Getting my first item overseas via Philippine Post Office

Getting my first item overseas via Philippine Post Office

This is the spare battery (DMW-BCG10PP) for my camera Panasonic Lumix ZS3 that I bought via Ebay.A few days ago, I was thinking hard whether I should buy my spare battery overseas or not because I was scared of the Philippine Custom Horror Stories that I have read in several blogs. I compiled a list there and you can browse through their experiences if you want. I thought about it and decided that I want to take the risk. I will be going out of the country tomorrow and I really need a spare battery else I will miss a lot of nice shot camera moments.

So I did some research on the batteries for the Lumix ZS3 and found these two.

  • DMW BCG10PP – This is what I will order
  • DMW BCG10E – This is what I currently have

I really do not know what is the difference between the two batteries but I opted to get the BCG10PP because since the letters are much further ahead, I believe that they are the newer model (please correct me if I’m wrong). There were other replacement batteries out there but I read that if your camera firmware is 1.2, you cannot use replacement batteries but you have to panasonic batteries (monopoly technique?).

So anyway, I decided on getting the battery I want so I did some searches via Ebay to see who are selling batteries and what are the prices. I took consideration of their prizes and their feedback so that I will be sure on the item I will buy. I decided to buy one for $29.98 + $1.99 shipping and crossed my fingers waiting for it to arrive (Jan 15, 2009).

On January 29, 2009, I got a letter from Philippine Post Office that I need to go there to claim my item. It wrote there that I need to pay PHP35 for service charge. At that point, I got excited yet scared at the same time. The posts in the customs horror stories came back to me especially when I went to the Post Office and found the words, “Bureau of Customs Inspection” in the counter I was instructed to go.

I was observing other people and found that the people there were opening their packages before they gave it to them (inspection) and they do not seal it back so you will have to carry an opened item when you go home. However, on my package, since it was very small, I guess they did not bother opening it anymore and just gave me the item after I paid PHP35 to them. I was happy that I did not get charged of anything but I was still thinking that maybe I was just lucky?

Conclusion (normal transaction with Post Office, the fee is written on the card they will send you for pick-up):

Philippine Post Office Fee = PHP35

Location = Manila Central Post Office Building, Business Address: Liwasang Bonifacio, Lawton, 1000 Manila, Philippines.

52 thoughts on “Getting my first item overseas via Philippine Post Office

  1. May notice man ko sa Makati post office pero kwaon ko pa sa Wednesday guro, for a Php 45.00 silicon case for iPhone from HK hehehe siguro wala naman added charge aside from Php 35.00 kay gamay2x lang man to hehe

  2. Expecting a parcel from US, sent last March 9,2010 thru USPS First Class Registered Mail. I am here in Iligan. When can i expect my parcel with that parcel method (First Class Registered)? Any thoughts is highly appreciated.

  3. I have been receiving parcels from my aunt and my fiancee from the US and Australia, at the custom’s office at Novaliches City, they usually ask for 1,000+ payment for the parcels that I have received. Is it the normal process? I thought we just have to pay 35 pesos for that.

  4. i just got a parcel notice. stated that i must pick it up before april 19. it has a stamp at the top of the card NIA road. i should pick it up on postal office in NIA road. please help.

    1. Hi Diana, yes you should pick it up on the customs office (near naia). Please make sure to review everything they charge you and hope they don’t show interest in your item.

  5. my mon sent package via post office & when we were claiming it already, custom people say that we have to pay tax P3000+ for my moms clothes. is it really like that? we are waiting for 6 boxes, if that’s the case, do u mean we need to pay almost 20k just to claim those boxes that were already paid by my mom? my mom is an ofw for almost 30 years, by the way… pls help!

    1. Hi, it seems they are trying to take advantage of you. Please ask for a computation of those so called “taxes” and let them explain it to you bit by bit. You may never know that some of those taxes are just made up just to increase your tax.

      1. @Allen kabobohan at kasakiman sa past, maraming ng niloko iyan kaya KARMA will get you somehow, somewhere n anytime.

    2. @joanna liza abdon, KARMA iyan sa kayabangan ninyo! at sa panloloko at kasinungalingan mo, nararandaman mo na ba ha? meron pang darating na matindi, wait ka lang. Bwa ha ha ha

  6. Hi Need help finding spare batt for my new zs3.

    The battery that came with the box is DMW-BCG10PP but I noticed when I browse for zs3 batteries they seldom offer this model instead they offer DMW-BCG10 only (no PP).

    Ijust got the cam recently and firmware is already 1.2 is this bad news? I want to buy spare batt

    also can u share where u bought that battery?I Heard not all Replacement batteries are ok. How’s yours so far?

