DHL again, copy of my transaction with paypal including the invoice of my item but the custom examiner didn't accept it and says they don't believe that it was the right value of my item. I ask them what would they want me to do, they were asking were i bought my jewelries online so that they could verify, i didn't provide it to them, kundi ko pa alam they were just interested or might want to buy as well kaya they were asking. I told them that i won't accept the charge and return the package to the sender if they don't want to accept my proof.

    Good thing my sender agreed to do the same and instead have my item send thru Hongkong registered Mail. has anyone in here experienced using this one? Will i still be charge with tax?

  129. Nice Post!!!! Fuck Phil Post and Customs!!!!!! Shit sila..

  130. Hari sa pangungurakot ang Pilipinas! Sayang naman binayad mo! Sana nag complain ka or something! Ung iba, pag nagcomplain sa kanila binababaan nila ung tax! ANU BA UN?! Para ka nakikipag kausap sa tindero sa tabitabi, hindi nga recorded ung files nila about sa "discount" eh. Wala talaga magagawa... Basta hawak ng gubyerno, may pangungurakot talaga... Basta ang plano ay keep the items below $50 and in a small plain box! Any clothing, bags, fashion accessories - talagang ihohold nila para may mapagkaperahan sila!
    Good luck nalang sa lahat ng online buyers!

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  133. @rins

    I've been hearing a lot of complaints saying that if a package is marked as a gift, the customs officer will be the one to determine the value depending on how much he/she thinks the item costs.. And I think that was what the guard was thinking when he saw that my package was marked as a gift and declared as $10..

  134. A good day rina. I think they came up with th USD 98.34 taxable cost is USD 60 (items) and probably USD 38.34 (shipping cost).I am hoping to buy a telescope from arizona USA USD 65.90 for the item and USD 51 for the shipping cost, so probably I'll be expecting the same paying them around PHP 1,700 just to claim the items. I just hope mine arrives in one piece and that's good enough for me, and i will enjoy it looking through it. I bet you enjoy your nail polish.GOD Bless and as we say CLEAR SKIES my friend.

  135. i posted a comment before going to EMS Center. My worst fear was confirmed. I ended up paying 7800++ for my package. They initially charged me 11k plus for it (the declared value is 800$). Since I really wanted to get my gifts, I had no choice but to pay. they gave me a 'discount' and 'computed' the value as 600$ instead of 800$. yeah right. I think I would really like to file a complaint and question the SOP for this. if they have a legal basis then something should be changed about that law (or order) that gives them the right to charge that much on packages esp when it's a gift. I have evrything documented including the piece of scratch paper where they give u a handwritten computation. and they made me sign the OR where it says the value of my package is 6000$! hah! when i pointed it out, the lady said, she made a mistake and put a correction fluid over it.i waited till she corrected all 3 copies. only to see that she put the same value - 6000$ again! i pointed it out for the 2nd time then she just inserted a tiny dot to correct it. wtf. the people outside the customs room were nice but inside those God-forsaken room, lies a bunch of heartless buwayas.

  136. Hi,

    Here's a calculator for customs fee. It's based on what's written in the law. Hope it helps.

    Not all are getting fees though. I managed to have items shipped with no cost in duties. However, most of my items are less than 20$. They must have some sort of limit before they start charging for duties. In any case, that link to a calculator should give you an idea of how much customs will be charging for duties and taxes.

  137. i already received my notice card from EMS, then try to call the hotline, walang sumasagot sa tatlong number na tinawagan ko, lucky, i found this nice blog and read it all. i got some idea from you guys. i will pick up my parcel tommorow morning, hapon pa naman work ko. i will share na din dito magigiging experience ko, kung makakatanggap din ako ng UNKNOWN TAXES FROM HELL, pero sabi ng officemate ko, ok na daw customs ngayon dahil si mr. ruffy biazon na commisioner ngayon.., well let see, kung ok nga..,pero kahit pa matino ang pinuno, kung hindi nya naman napapansin yung kawalang hiyaan ng mga tauhan nya, wala din.., dapat talaga aksyonan na to, hindi naman pinupulot ang pera, pinag hihirapan ng tao, tapos sila bulsa lang ang puhunan!. sana may manguna na sa pag complain, then lets support. this is not only for us, but for our family, friends and love one na rin, and for the future na rin., hindi ko muna sasabihin parcel ko, para exciting ng konti. salamat and more power to us. this Blog really help.

  138. i dont have ID how can i get my parcel?? plz help

  139. @cat

    school id? voters id? any documentation will do..or much better pa accompany ka nalang ng parent mo

  140. This crazy. I hope they will just die.

  141. Hi all! Question... How about Priority Mail? Anyone? Is it better than EMS?

  142. Good day! Gusto ko sanang bumili ng new smartphone sa kasi mura nga i compara mo dito sa pinas. Mga about $450. First time ko sana makabili sa But since nabasa ko ito, nagdadalawang isip ako bibili kasi natatakot akong maluko. Anyway, atleast may idea ako na ganyan pala ang sistema nila.

