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Hi,
Recently emigrated here but we are currently have a real nightmare getting our shipping container released.
It arrived 20th November!!!!
My wife is a returning OFW and i hold the 13A visa with Alien Registration Card
I have been getting strange requests from the broker for pictures of this and that .... The vacuum cleaner used for cleaning the car etc
We can't get any real answer as to why there is such a delay.

Did anyone else have an issues?
 

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Welcome to the forum Bilton_d, and so hopefully someone who has shipped a container here will have some information for you but... I haven't come across anything other than smooth sailing for those that have shipped containers here and really you should have had your stuff delivered by now.

So what do you think is going on :) Are they also asking for some sort of express fee to release your container. :(
 

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No fee has been mentioned but the port fees are now going to be horrendous!!!!
I was told 3-5 days so im a little worried about what is going on
 

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Before Duterte the custom was very corrupt, often delayed to get huge storage fees or to make owners giving up so the custom got the things for free. For exporting Filipinos too.
But then Duterte fired the highest bosses for both custom and LTO as well as some high positioned within the justice system, which of what I have heared it seem to have scared others to be less/no corrupt. Yours is the first I have heared of since then within custom.
 

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Seems to be a problem somewhere concerning your container, as i know of japan surplus stores that are getting regular deliveries !
 

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No fee has been mentioned but the port fees are now going to be horrendous!!!!
I was told 3-5 days so im a little worried about what is going on
Other then sentimental value do you have anything in your container that they might want? and if I'm not mistaken you aren't supposed to pay anything you have I think a 6 month window to get your products delivered to the Philippines but there is a monetary limit of goods so if you fall in that range then you shouldn't be paying anything.

And so maybe it's time for you to contact someone else at the port with your delay, I prefer using Facebook it seems to get answers much quicker than the websites. Bureau of Customs

Another link but it's a website Bureau of Customs

Some more information I found Duty Free Shipments

Customs FAQs on Importation
FAQ
 

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There seems to be some confusion over duty allowances for immigration into the Philippines. The SRRV allows exemption of customs duties & taxes for one time importation of household goods & personal effects worth up to US$7,000.00. Balikbayans get $500 each but I've seen no mention of other visa holders so assume $500 also.
 

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There seems to be some confusion over duty allowances for immigration into the Philippines. .....
I have a Dutch friend with a local spouse. When they go back to Europe for their annual trip they each take two large suitcases with other suitcases nestled inside them.

On the return flight, they bring back 5 or 6 suitcases each, filled with purchases from Europe. They simply walk through the nothing to declare with a porter or three in tow with their bags.

All they do is wear business suits on the return flight. ( Actually they change mid air.)

They say they have never been stopped.
 

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I have a Dutch friend with a local spouse. When they go back to Europe for their annual trip they each take two large suitcases with other suitcases nestled inside them.

On the return flight, they bring back 5 or 6 suitcases each, filled with purchases from Europe. They simply walk through the nothing to declare with a porter or three in tow with their bags.

All they do is wear business suits on the return flight. ( Actually they change mid air.)

They say they have never been stopped.
Interesting possible loop hole so maybe Immigration personnel think that those well dressed are diplomats.
 

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Hi Bilton and welcome to the forum, sorry to hear of your frustrations to date and hope you get it sorted out soon.
My first question to you would be did you use a reputable and experienced company, excellent track record and references? Yes they cost more than the dubious operators but when one entrusts shipping their lives to another country in my opinion it's worth paying extra. Perhaps you did this so there may be other issues but if your shipment arrived in November it has gone on too long and for your broker not to resolve let alone communicate the issues quickly to you the client is a big big worry.
My second question is, under what pretence/visa qualifications did you ship your goods? That may be the problem and your broker/shipper should have had all that sorted out before your container was loaded onto a ship in your country or for that matter due diligence before you engaged the company that shipped your goods.

As Gary D said there seems to be confusion for many, including shipping companies with regards to duties and taxes payable or not. Research as we did for over 12 to 18 months.
From memory,,,, slap me if I'm wrong but returning OFW's have limited cash value for shipping back to PH. My better half as a returning Filipino with permanent residency in another country for more than 5 years was able to ship PH. 250K so not much in my opinion but apparently enough to not raise any eyebrows here even with 8 pages of typed manifest, we loaded over a 3 week period and compiled the manifest, all he had to do was go to the brokers office in Manila (6 hours drive south) some 2 weeks prior to the ship landing for a few formalities, passport and AU residency copies, AU and PH. drivers licence, visual ID and conformation with their attorney, a few signatures etc. 3 weeks later the container arrived here on a short semi and a mini van with 5 or 6 workers to unload into the house and studio, Ben directed where to place everything and myself and the manager checked off the manifest,,,,, not that I was worried as the original numbered seal had not been touched.