    1. Hello, having a firmware 1.2 means that you can only accept panasonic batteries and not all other brands of batteries for your ZS3. BCG10PP and BCG10E are your best bet. I have bought mine from Ebay and it was ok (was working). When searching for your battery, read the item description, then check how many people have bought from them, ratings etc.. so that you can decide which one should you trust with your money. 🙂

    1. I got mine from Ebay (Hongkong seller) and so far it has been doing good. I have been switching them both when I use them and I couldn’t tell the difference in performance. I’m planning to get a third battery too.

  7. hi, im expecting a bag which i bought from ebay and bag will be coming from hongkong. thru speedpost which is the local post office of hong kong i think. i tracked my item and its been with customs since june 1st. when do i expect i to arrive? do you think they will tax me for it?

  8. Hi y did custom in manila charges me like 3thousand plus for my item from china which is clothes and from declared value of 50 US they changed it to 100 plus USD. The item was sent through Fed X and i asked how come custom charges me that much they can’t even answered it. How many percent should custom charges? for me i think they’re are overcharging.

  9. they didn’t charged you because your parcel amount is lower than 50 us dollar it’s tax free. more than that will be taxed by 12 percent.

  10. As for me here in Baguio even though my purchases exceeds 100$ i always pay 35php, sometimes none. It was just when i purchased some items in HK worth about 600$ that i was charged 3,000 php but that was a charged by FEDEX according to them its a customs fee. Have no horror stories so far but as of June 16,2010 more than a horror came. they increased their shipping rate to 53%! the fees if compared to almost all our Asian neighbors are rates for express mails. I am a seller and these rates affected my sales since many buyers were shocked to the cost of shipping. Philippine postal corporation is a mean one.

    bad service – no tracking for outgoing and incoming mails yet the fees are too high. pagkabuwaya nga naman nila.

    they should ship faster and improve their service with that kind of SUPER HIGH SHIPPING RATES!!

  11. Yesterday, i received a notice to claim a parcel sent from the US. It said in the pc of paper that I have to pay 40php; however, when I reached the post office, I was asked to pay the amount of 1,963 php!!! I was so shocked, I decided not to claim. Common sense will tell me the price of that parcel which is a back pack is way much cheaper than what the post office is asking me to pay. Here’s a rundown of their supposed fees:
    custom’s duty 722
    EVAT 726
    IPF 250
    CDS 250
    BIR stamp 15
    TOTAL – 1963php!!!

  12. Hi, I am from Cavite. The declared value of the backpack in pesos is 2000. It is being sent to me as a “gift” as indicated in the parcel. My cousin, who sent me this gift is from the US. She paid 35US dollars for the shipment so I believe I shouldn’t be paying for anything when I claim the package but the 40php. To this day, I have not decided whether to claim the parcel.

  13. Hey allan need your advice. I want to buy supplements on on online store in us. More or less $400 worth of items mainly powder and pill form, the shipping company is fedex 3-7 days waiting time and the other is dhl which i dont like. do you have any idea how much i will pay on tax before i claim my items? or any shipping method? Thanks!

  14. Hi,

    I’ve been waiting a package from a friend in US. its almost a month now and the package didn’t arrive yet. He send that package as priority mail which is 6-10days arrive here in Philippines but until now no package..My friend in Us was so disappointed about this..and i read some of bad comments about Phil post that many packages didn’t arrived to them and some open the package and steal some of the items.. Why this happened ganun na ba ka magnanakaw yung mga workers sa post office natin or the customs..Sana naman mahiya sila sa mga pinang gagawa nila.. Sana naman bigyan pansin ng mga kinaukulan ang problemang ito kaya kayo di umasenso kasi maraming corrupt! may umasenso man pero sa pag nanakaw pero im sure kakarmahin yan sila…

  15. The phil post sucks big time. The package my sister from Canada sent me last oct 1 is still not here! At mejo kinakabahan ako dahil mejo fragile ung package. Nakakainis talaga quality ng service dito sa Pilipinas. I will never ever ever use the post office again, ever.

  16. u know my package in usps going here in manila hinulog ng frend ko sept 113 until now wla p din siguro nakuha n ng ibang tao

  17. Hi, anung ginamit mong service sa shipping? Registered mail ba? Ung First Class International? please reply. I ordered an item kasi abroad eh. US actually.