  143. hay naku kaya nga palugi na yang punyetang phil post na yan e

  144. @Karl Limhello po MR.Karl ilang weeks po umaabot un 1st class mail?same lng po ba un 1st class mail at yung regular mail?hinihintay ko po kc un akin 3 weeks na po mula nun isend nun sender via regular mail..lagi ko nmn po pinafallow-up d2 sa post office nmin sa binangonan,rizal pero wala pa din po dun every time na pinafallow-up ko...

  145. kabadong kabado na ako sa mangyayari sa kin on Monday. I will get a gift package from my friend in Japan. Kung bakit naman kasi ang friend ko naglagay pa ng mabigat na libro, teapots at relo. Kakainis...haist let's see. Madali pa naman uminit ulo ko...baka maihagis ko sa kanila ung gifts ko. Lord tulungan nio akong maging patient and peeve ko pa naman ang mga manloloko...sana humaba ang patience ko.

  146. maybe we should ask Commissioner Ruffy Biazon about this?


  147. Kenjo Pantoja9/19/2012 6:34 PM

    Hi guys! I experienced this ruthless shit a year ago. I ordered ballers/wristbands worth $60 and they charged me 2k for the taxes wtf that is so annoying and bullshit. They're superduper corrupt. This time, i ordered an e-cig from china and the shop with where i bought the e-cig told me that they put a gift sign and under $20 package sign but i've been waiting for 18 days already. I contacted China Post and they told me that's it's already delivered in the Philippines. So i tried calling the Phil Post EMS office but it's not answering. I guess i'll just go there without the notice card then? Hay i'll think they'll charge me with high taxes again :(

  148. @Kenjo Pantoja

    Hi Sir,
    I also have an e-juices and atomizer held up in customs. It came from China and I already have the notice card. I dunno how much they will charge me for taxes. Mine is $21.50. Will update you if all hell breaks loose. haha

  149. Yes, Pay or Comeback Tomorrow with the same amount! How is that?
    Box size does not matter. Total COST + Shipping Cost is included in the TAX

  150. Hi Guys,

    I'm just a little worried. I received a notice card to claim my parcel at EMS post office. My item costs $110 + HK DHL Best discount to Philippines, bass on 5kgs (4 workdays arrive)costing at $65.

    Heres the Computation from my supplier:

    Item $110
    HK DHL 65
    Paypal Charge 9
    Total $184

    But from what I can remember sa email conversation namin ng supplier, it will be delivered to my address and its a door to door transaction. I'm wondering why do i have to claim it now?
    Can somebody please help me understand why is this happening? Also do I still have to pay taxes for this item?

  151. anasteelegrey9/21/2012 7:33 PM

    Hey guys!

    I have read all your comments here and I honestly got really scared that those horrible experiences might happen to me.

    My American fiance sent me a package via USPS Priority Mail. Actually that package was the 2nd box that he had sent me last August. The 1st one arrived in no less than 3 weeks and I picked it up in our local Post Office here in Bulacan. I expected the 2nd box to arrive last week (because I already had estimated the time difference between the 1st and 2nd package). But when I tried to go to the local post office last Tuesday I was told that the 2nd package was in Customs office for clearance. I was really surprised. So I decided to call the EMS hotline. She asked me for my tracking number and some info, and then after a few minutes she confirmed to me that my package is in the Customs office. I asked her if I can just pick up the package. She said no. She told me that my package will be forwarded to the Local Post office after clearance but not sure when.

    Why am I not allowed to pick up my package? Bakit po kaya ganun? Please help.. Thanks

