Raksta - From what I understand, the Republic of The Philippines (RP) puts very high Tariff / Taxes on everything coming into the Country. They want you to buy everything in the RP - to benefit the local businesses. It is not to your advantage to bring electronics, cars, Hi Ticket items into the RP. If it's something that you cannot live without, then bring it in. Otherwise, buy it in the RP.
PhoneDoc - I keep seeing posts that balik bayan boxes are closely inspected, and items are stolen, and sometimes it takes 2 months to get them delivered - hung up in customs. What has been your experience?
i shipped 6 boxes in 2010, it took 2.5-3 months. the boxes were not opened, weight was not an issue as several were over 200 lbsand it was $95 each, ... NOW they allow somewhat smaller boxes, 42x18x24 boxes. there is still no weight limit but it costs $110 each now. i have approximately 12 i will be sending when my house sells and i move back to CDO
in my experience, it takes 2.5-3 months, but none of the boxes are opened and nothing is missing regardless of what is in the box. when this house sells i will be shipping 10-12 balikbayan boxes with all my kitchen and bedroom and clothes! Its the BEST way to ship stuff. I will be shipping 2-3m boxes of tools /cordless tools. i shipped 6 boxes in 2010 and 2 of those were tools. they allowed larger boxes then, 24,5x24,5x25 now they only allow 24x18x24 ... no restriction on weight it was $95 each then, it $110 each now
Before we moved to Philipinnes we used to 2-3 boxes a year. No problem. We have received more than 10 boxes the last year from sisters and brothers to my wife. From US, Italy, Austra and UK. No problem at all.
We receive boxes all the time - maybe 12 last year. From my wifes brothers and sisters - US, UK, Austria and Italy. They have sent for many years. My shipper - is a Philippines lady living in Sweden. She ships 2-4 containers a year depending on demand. Never any problem. She and her sons handles shipping out and her relatives in Philipinnes handles everything here. She has never had any - no problem. She also shipped one full container for me and my wife after selling our house. I was nervous but everything worked out perfectly. I used my own lock for the container and the container was locked until I opended it. Advice - choose the shipper carefully and try to find recommendations.
darkfader24 Actually on-line Philippine shopping like Lazada and Shoppee, there are others, mark up products they buy from Alibaba and Made in China, but claim their prices have big discounts. I buy a lot from Alibaba, after thoroughly researching their vast supplier options. I do a lot of chat. The usually only sell larger quantities, but I tell them I want only one unit to test out first and they agree to it. My savings is averages 65%. Most often the customs declaration is $50 shipped by DHL so no duty.
Gos - Big thanks. I am under some big deadlines, but i would like to speak with you more about this. I do close to 100 hours a week of production work - which is why I can't wait to retire to the RP. But I still want to keep about 3 or 4 of my clients - and do work for them over the internet. I do very heavy audio editing, processing, and mixing on Apple Mac computers. I have 4 of them loaded with many terabytes of data - all backed up to external drives. I have heard "Forget about bringing your Macs in. They will charge you duties equivalent to their value." If this is your opinion - which I highly respect - I will probably clear their drives and sell them in the USA. I would need to bring my backup drives into the RP and then would need to purchase new Apple Macs - at least one - although two is good for redundancy. 1 - Is bringing in my back up drives a workable idea? 2 - How hard and expensive is it to purchase Apple Mac Computers there? Thank you for your reply.
Gos - Seriously?? That's under $900 USD. If that's for new - you can't come close to that in the States. More like 3 times that much - without exaggeration. That is fantastico!! Thank you for the info.
Robertdav298: On Aug 17 you said that you shipped 4 boxes and they were all opened and had stuff missing. Who was the shipping company? Also, what did they steal from you (items)? I am curious because I shipped about 30 boxes over a few years period of time. I was still in California at that time. The last shipment that I sent was in 2014. At that time they were pretty good. I never had a problem with any of the boxes. I shipped a lot of electronics equipment, but none of it was on the list of items that they will tax. My stuff was mostly test equipment (O'scope, high voltage and high current power supplies, function generators and some trainers for learning electronics (several of them). I also sent a lot of components, and other test equipment. I listed it as electronic hobby equipment. I used LBC.
Darkfader24, I would be careful believing that price. My experience is that electronics here, including Macs has been close to 15-20% higher here. I don’t know if I’d buy one on Lazada either. I have been to several Apple stores here and they’re always higher priced here. I brought my MacBook Pro from the US here with me. Also, the price he quoted, most likely would not be to the specifications that you would choose. You need to take that into consideration as well. I sold my Mac 27” before I came here but brought my iPad and Pro.