  18. I ordered a book last year sa US and nakuha ko siya sa QC post office in NIA road ng walang tax or customs fee. I think mga below $20 yung book I ordered online. Now I just bought a shoe again and ewan ko lang kung free ulit siya pag nclaim ko or baka mtapat din ako sa corrupt na tao…hay

  19. My cousin and I just got back from Las Pinas Post Office. She is suppose to get a parcel which was sent as a gift from a friend in the US. At first they told us that we only need to pay 40Php. We were asked to go back at 1pm to wait for this custom collecting officer. When this officer arrieved, she started to write this freaking assessment sheet and charged us for P1773. What the heck. How come it went up to this amount, the package was declared for $85 dollars in the receipt. The parcel contains 5 popcorns, cds and min idvd player. This woman wrote $95.75. We decided to leave the package and sent it back to the sender. Where can we ask for help, this is BS and a scam. HELP! 🙁

    1. They were taking advantage of you. You need to study about the law, rules and guidelines, and if they do it again just pull out proof of the rules and guidelines they broke or show that they must explain to you in clear and understandable language why you are charged such a fee…read the Code of Conduct. Republic Act No. 6713

  20. What we dont understand is that she opens the parcel in front of many people, but when giving the assessment fee she secluded us in a cubicle. Why is there a need to hide when its about the payment. this is a real scam!! very poor postal service! If only we could ask for help.But where????? this is so unfair.

  21. im really getting paranoid with our damn post system in this country.
    i thought things are fine when me and my gf started sending letters to each other.
    all was fine and dandy a year ago
    now her letters to me hasnt reached me at all.
    before i get so pissed since some of her small packages for me arrive in my house tampered,
    either with cuts to the envelope or very obvious pokes by some sharp object.
    so i started asking the mailman why are my letters like this and he said he doesnt know…yeah right!
    but, i can actually live with those tampering as long the letters/packages arrive in my mailbox.
    i have been waiting for 3 letters for almost a month now and not a single one has arrived yet.
    first time this thing happened to us was some months ago.
    now here we go again.
    i mean, can the philpost staff really stomach such a thing that they are doing???
    thats what you will feed your family with, the things you steal from hard working people???
    or no wait, you use that for drinking after work!
    this thing has been going on since my mom was younger and my grandma sends us letters and we recieve them tampered.
    (well, thats for another story)
    i guess im the next generation that the philpost company steals from eh?
    have some respect to yourselves!
    i dont exactly know where the damn tampering or stealing takes place when our letters/packages arrive in the philippines
    but i live in ortigas extension cainta area.
    so kung saan at sino man, mahiya naman kayo!
    nakakahiya na tayo sa maraming bagay!
    lalo pa tayong nagiging kahiyahiya sa mga ginagawa nyo!
    mahiya naman kayo sa sarili nyo at sa diyos!

  22. According to a Filipino pastor, who has also taken up law, shared with me that anything over 35PHP, which this was during 2007, is corruption. The person who sent the package already paid for whatever needed to be paid for the package to be sent, so to charge the person who is picking it up, other than the 35php, would be nothing other than corruption.

    When i received my first box, that my parent’s sent, i never got a notice sent to my house so i went to the post office to see if there was any box yet received for my location. When they said it was received, they said it was waiting for Customs to observe it. When i finally heard that customs observed it I was than asked if i knew what was in the box which I said yes and even the post office in my country, back at home, also knows what was placed inside it before it was sent. I was than told i was being taxed for having ear rings in my box. ha ha ha ha I responded and told them that I do not have ear rings in this box, which it was never even open yet but i would open it if asked, I shared that what was in the box was ear plugs to protect my ears from the loud noises during holidays such as when fireworks goes off. Also I shared that the box was sent by my mom who was helping to supply my needs for my stay while my wife finishes school and also I am a missionary. i also mentioned that i was told by a Filipino lawyer that anything above 35PHP would be corruption and the last time I had a box of books sent you charged me 200PHP but this time you want me to give you 1,500PHP when my mom back at home paid all the required fees to send it to me and I have to pay you to pick it up. I out rightly refused, and need i share that the officer was ignoring me instead of showing respect to assist in my concern, but he than shared that I need to go to such and such a place to get it signed off.

    I went to the place advised but when i got there i was instantly ignored. They began speaking their other languages which I asked for them to speak where i could understand. They wanted me to go back to my home and get my passport which i refused for the ID I had with me was legal, although it was expired but that ID showed the same address that from where the box was sent from encase it ever needed to be sent back to the sender which to me was more than enough proof…yes, i know we need to show an ID that is up to date but it was that same year the box was sent that the ID expired and when i already was told by a lawyer that what happen was illegal I wanted it signed off now. So after i shared that I knew my rights and so forth it was finally signed off. I went back to the post office and paid the 35PHP which i knew already was the required tax because it was confirmed to me by a Filipino lawyer.