  152. hi! i need help? pls

  153. I was searching for the Tracking System of EMS because I just sent a gift to a friend in US, and I ended up reading all these complaints about EMS. I also just had a bad experience sending a package thru EMS today. The contents of the package only include 1 pc of T-shirt, 1 pc of cap and 1 greeting card... I asked the lady there how much would it cost for me to send it to USA and she weighted the package and told me its weight is one (1) kilo, and told me I have to pay PhP 1,595.00 pesos. I was shocked bcoz before I left home, I've weighted the package and its only 750 grams (with the box). So I told the lady that I weighted it and she smiled to me (like ngising-aso). I was about to leave when I heard the lady said, remove items from the box and I will give you discount, it will only cost you PhP 1,042.00, hey WTF! I dont know guys if some of you already seen a box of a female underwear (SO-EN).. Do u belive it weighs half a kilo??!!! The lady can see the "bad trip" on my face. Ganon na ba ang transaction nila... negosasyon? Aba, mali naman yan! kaya di umaasenso ang Pilipinas eh! Sangkatutak na corrupt ang gobyerno! Mamumura mo talaga! At eto pa ha, dahil sa napansin ng babae na bad trip talaga ko... basta na lang nya pinatong dun sa package yung shipping information dun sa package ko. Sabay tanong ko na ...Ok lang ba yan? Di ba mawawala ang package ko? sagutin ba na naman ako na "baka gusto nyo sumama sa package nyo mam, para sure kayo na makakarating"
    Grabe kung di lang talaga ko half day for work at naghahabol ng oras, pinatulan ko talaga yang babae sa philpost eh!
    Ako sa totoo lang with the how system our government is running most of the govt sectors... di po ako proud maging Pilipino! Bakit kamo ...nakakahiya eh, nakakadiri pa. Mga walang kunsensya... minsan inuutang na lang natin ung mga ibang bagay pero pag kailangan dumaan sa sector ng gobyerno...maho-hold-up ka pa! Lintek, mga buwaya talaga!
    Goodluck na lang sa akin kung makakarating sa kinauukulan ang package ko. Baka dito pa lang Pilipinas... meron ng isang tao na nakasuot ng bagong T-shirt at bagong cap(sombrero) ngayon!
    D ba na-feature nga sa IMBESTIGADOR ni Mike Enriquez yung mga package na ninanakaw mismo ng mga empleyado nila.
    Dalawang package na ang naipadala sa kin ng relatives ko sa US na hindi nakarating sa kin. Nakakasama ng loob kaya minsan inaalis ko na lang sa isip ko kc nakakahinayang naman talaga kaso wala naman tayo magagawa sa corrupt na sistyema ng gobyerno natin! Haay...Sana sabay sabay mamatay isang araw ang mga corrupt dito sa Pilipinas! Kaso mawawalan tayo ng gobyerno! Hahaha! Lahat kc sila corrupt!

  154. i have a small parcel an item i bought from China just this week,,it was shipped via China post, has tracking number but it can only work if the item will arrive in Philippines,,
    first time ko pang bumili online,,kaya tingnan ko na lang anong kinalalabasan nito..hehe..i dont know,,china post daw very slow..
    but sige,,took a chance,,i'll just see what will happen.

  155. @Anonymous

    sad naman,ng story mo,,next time po why try other couriers such as DHL ,FEDEX,kasi mas makakasiguro pa yung sender mo na makakarating yan dito,,even though merong pang tax na babayaran...

  156. mahal din naman kc sa ibang courier service. sa EMS mahal din, pero di gya ng ibang courirer services. pero ang pinag uusapan kc dito eh mahal na nga ang bayad sa kanila... nanakawan ka o hoholdapin ka pa. grabe no?!

  157. Pwede po ba i-claim sa CPO Pasay kahit wala pang notice? I'm from the province and I don't want to wait. It's too risky. September 15,2012 pa siya nasa Customs Clearance. Till now wala pa update. Salamat po.

  158. anasteelegrey9/27/2012 12:23 PM

    @rinhoh We have the same problem. Have you tried calling EMS hotline? You should call them first.

  159. WOah!!! Reading all your comments made me feel unsafe to get the package my student sent me from Korea. :( I have questions, I hope you guys can help me. :) Why do we have to pay for the shipping fee? Didn't the sender already pay for it? I just wonder..Sorry, I have no idea with parcel delivery. My student told me her mom sent me "cosmetics" and that I have to get it to the parcel office. They sent it Last month, September 5th. and I haven't received any notice yet. How long does it usually take to receive a package from Korea? Do you guys have any idea? Thanks in advance!

  160. Woohooohh! ang saya ko !! nakuha ko na yung parcel ko sa local post office namin this day lang. this item i ordered from aliexpress sa China (8gb mp5 game player lang naman,cheap at maganda rin naman yung quality).it was ship on Sept.26, so it took mga 2weeks ..waiting ,worth it rin naman since it's my first time buying the way taga Cebu po ako..
    wala namang tax,,40 lang binayaran ko.. neighbor at friend ko rin naman kasi yung postman ,,so very easy lang..
    try ko ulit o-order sa susunod..yey..share lang good story..

  161. @jelsalvacion hi,, was your package shipped by EMS? or airmail? if airmail you can check na lang po sa inyong local post office..near you. im sure nandon na yun since sa 5th pa yon ng September..
    about the shipping fee ,u dont need to pay it..kung local post ginamit niya..though u will pay 40pesos for the storage fee, if private courier ginamit naman, it depends sa nag iinspect kung taxable ba yon o hindi..
    cge ka uli dito about ur parcel update..kung natangap mo man.