I tell a lie, my bad, just talking to Ben and he reminded me that our broker did send us an email requesting more information/description on 4 or 5 items on the manifest requested by customs which we answered and no problems. Our container was on the wharf for less than 5 days and though we paid higher than other companies quotes we are happy we went that way. We had many phone and email conversations with the shipping company and their forwarder in Manila before we engaged their services.

OMO but I would be asking more questions of your broker/forwarder, you are employing them and as you say the holding costs must be adding up.

We wish you luck.

Cheers, Steve.
 

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Interesting possible loop hole so maybe they think that they are diplomats.
Philippines tend to give difference to people that they perceive as being powerful.

Suits and ties on an international flight indicates a successful and therefore powerful person, not to be bothered over petty customs rules.
 

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This is sort of wake up call for those that want to retire and ship their worldly goods to the Philippines and it appears not so smooth sailing after all.

I'll just add one more thing, if you really can't live without something and it can fit into a Balikbayan Box do it and sell your goods and use that money to buy new items here and what about the shipping costs, I'm not sure it's worth all this hassle the Bureaucracy and Red Tape is thick.
 

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Philippines tend to give difference to people that they perceive as being powerful.

Suits and ties on an international flight indicates a successful and therefore powerful person, not to be bothered over petty customs rules.
We should never judge a book by its cover. It, and only an opinion seems that a "white" foreigner like myself that has landed/departed here 30 or 40 times over the many years in shorts and T-shirt has never been stopped nor questioned and if I were? Nothing to hide.

Cheers, Steve.
 

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This is sort of wake up call for those that want to retire and ship their worldly goods to the Philippines and it appears not so smooth sailing after all.

I'll just add one more thing, if you really can't live without something and it can fit into a Balikbayan Box do it and sell your goods and use that money to buy new items here and what about the shipping costs, I'm not sure it's worth all this hassle the Bureaucracy and Red Tape is thick.
Yes Mark a wake up call for some, a reality check for others, shipping goods costs money and has to be weighed up for each individual. While I won't get into the real value of what we shipped for us it was worth the research and cost. We sold some AU 65/70K of things we didn't need, artworks and collectables through a fine auction house, tools and equipment etc through FB. Cars and film trucks/equipment (business) were sold, another AU 500K, I miss my Merc and Ben misses his 508 wagon (not available here) I miss my Landcruiser tray back, these things we offloaded in Australia were peripheral to my retirement and our future but our 5K king bed, the fine art I wanted to keep we did ship, the quality linen, the 65" curved, 65" flat and 55" flat bedroom tv, the 10K leather lounge suite, over 1,000 CD's (sold my record collection) and yes while most if not all music is available online I am old school and like to shove on a CD. Furniture that you love, tools and equipment that is 240V 50/60 cycles, fine crockery, quality S/S kitchen everything, desktop gaming computer with 36" curved screen (try and but that here). the list goes on and as said all are different.

The things we shipped here were not replaceable or if so more expensive to replace,,,,,,, a 5K bed 1 year old in Oz we might sell for a fifth or if luck a quarter of the price, the 8K we paid for shipping was minuscule to having quality and what we wanted here, this took research and lots of number crunching but honestly unless you go to Rustans or the likes?

Our decision to engage a shipping company came through phone calls, google research as well as plenty of questions on expat sites and valuable info was gained,,,,,,, including "if you can't live without it". You will never make a silk purse from a sows ear. What we shipped is not available here and was our choice to send and go through the hoops, absolutely no regrets,,,, LOL I do sleep well.

The OP needs to hold his shipping company and or their broker/forwarder accountable and can easily look at his/her contract with the above. Though we can offer to help if and where we can it seems the horse bolted and as said in my previous post, the research needs to be done before the container is loaded/received.

OMO.

Cheers, Steve.
 

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Hi all,

Yes we did our research on the company and to be honest the UK side went really well, they have assigned Santa Fe in the PH who are a large reputable company.

We think things started to go wrong when we arrived as we were not contacted until after we cleared our covid testing, quarantine and travelled out of manila to the province which involves 2 week quarantine period.