    Now, in the year 2011, I am having problems sending boxes outside the Philippines and when i ask for proof for the reason behind it they said it is written in their rule book which i asked if they would show me but they did not they only ignored me. i asked what papers do i need to bring to confirm what i am sending because what I am wanting to send is not illegal. I than shared a silly example that even too much water, if you drink too much it could hurt/kill you.

    “…water intoxication is a very uncommon condition.” << but it is out there

    "Hyponatremia, also called water intoxication, is generally the result of drinking excessive amounts of plain water which causes a low concentration of sodium in the blood."

    The problem with some, to most, postal service providers, and even government workers, is that they think what they say is good enough and that they do not have to take their time to explain to you when the "CODE OF CONDUCT" says otherwise.

    Section 4(d) Political neutrality. — Public officials and employees shall provide service to everyone without unfair discrimination and regardless of party affiliation or preference.

    (e) Responsiveness to the public. — Public officials and employees shall extend prompt, courteous, and adequate service to the public. Unless otherwise provided by law or when required by the public interest, public officials and employees shall provide information of their policies and procedures in clear and understandable language, ensure openness of information, public consultations and hearings whenever appropriate, encourage suggestions, simplify and systematize policy, rules and procedures, avoid red tape and develop an understanding and appreciation of the socio-economic conditions prevailing in the country, especially in the depressed rural and urban areas.

    I think these two quotes gives more than enough proof how lazy a government worker can become when these guidelines are not fallowed.

    "…public officials and employees shall provide information of their policies and procedures in clear and understandable language,…"

    1. Where can I find the documentation on customs fees? The real ones, not the ones the people make up and hold you over a barrel on? This is a joke, I paid for my boxes in the US, then again had to pay over 300php before I could pick them up. What a joke !! And only payment they wanted was CASH. Like I am to believe that this is only for the postal system and not lining their pockets.

      What can be done about mail tampering, the opening of letters?? To whom do I talk to about that? I have PROOF at least 5 cards were opened for no reason other than looking to steal something from them

  23. I just found out today, from my wife, that a husband sent his wife a laptop for her nursing and she was charged 3,000P to receive the package. Anything being sent through the post-office will end up being inspected as well as taxed unless you know the people who inspect them and you tell the truth why the package was sent they might minus off the tax since most of the time when a package is sent they think it is business related. Just like when you pay a payment in a certain government office and they automatically charge you express lane when it does not even apply to you…traditions, none other than the sytem, are hard habits for them to break because for them it make them have to think and they are too lazy to do that.

    My wife ha shared that we should use LBC, that our cousin has been using, and balikbayan package through LBC as well if it is a large amount you are sending and wish to avoid this double taxation corruption.

    I am waiting upon a package myself which will have a laptop in it for my wife’s nursing studies which is coming through LBC and after it arrives I will share what has happened but that will maybe be one to two months from now.


    Just by hearing of the Ombudsman of Manila being forced to step down or be impeached as well as all the many testimonies of you people, it is encouraging to know that we are not the only ones facing these corrupt issues and it is my prayer that many of us will begin making a stand against it otherwise it will be the Spanish years all over again.

    Please do not be afraid to speak up, for we can all do our share and as for myself I am handing bulletins out which shares about our laws and also some of the history of our country.


    1. helo maam just want to send a message ,just want to ask a help coz its almost 2 months i didnt recieve my package for the reason of not complete address it was put only the c/o and cebu philipines ,it must be a mepz 1 lapu-lapu city cebu hope your going to help me

      thank you

  24. helo maam just want to send a message ,just want to ask a help coz its almost 2 months i didnt recieve my package for the reason of not complete address it was put only the c/o and cebu philipines ,it must be a mepz 1 lapu-lapu city cebu hope your going to help me

  25. To everyone here
    i hope that we can find a way to control those corrupt custom officer of Manila Central Post office window 124
    they are scammer and swindler who cheat people hard earned money

    specially this bullshit and fucking custom officer Warren V.Nantes he is a scammer and swindler

  26. that sucks.. I have my bike footpeg from customs and charge me the same price as the footpeg arrrg. foot peg cost 1600php (you may compute US dollar)..custom charge 1385 php huhuhu. for a footpeg.. bad custom bad.

  27. my sister sent us a package and arrived in Manila last Jan. 18, 2012 at 3:20pm because USPS tracked it. until now, we haven’t receive it yet. we’ve been waiting for it for almost two months now. how long do we have to wait for the package? do we have to assume that it’s already gone?



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