  162. wow. reading all your comments made me feel nervous again. Well, I was regretting a while ago that I just ordered a phone from Japan worth $645 + $35 SF. I was thinking that they'll charge me about 10k or so in the Customs. But another article kind of calmed me down because it was quite a good story. And then I saw your posts here. Some were good stories, some are just frickin' asjdhkshka. LOL. Anyway thanks for sharing. Now I know what to expect and what to do in the future -- avoid EMS at all costs XD

    Hope I'll get lucky and they'll send my package door to door without all those taxes. though I doubt that because it's a cellphone for whoever's sake! and they'll definitely charge me those taxes. I'll just have to keep an eye on how much they're going to charge me. my estimation of what I should pay is no greater than 5,000. hope everything will go well for me ;A;

  163. I came from EMS last week to claim my car alarm sent by my aunt from USA, my aunt wrote the worth of my stuff amounting to 1034$, after the long queu of waiting because of singitan and lagayan, my number is called, a lady told me that they will only charge me of 1% for the package, i was then thinking it will b 12usd or 500pesos only, then a long computation was given to me... i am obliged to pay 6897pesos !! 12% is for the vat and other taxes i do not understand... well this will be my first and last to do this, i would rather go for shipping even if it would take a month than pay for unworthy tax !!

  164. sobrang worry din ako may parating ako package from china, first time ko din mag buy ng items tru online, pinili ko EMS kc alam ko door to door na yun at sabi ng supplier direct i dedeliver dito s bahay. im worried after reading all this post na mangyari din skin ung nangyari sa knila

  165. May parating din akong parcel from china, first ko mag buy ng item tru online, ung amount ng binayaran ko plus shipping fee is $74.11 worried now bka libo libo singilim sa aking tax..wala kc ako talaga idea first tym ko, napaisip tuloy ako after reading all this post....pinli ko EMS kc alam ko door to door delivery yan..mga accesories and clothes lang nmn ung binili ko online..umabot lang ng $74.11 dhil sa shipping fee

  166. nag padala rin po ako ng parcel para sa anakko .. ito ay galing sa amo ko gift nya sa anak ko for her 18 B-day last Oct 8.. ngayon nabasa ng isa kong anak lahat ng mga comments na ito ..ngayon nag aalala na syang kunin ang parcel .. baka daw mag tax din ng pag ka mahal mahal .. paano na po yan .. isa lng po silang studante ..

  167. @Anonymous
    big chance no tax/ less if the receiver is a student,

  168. @Anonymous
    not all EMS are door to door even you have paid it,, its like 50/50 chances,, kahit clothes o accessories pa yun yes meron yung tax! and situationally it depends which area are you from,, kung sa Manila ka or city residence,, most people are being taxed,why?? (most of the corrupt officials are from the city) kung sa regional ka naman, your chance is 80% of less tax or not being tax at all.

  169. Hello Rins.

    Thank you for this blog. It's really helpful especially for those who are unaware and unprepared when it comes to claiming packages thru EMS. Got my first parcel thru EMS/customs last May 25 of this year. Its a package for all my kendo(japanese fencing) equipment I ordered via online. Total cost including shipping is US$117.00. Waited for almost 3 hours and got my tax computation at around P1,200++. Before going there, I chanced upon your blog and read all the horrible experiences one can endure dealing with the one of the most corrupt agency of the government. Only now, I used the customs calculator provided in the link by one of your readers. I turned out correct for the amount i paid. At first, when i paid for it, i had so many apprehensions and doubts on how they arrived. But somehow the lady told me that the tariff for my articles is only 1 percent, a sigh of relief. They asked me where I work, I said i work in a bank. Much to my surprise, it turned out that the amount I paid is much the same as what appeared in the customs calculator. But I am expecting another package coming from the same online shop this week. The tracker said it already arrived. Lat time it took 3 weeks despite the advice says that it already arrived 3 days after my online purchase. But I think this time, if they will ask me where i work, i will tell them i work for the senate.hehehhee. Goodluck to me for my next adventure at the customs.

  170. @Anonymous,
    I wish I could properly address you with a name. I'd like to thank you for coming back here and sharing with us your experience. Good luck on your upcoming claim. I hope customs taxes would be kinder. :)

  171. Hi! Please like this page to learn basic computation of customs duties and taxes.

  172. panu kaya aq ung package q sep13 p pinadala ng boyfriend q via usps pero until now wla akung nri2cv n notice card,Priority mail ,item status :customs clearance oct 6.2012 naloloka na tlga ako,every day ako pumupunta ng post ofice para magtanung kung dumating na ung parcel ko wala from oriental mindoro . . . .help naman please walang sumasagot sa cmec ofice 2weeks nko tumatawag sa knila.

  173. Hi! eh pag USPS priority mail, dadaan pa rin ba sa customs?

  174. Item for Customs examination, Awaiting for addressee to claim

    Should I wait for the claim card, or is someone going to contact me? I have both cellphone and personal land line written on the package.

    Or can I just go?

    Good job with this. Very.
    Ill try to post my feedback once I claim my item. Cool

  175. ganyan pala ang kalakaran,,, im thinking twice na tuloy kung itutuloy ko ang online shop ko..

  176. hi to ms. rins.. pwede bang humingi ng idea regarding sa mga bibilhing products outside the country.... is it better to have the free shipping or thru EMS?

