Philippine Customs Horror Stories
I have this fear of buying items overseas because of the Philippine Customs Horror Stories that I have read in several websites.
I have recently started using ebay to search for items that I want to buy. I am lazy to go to shops so I simply go online. However, there are some items that unfortunately, aren’t sold by local sellers here in the Philippines so my only option was to buy overseas (usually Hong Kong or China). Another advantage of buying internationally because some items are much cheaper there.
I did some readings and researched on how to get items from international sellers and to my surprise, instead of reading instructions, I have read horror stories of corruption.
Basically, to buy from online sellers, here are the steps to receive the item.
- Seller will ship the item to your address via airmail (may or may not offer tracking number – usually shipping with tracking number costs more but you can haggle. Also note that the tracking number is only valid while the item is in transit. When the item arrives at the Philippines, you cannot track it anymore unless you used a courier service like DHL, FEDEX)
- Once your item arrives at the Philippines, either it will be on Customs or in the Postal office
- You can claim your item after paying fees
Seems easy right? But why do I see so many stories on how hard it is to do Step 2 and Step 3? Here are the things that I have read.
- Customs will charge you with very expensive fees which they call tax (they may or may not give you a receipt)
- Items has been opened, tampered or even stolen from your parcel (you can research on google adsense check stolen by post office)
This really made me skeptical though I recently bought an item from Ebay. I am really crossing my fingers that I will be spared by those crocodiles sitting in that office .. else, well, it would be lesson learned for me and of course, another post.
Please share your Philippine Customs Horror Stories here.
Read here on How the Bureau of Customs Spoiled the Fun for Mr Abe of Yugatech. I guess it really shows on how they respond is who they are.
Beware of buying toys from abroad. Customs will tax your item 100% more than the item price + shipping.
A digital media player from Singapore was taxed around 50% of the price by Customs. Read the whole story and see how they compute your taxes. Another item shipped, and got again 50% of the item price worth of taxes.