Customs introduces mobile app on duties

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A mobile application designed to estimate the amount of customs duties and taxes of commonly imported items was introduced by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to assist the public, particularly overseas Filipinos workers (OFWs).

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Introduced on Tuesday by the bureau was the user-friendly application Balikbayan Tax Calculator (BTC), which can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store.

“Because of the heavy volume of inquiries on customs tax and duties which BOC-CARES (Customer Assistance and Response Services), the agency’s frontline for customer service is receiving daily, from here and abroad, the Bureau decided to come up with a mobile application that is accessible and can readily assist our balikbayan, OFWs, and the public in general,” the BOC said in a statement.

OFWs and returning residents who send balikbayan boxes to their loved ones in the country can also track their shipments through the BTC link found in the app.

BOC Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon encouraged OFWs, returning residents and the public to download the mobile application so they would know the basics in importation and payment of duties and taxes.

The BTC provides the app user a readily available means to get the estimated customs tax and duties of the articles or items they wish to bring in or send to the Philippines.

To fully optimize the functions of the app, users are advised to be ready with information such as value of the items for purpose of tax computation or the bill of lading number, for balikbayan box tracking.

The mobile app will also be available soon in the App store to cater to iOS users.

The app is seen to help speed up the transaction process and compliment with the intent of Republic Act 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) to harmonize, modernize and simplify existing customs procedures.

Among the immediate beneficiaries of RA 10863 are the OFWs who regularly send imported goods in balikbayan boxes to their families in the Philippines.

RA 10863 increases the “de minismis” value or the threshold value of taxable goods to P150,000.

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