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15/10/2009: PSB Issues Advisory on Safer Shipments of Balikbayan Boxes

The Philippine Shippers’ Bureau (PSB), a government agency under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), mandated to protect the shippers’ interests including the economical and efficient movement of their packages and cargoes, is reminding Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families to observe the proper safety measures in shipping their balikbayan boxes.

The Bureau has again issued this advisory in view of the proximity of the Christmas season when the volume of balikbayan box shipments is expected to mount.

“In order to avoid the dilemma of delayed, damaged, pilfered or non-delivery of balikbayan boxes, we are providing this advisory to the public. A well informed consumer is a protected consumer,” said Marceliano P. Bernal, Jr., Officer-in-Charge of the PSB.

The following are the reminders issued by the Bureau:

  1. Do not include prohibited items in your balikbayan box such as money or its equivalent, valuables, firearms, explosives, illegal substances, pornographic materials and pirated products;

  2. Entrust only your balikbayan boxes to companies having local seafreight forwarding agent with PSB-accreditation. Ask the foreign seafreight forwarder for the company name of their local agent in the Philippines with its business address and contact number. Then request your relatives in the Philippines to check on the information given by the foreign seafreight forwarder.

    Your relatives may call us at DTI Hotline 751-3330, or 751-3304/ 890-4892/ 751-0384 loc. 2514/ 2515, with fax number at 751-3305, to confirm if the local agent is DTI-PSB-accredited or not.

    Alternatively, you may check the List of PSB Accredited Forwarding Agents in the Philippines at the Philippine Embassy website (www.philippineembassy-usa.org) and click on the “Announcements” section.

  3. Furnish the foreign seafreight forwarder with a packing list that declares all the articles inside your balikbayan box including the fair market value;

  4. Secure transport documents such as cargo or official receipt that reflects the company name of the local seafreight forwarding agent with its corresponding business address and contact information;

  5. The sender and consignee are advised to monitor the shipment of their balikbayan boxes by closely coordinating with the foreign and local seafreight forwarders;

  6. If there is delay or any doubt to the reports/ statements being issued by the seafreight forwarders, immediately call the DTI Hotline at 751-3330 for appropriate action.

“The PSB under the Consumer Welfare & Trade Regulation Group (CWTRG) of DTI is always endeavoring to strengthen its campaign to inform the public, specially the OFWs and their relatives, on how to best ensure the safe delivery of their packages and balikbayan boxes,” said OIC Bernal. “Ensuring the protection of service consumers in the seafreight forwarding industry is one of the thrusts of CWTRG under the leadership of Undersecretary Zenaida Cuison Maglaya.”

The Philippine Shippers’ Bureau is located at the 2nd Floor of Trade and Industry Building, 361 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City. Aside from the DTI Hotline 751-3330, PSB may be contacted at 751-3304/ 890-4892/ 751-0384 loc. 2514/ 2515, with fax number at 751-3305. (END)