Darkfader24, I would be careful believing that price. My experience is that electronics here, including Macs has been close to 15-20% higher here. I don’t know if I’d buy one on Lazada either, could be a refurbished unit or knockoff. I have been to several Apple stores here and they’re always higher priced here. I brought my MacBook Pro from the US here with me. Also, the price he quoted, most likely would not be to the specifications that you would choose. You need to take that into consideration as well. I sold my Mac 27” before I came here but brought my iPad and Pro.
dark - generally electronics and computers cost more in the RP . Macs work great and are durable for the current used in the RP ...I use a Mac-book pro an back it up weekly . In the RP is seems to take the humidity and so forth . Try and keep them out of the heat and sun though . My iPhone shut down a couple times due to heat exposure - restarts after it cools down ....so just keep electronics out of direct South Latitude sun.
climate in Ph is killing electronics. Keep them in a dry cabinet AILITE AILITE DRY CABINET ALT-30 30L. or Ruggard dry cabinet. Some times I shop at https://www.bhphotovideo.com/ However you have to calculate shipping and import tax too. First I check B&H for quality. Then I try shopping in PH. ( off the record: Shopping at https://jsmix.ph/ for big fellows) Greetings to all
I have a size 13 shoe. The only affordable source was TradeINN.com. They are out of Spain, but ship from the Netherlands. Their website and product line is excellent for all sports. I buy my swim wear and goggles from them too. Australian outlets gouge you badly. Always choose courier as your shipping option.
Jimmyzr1 - In regards to Macs - Which is more cost effective. To bring in a MacBook Pro from the USA and deal with the import fees/tax? Or to purchase it new in the RP at 15% to 20% higher? I have been under the impression that purchasing in the RP is the way to go due to Import Duties. Thank you for your opinion.
darkfader24. They will let you bring your personal Mac Book Pro into the Philippines when you come as a tourist without duties or tax. I also recommend that you buy an Apple AirPort Extreme router too. They work on 220 v. if you’re going to be using someone’s modem. Globe has a pocket WiFi that you can load to stay off free (unsecured) WiFi hotspots. Actually, I think most electronics can be had cheaper in North America, but I am not sure they will last. Some printers are not distributed here. Getting replacement printer heads and cartridges cans be a hassle and expensive. So I went with a new HP ink tank that has ink reservoirs that you refill that is sold here. It has a sim me app to control scanning and printing It doesn’t have a fax though. Octagon seems to be the best source for anything electronic. It’s a big chain store on every mall.
Gos- yoru right , for whatever reason many routers burnout after a year or so in the RP - likely the 200V current and so on . I have heard good things about the Apple one - but I also heard they stopped producing them? A sturdy wifi router is needed here - some people luck out with a good one , other change them every year or two . My advise - Like yours , do the research and buy something that will. last and you can take with you as portable ! The 200V direct current is brutal on most devises . Apple tends to stand up well though .
The Globe pocket wifi - heard some good things about it . I have to use Smart as my Cell antenna for smart is closer than Globes . Smart seems to cover off Negros better than globe for some reason.
tip- when reloading try and go back to same person for the reload , like a larger store in a Mall - less likely to get scammed and number recorded and sold to advertisers and such . These small 're=loaders' on the streets have all sorts of tricks up their sleeves to bleed your data off and pass around your numbers . You just need it to happen once before you use the same girl/shop all the time.
If you carry them in your luggage then no problem. Since they all have data on them, it would be easy to demonstrate they are for your personal use and not for resale which is what they would be charging a tariff on.
gelynch52ph: I believe you are right on both points. The law changed about a year or so ago. Only Filipino to Filipino boxes are duty free. Also I have gone through NAIA several times with a carry on lap top and a Chrome Book in my checked bag. Never a question or problem. Sometimes I think there are two places named " The Philippines" , or I just look harmless, as I never have even 1/10th of the problems some guys on here have.
gelynch52ph - Yes I would be carrying a MacBook Pro with an incredibly HUGE amount of data on it. Plus a gazillion Folders of audio software and customer files going back 20 years on many high density thumb drives, which fit in a large zip lock bag. Also, I have a small aluminum audio box with about $20 K worth of processing software that I desperately need. It's so small that it will fit in the computer bag. Hopefully, the Latop, Processing Box, and Thumb Drives plus some hi quality headphones would not present a problem. I can do all of my TV and Radio production easily on these and sendfile back and forth to the USA via internet. If i can pull this off (getting it into the RP without difficulty), I will be in 7th Heaven!!
gelynch52ph - By the way, what I said about bringing in all that computer stuff - I noticed someone mentioned being a "Tourist". I have been planning on coming in on an SRRV situation. Does that make a difference? Will they tax me heavily because of that?
Gosling and Surf - Regarding Macs and Apple Routers, etc burning out on 220. Why don't you guys get A/C convertors? 220 down to 120? Too much hassle to carry when you travel? I don't plan on carrying my computer stuff around very much. I will be primarily using it all at home, so I'm thinking a high quality convertor. This stuff is low Voltage so it should not place a strain on the convertor.