  177. hindi ba pwedeng sa bahay na lang ipadala or i-address?

  178. eh kung DHL or Fedex ang piniling shipping, sa pasay din ba iki-claim?

  179. ipa-imbestigador na yan ng magkaalam alam..

  180. @ymonpaulo
    Hi! I wish I have a concrete answer to you question. Sadly, I really don't know. All I can share with you is my story, my experiences. And based on that, there's really no telling whether an international online purchase will be taxed or be hold in customs.

  181. nakakaiyak yung mga nabasa ko dito. i am about to claim a package na gift sa akin. pag nagkataon, parang binili ko din yung "supposedly" regalo sa akin. anyway, i'll just expect the worst. magkano kaya babayaran ko value nung package CAD150. binayad ng bf ko for shipping and handling dun sa Canada was CAD133. tapos meron pa rin ako babayaran dito? OMG

  182. hi it's me again, 2nd post within 24 hours. Dahil hindi talaga ako mapalagay i tried searching for other information that I can possibly get with regard to parcels/packages held at the Philippine Customs. You may refer to these links for a more complete information. Please read it thoroughly as there are provisions that are link to some chapters in FAQ:

    -- this link is for those individual who purchases items online

    -- this one is about if more or less kung gusto mo malaman kung dapat ka bang magbayad ng TAXES AND DUTIES kung yung packages/parcels were sent as a gift to you.

    -- BALIKBAYAN boxes

    sana makatulong ito sa lahat ng magke-claim pa lang ng packages tulad ko. Goodluck sa atin kasi as far as I'm concerned pag ganito yung scenario WALA tayong obligasyon na magbayad pa ng sinasabi nilang taxes and duties.. I'll post an update na lang din sa experience ko pag na-claim ko na parcel ko.

  183. Hi there, guys! I am also under the same predicament of waiting, claiming and at the same time arming myself with information regarding RATE OF DUTY.

    I am torn in between storming the CMEC since I am expecting an air parcel from The Netherlands. The online website initially said it is supposed to be delivered Nov 20, 2012. I kept on calling BETH from CMEC CUSTOMER CARE but she was quite a character and I don't mean that as a compliment.

    Here are some answers she threw to me which I found offensive:



    2) FIRST TIME MO BA TUMAWAG DITO (This she asked for numerous times the first time I called making me think she will be up to something if indeed it was my first time. IS she planning to steal, loose or make money out of the parcel I ame xpecting?) ?

    My reply:Nope, it's not my first time to call. Ilang beses na (Kahit hindi pa). I need concrete answers from you , Beth.

    3) ANU BA LAMAN NG PINADALA SA IYO (This, she asked just now)?
    My reply: Surprise. Secret. Can I just call you back again?

    It seems that even though packages already arrived here in Pinas, they keep it inside their storage. Hence, even their computer registry(should they say NO, WALA PA RITO)is NOT UPDATED. Ridiculous!

    I can go on lament a litany of my worries and fears but I prefer to be armed. I stumbled upon this link guys. Please feel free to disseminate copies. This is the required RATE OF DUTY that should only be imposed on the claimant. In some forums, I read that a digicam is like 10% ? here, I found out it is only 3%. Each year until 2012, it is itemized. Not to mention the E-Vat of 12%. Also the usual 250 + 215 (Php 515 ) processing fee.


    Here is the link of significant importance:

    Also, I might as well add the FLOW OF CHART FOR RELEASING PARCELS. Let's arm ourselves so we know better.

    Here you go:

    I am very particular with opening parcels . That should happen with the claimant as witness.

    Hay naku. I'll storm them tomorrow! WHo wnats to come with me?

    God bless!

    Jean R

  184. @JazzyJean


    1) * The online website initially REFLECTED Nov 20, 2012 as delivery date. ( The online website initially said it is supposed to be delivered Nov 20, 2012 )

    2) * Here are some answers she threw me... ( Here are some answers she threw to me which I found offensive:)

    3) * Each year, until 2015, it is itemized, ( Each year until 2012, it is itemized.)

  185. This will help, guys.

    CUSTOMS DUTYR.A. 9135 Sec. 1 as amended)
    Declared / Assessed Value ____________
    + Freight Cost, Insurance ____________
    = Dutiable Value (Landed Cost) ____________
    x Current Exchange Rate ____________
    = Dutiable Value ____________
    x Rate of Duty ____________
    = Customs Duty ____________

    EXPANDED VALUE ADDED TAX (R.A. 9337 Sec. 5 as amended)
    Dutiable Value (Landed Cost) ____________
    + Customs Duty ____________
    + Fixed Charges: (TCCP Sec. 3301) ____________
    Customs Documentaty Stamp ____________
    Import Processing Fee ____________
    B.I.R. Stamp ____________
    = Evat Base ____________
    = Evat Rate (12%) ____________
    = EVAT ____________


    CUSTOMS DUTY ____________
    + EVAT ____________
    + IMPORT PROCESSING FEE ____________
    + B.I.R STAMPS ____________

    TOTAL ____________

  186. just got my parcel and ended up paying 2006 pesos for my packge containing a blackberry playbook, 2 shirts and chocolates amounting to 170CAD as declared by my bf. he paid 133CAD shipping fee as shown on the EMS receipt of the package. napalaki pa gastos ng bf ko kc ngpa-western union pa sya ng pambayad para ma-release un package. there's no point in arguing pa kc tumama rin sa computation ko ung dapat ko lang ibayad. lesson learned - never use EMS as you'll end up paying more.