We applied for tax free status which has been approved, my wife is a returning filipino of 20 years but dual citizenship and i hold the 13A non quota visa.

We had strange requests for pictures of the items, car vacuum cleaner, cordless drill, scaffolding tower to name a few along with 2 chsinsaw's which has really delayed things even though you can buy the things anywhere.
There is nothing on the UK sites to say they are prohibited but apparently they are without a permit, applied for the permit, permit approved but now customs won't accept the permit and want to remove them from the container at the Port, if i only knew where in the 20ft fully packed container they are.
I have said i will hand them in when we unpack now waiting on approval
I don't really fancy customs opening the container to find 1 box, i doubt they would be careful unpacking and repacking plus they don't have insurance for damage let alone loss or theft.

We hope we are over the worst now but i'm concerned about port charges ..... Might jyst refer that back to the importer who told us 7 days!!!!
Which i have the email
 

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We should never judge a book by its cover. It, and only an opinion seems that a "white" foreigner like myself that has landed/departed here 30 or 40 times over the many years in shorts and T-shirt has never been stopped nor questioned and if I were? Nothing to hide.

Cheers, Steve.
I always land casually dressed but never with more than two suitcases and I also never have had any problems nor had anything to hide.

Perhaps the fact that half the couple was local, we foreigners get a bit of a pass at some things.
 

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Yes Mark a wake up call for some, a reality check for others, shipping goods costs money and has to be weighed up for each individual. While I won't get into the real value of what we shipped for us it was worth the research and cost. We sold some AU 65/70K of things we didn't need, artworks and collectables through a fine auction house, tools and equipment etc through FB. Cars and film trucks/equipment (business) were sold, another AU 500K, I miss my Merc and Ben misses his 508 wagon (not available here) I miss my Landcruiser tray back, these things we offloaded in Australia were peripheral to my retirement and our future but our 5K king bed, the fine art I wanted to keep we did ship, the quality linen, the 65" curved, 65" flat and 55" flat bedroom tv, the 10K leather lounge suite, over 1,000 CD's (sold my record collection) and yes while most if not all music is available online I am old school and like to shove on a CD. Furniture that you love, tools and equipment that is 240V 50/60 cycles, fine crockery, quality S/S kitchen everything, desktop gaming computer with 36" curved screen (try and but that here). the list goes on and as said all are different.

The things we shipped here were not replaceable or if so more expensive to replace,,,,,,, a 5K bed 1 year old in Oz we might sell for a fifth or if luck a quarter of the price, the 8K we paid for shipping was minuscule to having quality and what we wanted here, this took research and lots of number crunching but honestly unless you go to Rustans or the likes?

Our decision to engage a shipping company came through phone calls, google research as well as plenty of questions on expat sites and valuable info was gained,,,,,,, including "if you can't live without it". You will never make a silk purse from a sows ear. What we shipped is not available here and was our choice to send and go through the hoops, absolutely no regrets,,,, LOL I do sleep well.

The OP needs to hold his shipping company and or their broker/forwarder accountable and can easily look at his/her contract with the above. Though we can offer to help if and where we can it seems the horse bolted and as said in my previous post, the research needs to be done before the container is loaded/received.

OMO.

Cheers, Steve.
Steve, you mentioned your vehicles, the idea of never driving my beloved BMWs again might be enough to stop me from retiring there. 🙂
 

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I always land casually dressed but never with more than two suitcases and I also never have had any problems nor had anything to hide.

Perhaps the fact that half the couple was local, we foreigners get a bit of a pass at some things.
Same here, plus I don't make eye contact with them lol
 

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We had strange requests for pictures of the items, car vacuum cleaner, cordless drill, scaffolding tower to name a few along with 2 chsinsaw's which has really delayed things even though you can buy the things anywhere.
There is nothing on the UK sites to say they are prohibited but apparently they are without a permit, applied for the permit, permit approved but now customs won't accept the permit and want to remove them from the container at the Port, if i only knew where in the 20ft fully packed container they are.
I have said i will hand them in when we unpack now waiting on approval
I don't really fancy customs opening the container to find 1 box, i doubt they would be careful unpacking and repacking plus they don't have insurance for damage let alone loss or theft.

We hope we are over the worst now but i'm concerned about port charges ..... Might jyst refer that back to the importer who told us 7 days!!!!
Which i have the email
There it is the Chain Saws! Thats what got you.
 
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