Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

What is a Balikbayan Box

A Balikbayan box refers to a package of personal effects or “pasalubong” sent by Filipinos working or residing abroad to their families, relatives, or friends in the Philippines. Balikbayan boxes enhance the Philippine culture and tradition of strong family ties through caring and love expressed in gift-giving.

What are the items allowed in Balikbayan Boxes

BM Express International Services Pty. Ltd. complies with the requirements of the Philippine Bureau of Customs. According to the Philippine Bureau of Customs, items that are allowed to be shipped inside balikbayan boxes are non-commercial goods or items that are strictly for personal use only and not in commercial quantity.

What are the sizes of the BM Express Balikbayan Boxes

BM Express Australia Balikbayan box  available in Jumbo size, 21x21x25.

For air cargo, you can use any kind of box, as long as it is thick and sturdy enough to handle the weight of the items inside. You can even use TV boxes or computer boxes for air cargo shipment.

How often does BM Express ship to the Philippines

BM Express ships weekly for air and sea cargo. The plane departs every Tuesday from Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney. You can arrange for us to pick up your balikbayan boxes from Wednesday to Sunday. The sea cargo vessel, on the other hand, normally departs every Thursday with a cut off day for pick up every Saturday.

What is the weight limit when sending a BM Express Balikbayan Box?

For air cargo, the minimum shipment weight is 20 kilograms. – For VisMin delivery, any kind of box is allowed but it will be computed based on the volumetric computation as charged by airline. Charges depend on whichever is higher between the weight of the box from the actual size. For Sea cargo the maximum shipment weight is 50 to 60 kilograms.

What items are not allowed to be included in a Balikbayan Box?

BM Express International Services Pty. Ltd. also complies with the requirements of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Philippine Shipper’s Bureau (for sea cargo) and of the Civil Aeronautics Authority of the Philippines or CAAP (for air cargo).

In line with this, we kindly remind our customers the following are not allowed in balikbayan boxes:

1. currencies, checks, money orders, and travelers checks

2. pieces of jewelry

3. firearms, ammunitions and explosives

4. prohibited drugs and substances

5. pornographic materials, gambling cards, and toy guns

6. pirated products i.e. cd, tapes, etc.

Aside from the above list of items prohibited by the authorities, BM Express also restricts some items for security measures: FOR SEA CARGO: perishable items, liquid items FOR AIR CARGO: food, medicine, valuable items, LAGS (LIQUID, AEROSOLS, GELS), electronic items

What are the items that I can send?

You can send anything except the things listed above. For sea cargo services, we can ship household items such as beds, lounge, fridge, and LCD televisions for special shipping rates. If you are interested in sending items like the aforementioned, please send us an email or call us to inquire about the rates.

What causes the delay of the boxes to their ultimate consignees?

As much as BM Express International Services Pty. Ltd. would like to deliver your parcels or balikbayan boxes to the Philippines in time, there are some situations beyond the company’s control that may cause the delay in delivery to the ultimate consignees. Below are some of the factors that can cause delays or non-delivery of the balikbayan boxes and other parcels to the consignees in the Philippines:

1. Unforeseen circumstances or/and natural calamity such as earthquake or typhoon that sets back the arrival of the cargo carrying vessels;

2. The consolidated shipment is tainted by: Mis-declared or undeclared goods/items Regulated or banned cargoes such as prohibited drugs, ammunitions and firearms, gambling materials or apparatus, pornographic materials and pirated products. Products that are in commercial quantity. Consolidated shipments that are abandoned by the Philippine representative, agent or broker for reasons of non-remittance of funds by the foreign freight forwarding entity/consolidator. Wrong address and contact details of the consignee/ recipient in the Philippines Hard to find consignee/recipient address The recipient/consignee lives in very remote area or a place where the BM Express team needs to cross a river. The recipient lives in war-torn or potentially dangerous areas such as Basilan.

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