  187. @ymonpaulo

    Nope. It;s a door-to-door delivery thingie so you are assured it will reach you sans the hullabaloo. Hay naku, kainis pag PHILPOST! Grrr

  188. I know that some of us have experiences to share regarding PhilPost, duties and taxes. But let us keep this sharing opportunity clean. Please refrain from using ALL CAPS when you comment here. Otherwise, it will be tagged as spam.

    Thank you. :)

  189. Hi there again, guys! I just arrived home some 3.5 hours ago from CMEC and I would like to share with you my experience.

    I am expecting an air parcel from The Netherlands (not EMS) and via online website trace and track, post NL (the sender's choice of postal station), it already arrived November 20. Since Nov 20 up until yesterday, I made numerous calls to CMEC in Pasay and some few calls at Philpost in Pacita Complex, San Pedro , Laguna.

    Both postal stations gave me "WALA PA PO DITO; TAWAG NA LANG KAYO ULI; WLA PA PO TALAGA ,MA'AM; SINU NAGSABI NA NANDITO NA, SINABI KO BA SA IYO; SAAN NYO TIn-RACE?; HINDI PA PO LUMALABAS SA COMPUTER ; SINU NAGPADALA, ANO LAMAN ; FIRST TIME MO BA TUMAWAG, etc" They also asked when it was sent which was actually a dead GIVE-AWAY for me to think more that it already indeed, arrived at CMEC.

  190. 2/5
    I realized and thought that this is of course a play of a system that sucks plus inefficient employees on top of that, since I did several calls both at CMEC and my local postal station in Pacita Complex, San Pedro, Laguna without nary a positive feedback that my package already arrived, when it did say in the trace and track of NL that it arrived on that date. IT MUST BE languishing somewhere in their STORAGE/WAREHOUSE area of parcels.

    Well, it was!

    Initially, I went to EMS to have my track number checked although it should be under AIR PARCEL division. They referred me to AIR PARCEL but employees say their IPS (Internet Phone Service) is failing and they referred me back to EMS which I did(again). This time, I was more insistent. Their computer's data bank showed NONE at all. I was addressed several times by the EMS because I was not to give up and I was able to see that BETH who looked very lazy and scheming. She said she should be the one I should ONLY call which made me think more! She was also the one who raised ridiculous questions (SINU NAGSBAI S AYO NA NADITO NA).

  191. 3/5
    I asked a certain Orphelle from EMS to escalate my concern about a parcel delivered at CMEC last Nov 20 without having received a notice from them and no registry at all in their computer's data bank. She promised to do just that and I asked her to write about it ASAP. And she did. =) She even led me to Ms MErly , a very pleasant Philpost employee. I believe she is 2nd to the director at CMEC).

    Ms Merly accomodated me very well in her office but I had to cut the pleasantries at some point because several punches she made in her computer's keyboard revealed NOTHING just the same.

    So I asked, WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ENCODING ALL THE ITEMS ONCE PACKAGES ARRIVE. And indeed, it's still Philippine Postal (Operations Division). This is what I was thinking about that I should raise hell in their storage department. Indeed, packages languish in their storage area(Operations Division) and I was able to prove that the package is indeed already around, ONLY THAT it was not encoded as such by the Operations Division so the EMS and AIR PARCEL's computer bank do not recognize it indeed arrived. EMS and AIR PARCEL employees, I’m pretty sure, also have knowledge about this but can’t do anything just the same.

  192. 4/5

    Guess what? IT HAD BEEN THERE SINCE NOV 15!

    So I asked that it be pulled out among heaps of sacks. Recall that my track and trace reflected it arrived Nov 20.

    This is such a loose phase, a loophole, where packages can get lost, boxes slashed and stolen. While the poor claimant thinks her package has not arrived yet without having received a notice (claim stub) from either CMEC or her local post station, without proper information from EMS and or AIR PARCEL employees , without the computer’s data bank reflecting that it’s already there UNLESS YOU GO RAISE HELL in their storage area. The length of time the parcel stays in the storage area is agony enough plus inappropriate custom taxes!
    I have heard enough horrific postal and custom stories and I would not want the same to happen to me nor to anybody else for that matter.