One word on luggage before I forget . On international flights you are usually allowed around 2 - 25 kg ( or more) bags , this is certainly not the case on local flights. For example on Cebu pacific you are allowed 1 bag At 20 kg, you can add a bag at time of booking though. Add that extra bag at booking if you have one , as the extra bag will be big bucks at the counter.... many times the online cost. Study the bag ratios .
Darkfader: With the SRRV, you can send up to $7K tax free. I think that there is a limited time period from the date that you obtain you SRRV to ship the goods. If you decide that you want the SRRV, let me know. There is a lady that will walk you through the process at no charge to you (the PRA will pay her). I had problems that I will not get into now, but she made the process much easier. As others stated, just take your laptop on the plane with you. I did that many times and never had any issues.
darkfader24 None ofThe ‘step down’ converters I bought worked. Amperage is the problem. If you want to use them, buy them here as they are heavy. All you really need is a delay timer switch for when the power comes back on after a brown out. That will save your electronics. The “Panther” brand has two and four outlet types. The timer last a little over 5 minutes for the current to stabilise. That’s the advise from the experts at Octagon electronics.
surfingcebu If you fly PAL your bags are reloaded on the domestic flight with the same 25 kilo allowance as long as your city of destination has an International airport. An extra 25 kilo bag cost me $100 Canadian. I took 3 bags to Davao International. I cleared customs there which is more lax that anywhere I have traveled internationally in 54 years.
Darkfader: - If you coming in on the SRRV visa. You can use and exemption that is included in your visa. Exemption from customs duties up to $7,000 in value - The value of your items is assigned by customs, and this exemption can only be used during the first 90 days of your new Visa.
Keep in mind it's a little trickier logistics of this. Because the way I understand it you essentially have to have the visa first before you can apply the exemption. And then it's only good for 90 days so it's a tight window. The Philippine retirement authority website is not easy to navigate and lately every time I go to it I have a virus warning pop-up which is never a good thing.
I actually have a a link on my website that gives all the breakdown and help you pick the right visa package. It's free to use for everyone. go to https://www.theislandgeneration.com/ then click on visa this describes all the visa programs and what you can get out of them
If in any way you've been in the us military and have discharge papers even if you've only been in a couple years you may qualify for their US military program which is very inexpensive compared to the other programs.
darkfader24 - First of all anyone transporting that much data needs to be back up outside of the Philippines before trying to go in with USB drives and a portable drive. The new portable USB solid-state drives SSD are by far the fastest things out there but store a more limited amount of data usually about 500 gigs at a reasonable cost.
But do not rely on any of these methods to work if for some reason they commandeer them. It's better to transfer all your data to an inexpensive cloud-based server. There are lots of these out there and I saw one just recently which I believe was Idrive there was advertising $5.99 for one year storage of 4 TB. You just have to make sure you quit the program before the second year or goes up to $70 a year.
But my point being get to the cloud services, upload all your data to them that way you have a backup although it would take considerable amount of time to download from the Philippines at least the data is safe.
Another way to do it was to just set up a computer at a friends house in your country and use a product like Anydesk or Team Vewer on your host computer in your country. Put all your files on that computer tell your friend to leave it on all the time. Then from the Philippines or anywhere else in the world you can connect to that computer and download any files you want or even upload production files that you want to be made more local. This type of software used by technicians all the time to assist people with computer problems. But they also give you the capability to make your own custom "cloud" just for you.
These are inexpensive and simple ways to prevent you from losing mass amounts of data.
A lot of people worry about their data being secret or personal. To be honest I haven't heard of any hackers hitting cloud services. Second hackers don't really care about what you store in a cloud they care about what's on your machine and not backed up. They hit your machine encrypt all your photos or other information and then demand money. If this was stored in the cloud he could simply even wipe out your machine download all your programs again and then restore from the cloud and you're back where you started without paying a ransom.
Mark Burnett Very good advice. I also use protonmail.com (out of Switzerland and easy to set up) for email. It uses encryption. It’s what most banks use. My ASUS AC88U router is Virtual Private Network enabled too. I also use Norton 360 on all my devices. I really like the Norton product. It has a VPN program to filter out all malicious websites. It keeps me reminded on my iPhone for updates, etc.
Gos - I don’t think Duma is international, however if I go direct to Davao and make that base camp ... I could get bags checked though. Interesting.
BTW - I checked into the current visa rules .30 days or 59 days with consulate approval in Canada. So I have to have a out of country ticket in first 30 days . It’s been like this for sometime, no changes I don’t think.
2 days ago I went through customs with a pair of KEF LS50 wireless speakers in original box, right at the 50 pound weight limit for baggage limit, customs was nonexistent, no paperwork, they just waived me through, this was Ninoy
Blue Jeepney yes in 4 or 5 arrivals through NAIA I've only been stopped at Customs once. Then they made a big production of stopping me but just asked if I had anything to declare, I said no, and they never opened a suitcase. Other times there has just been an Agent at a counter who waves everyone through. But like all things here I would not try any funny business.
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