    In the storage area guys, they have their own computer and it is updated UP TO THEIR KNOWLEDGE only. Information, I have observed, stays there until such time that they can attend to the packages since many months ago , should they be doing their jobs right. At most, efficiency should be measured when POSTAL PPL in STORAGE AREA IMMEDIATELY ENCODES PARCELS AS SOON AS THEY ARRIVE and not when they have time to do so. Tsk, tsk, tsk. For HOW ELSE CAN PPL FROM EMS and AIR PARCEL divisions address inquiries efficiently as honestly as it should be? This is just so inefficient. An avenue for corruption, stealing and irrational delay.

  193. 5/5
    During this time (Nov 20,the air parcel's date of arrival as reflected in postNL's website up until Nov 26), I also called numerous times BoC (Bureau of Customs) hotline and verified pertinent questions . One of which is to ask whose jurisdiction would it be (Postal or BoC) once the package is already inside CMEC's storage area. I was thinking it is CMEC's jusrisdiction and indeed, it is. Of course, BoC is only the assessor if the rates of duties for the custom duty tax to be imposed.

    Now that is another story about the BoC but I knew I could not let a custom official fool me saying this is the RATE OF DUTY when it is not. ANything can happen when one is unarmed with info and so I judiciously did my assignment. I cannot really sleep well knowing I would be extorted money from when we, as citizens of the Philippines, do not really know how we will be charged depending on their fancy. I thought there must be a list of such tariff percentages and I was able to find it.
    Here it is, Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, showing the appropriate RATE OF DUTY taxes to be imposed on all items imaginable. This is updated because it shows year 2011 -2015 tariff in charts and subheadings:

    I hope you will arm yourself with this copy. You can disseminate this for everybody’s use so we can all help each other. I believe this is sold at NBS (National Book STore). It is actually a 449 paged-book. You can check your items under headings and subheadings. I also asked BoC to have this reflected on their website and to have a ready copy for claimants as well. Well, I hope they will listen.

  194. ADDENDUM 1
    I hope you will arm yourself with this copy. You can disseminate this for everybody’s use so we can all help each other. I believe this is sold at NBS (National Book STore). It is actually a 449 paged-book. You can check your items under headings and subheadings. I also asked BoC to have this reflected on their website and to have a ready copy for claimants as well. Well, I hope they will listen. This Rate of Duty can also be a huge avenue for corruption and inappropriate taxes when it is not adhered to and when some custom officials make you believe you are having a discount when indeed, yoru item is just 0% accdg to TCCP (Tariff Code and Customs of the Philippines).
    In my case, it was a digicam so, yipee, O% charge for Rate of Duty. I even had to call TCCP yesterday (Tariff and Custom Code of The Philippines) office yesterday and asked for a personnel to verify what I stumbled upon that indeed, it is 0%. I scribbled her name for my use this afternoon so I can drop her name when the custom official acts greedy.
    This actually angered the custom official I talked to this afternoon when the crew of Phil Postal sorting department was able to find my package after almost an hours. She raised her voice at me and said ALAM KO YAN. I said, I'M GLAD YOU KNOW THIS BECAUSE I ALSO KNOW THIS. YOU SHOULD APPLY THIS TO ME" . She was beet red and was taken aback with such tenacity I showed her because she looked like she wanted to pounce me any minute. I was nice but firm with her because she immediately said " ME TAX KA DYAN" for which I said " I have a copy of TCCP’s in my ipod and made verifications with Ma’am Lou of TCCP that this is indeed, 0% Rate of Duty SO WLA AKONG CUSTOM DUTY TAX DITO”. The custom’s official raised her voice several times and I asked “ARE YOU MAD AT ME, I DON”T ENE DYOU SHOUTING AT ME. WHAT I NEED FROM YOU IS TO CALM DOWN BEC I AM ONLY EXERCISING Y RIGHTS AND I NEED TO BE SERVE DYOU BEC YOU ARE A GOVT OFFICIAL AND I AM A CITIZEN HERE. SO YOU BETTER TAX ME RIGHT. AND DON’t SHOUT. “ She mellowed down. I also asked for her name. UMIBA ANG IHIP NG HANGIN.

  195. ADDENDUM 2
    The RATE OF DUTY is needed in order to compute and arrive at CUSTOM' DUTY.
    CUSTOMS DUTYR.A. 9135 Sec. 1 as amended)
    Declared / Assessed Value ____________
    + Freight Cost, Insurance ____________
    = Dutiable Value (Landed Cost) ____________
    x Current Exchange Rate ____________
    = Dutiable Value ____________
    x Rate of Duty ____________
    = Customs Duty ____________

    At any rate, to cut a long story short, my package will be dispatched tomorrow in my local postal station and I would not have to wait for many months for that. I really hope I will be able to secure the safety since the package leaves at 4 AM tomorrow early morning and I was advised it will arrive ta my local postal station at lunch time. I will be there first thing in the morning.
    I only paid for the E-VAT and 515(250 +250 processing and IPF = 15 BIR doc stamps). Mahal pa rin, hay naku.
    1) BE PRO-ACTIVE. Do not wait for your CLAIM STUB to arrive. It can be delayed (especially during Christmas season and even if it isn’t). It is also an expressway for scheming Philpost employees. Once you do not receive it after waiting or several months, you would readily think NAWALA, WALA PA, HINDI PA NAG ARRIVE ANG PACKAGE, etc. CHECK the TRACK AND TRACE of your package right away and be confident that when you see it did arrive in Pinas, it did. It is rare that international post lie about this. BE aware also that it is Philpost’s vanilla thing to say “HINDI PA PO SIGURO DUMADATING. It only means HINDI PA NA E-ENCODE NG MGA TAGA STORAGE AREA .
    2) Insist that you visit the storage area or operations division and have your tracking number checked in their own computer. Be present in front of the screen when they do. Have the dispatch printed ( I did this) so you have an evidence it’s right there in their storage area. As much as possible, have your package pulled out the day when you are there. It is up to you if you will give pakimkim kahit konti for the person pulling it out. Actually, hindi dapat. IT IS THEIR JOB.
    3) ARM YOURSELF WITH your Rate of Duty . Again, I advise you have this saved in your files:
    Btw, here’s the telephone number of TCCP (Tariff Code and Custom of The Philippines)”: Tel #s: 926-8731; 921-7960.

  196. Thank you, Ms. Rins for this blogpost of yours.=) This is a great avenue to unleash our disappointments with regard to claiming parcels and to come together and help each other.

    God bless you!

  197. @JazzyJean

    thanks for sharing your knowledge mam jazzyjean,ganyan po yata talaga lalo na pag mukhang probinsiyano yung kukuha ng box at walang alam sa tax na maaring ibigay nila sa taong kukuha ng box,ang maganda lang nito ay nakuha na ng tyuhin yung box khapon, after long 2 months at dinala ng kartero sa bahay ng tyuhin ko ay hiningan ng 40 pesos lang at ang pinag tataka ko lang kung walang tax ang digicam ay lalong walang tax din ang vitamin tablet at injectable sa nabasa ko ay walang dapat bayaran na ganung kalaki tulad ng hiningi sa tyuhin ko at umabot ng ( 1,400 pesos ) mamaya pag pinadala sa kin yung copy ng resibo ay post ko dito para makita ko din kung tunay or fake ang binigay na resibo at ang pag kakamali din ng tyuhin ko ay binayaran agad ng di ko alam,late na kasi ako nakapag reply sa tex nya ng nandoon na sya sa costum at sinabi lang sa akin sa tex na 1,400 pesos daw ang tax na hini-hingi sa kanya at hindi naman ako nakapag rely agad dahil wala ako sa bahay ng mag tex sya,ang pinag tataka ko lang ay saan nila nakuha yung mga tax deductable na binigay sa tyuhin ko ganung wala namang dapat bayaran sa tax ang digicam at vitamins tablet and injectable vitamins. ganun pa man mam jazzyjean marami pong salamat sa pag share mo sa amin at lalo na sa mga taong walang expirience tulad ng ganitong pag kakaton,talagang nakakapag tataka lang na ang mga phil post employee ay magaling gumawa ng diskarte para siguro sa kanilang kapakanan lamang:) every year nag papadala ako ng small medium to small box na tamang tama lang ang mga 10 bottle of vitamin na 100 ml lang ang per bote at naka diclared yan dito lahat as a gift at amount at only this year lang na nangyare ito sa box na pinadala ko,lahat ng pinapadala ko ay direct na nakukuha sa mismong address namin sa bahay ng wala kaming binabayaran na tax,but this year ay sobrang laki ang hiningi sa tyuhin ko,siguro dahil sa mukhang walang alam ang tyuhin ko at mukhang probinsiyano talaga,kaya nag take advantage siguro sila,pero tulad ng nangyare sa iyo mam jazzyjean ay alam mo ang isasagot mo na dahil nakapag inquire ka na agad kung paano,,good for you at thanks for sharing your expirience to and maybe this is my last package to send to ems.mas mabuti pang mag padala na lang ng unlimited box kung ganun din naman aabtin ng 2 months sa pag hihintay ng box 6 to 10 days naging 2 months at kung di ka pa mag pupursige na hanapin yung box mo kung nasaang post office or costum hindi mo pa malalaman na kung nasaan na.dahil hindi naman sila nag papadala ng claiming form para ipa-alam sa iyo na ready for pick-up yung box mo...thaks po and goodluck sa mga kababayan natin na pupunta sa costum post office para kunin ang mga pinadalang box or package ng kanilang mga mahal sa buhay.....advance merry christmas and happy new year po sa inyong lahat....godbless...