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The Philpost Experience of 2016 Makati Edition – Philippine Postal Service




The Philpost Experience of 2016 Makati Edition – Philippine Postal Service





I ordered a bunch of Korean skin care products from eBay and Testerkorea.com and had it delivered straight to the Philippines instead of the US through freight forwarders. This is an experiment to see how much I will be taxed and how long the delivery and the entire process would take. I decided to buy only small items priced less than US$25.

I ordered 2 separate items, one from Testerkorea.com and the other from an eBay seller. I ordered them at the same time, May 9, 2016 both from South Korea. Paid with my Paypal account and waited for the items to ship out. The one I bought from eBay, the Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Foam cost US$11.99 and was packed and shipped the next day. These are just 20 pcs 5ml sample packets.

The one I bought from Testerkorea.com was the Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Kit (5 Items). This is a trial kit that come in a set box. I bought this for US$24.96 including shipping. This one shipped after 3 days.

One tip though is to make sure to use regular mail and not EMS. EMS packages are picked up from the main Philpost office in Pasay while the regular mail goes to your city’s post office where you pick it up from there. There are bad experiences relayed by a lot of people when they picked up their packages at the EMS Philpost Office in Pasay. The regular mail takes longer though but a lot cheaper than EMS.

Another tip is to make sure you get a tracking number from your seller or opt for the shipping method with a tracking number and not EMS. Make sure to read the item listing to check if the shipping comes with a tracking number. This will minimize your frustration on guessing where your package is.

You can use these websites to check the status of your packages:

http://track.trackingmore.com
http://tnt.phlpost.gov.ph/

Philpost tracking is often delayed. The first link updates faster.

This is a screenshot of the route my first package went through during the whole delivery process.


Here is the screenshot of the Philpost tracking website for the same item.


The post offices are very slow in delivering the claim notice card. This is the card you present to them when the item is already available for pickup. This sometimes takes up to a month or more before you receive it. What I can recommend is to check the Philpost tracking website, once you see the “Enroute to delivery office” status, wait a couple of days and check your local post office, chances are your parcel is already with them. I normally wait 3 days to a week after seeing this status before I go to the post office. Both my parcels where already there.

If you don’t have the claim notice yet and you see the “Enroute to delivery office” status on the tracking site, print the Philpost tracking page with the status of your parcel. Print the entire page and also print the Paypal invoice to show to the customs officer so they can correctly assess the tax to be charged. Write your name on the Philpost tracking page that you just printed.

I claimed my packages at the Makati Post Office. You first give the printed Philpost tracking page to the person at the counter, they find your package, you present your ID and then you sign something. The item is then presented to a customs officer where it will be opened for inspection. This is where you give your Paypal invoice. They will compute the tax and you pay the amount. The parcel is then handed to another person, this person will then ask you to pay for the Presentation to Customs fee of Php112. This one is a fixed amount. All in all you pay for 2 things, the import tax and the presentation to customs fee.

Below are some pictures of the Pacel Delivery Section of the Makati Post Office.







My experience with claiming the 2 packages on different dates is smooth. I did not encounter any problems at all considering I only have the printed tracking page for both packages as I did not wait for the official claim card.

I noticed that my parcel was charged a rate of duty amounting to 7% of the value of the items. This is for cosmetic products. I was also given receipts with the breakdown of fees that I paid for, official receipts for the Bureau of Customs and the Philippine Postal Corporation.

Here are the pictures of the 2 packages I picked up.






If you are curious as to how much I paid for, check out the breakdown below.

eBay purchase amounting to US$11.99
Declared/Assessed Value – $11.99
Insurance charges – 0.24
Current Exchange Rate – 46.8550
Dutiable Value – Php 573.03
Rate of Duty – 7%
Customs Duty – Php 40
EVAT – Php 75
Customs Doc Stamp Php 15
Grand Total – Php 130
Plus the Presentation to customs fee – Php 112
TOTAL – Php 242

Testerkorea.com Purchase

Declared/Assessed Value – $24.96
Insurance charges – 0.50
Current Exchange Rate – 46.6650
Dutiable Value – Php 1,188.05
Rate of Duty – 7%
Customs Duty – Php 83
EVAT – Php 154
Customs Doc Stamp Php 15
Grand Total – Php 252
Plus the Presentation to customs fee – Php 112
TOTAL – Php 364
(I can only stare at the EVAT cost, my goodness!)

For the Makati Post Office:

Insurance is an estimate of 2% of the declared value. EVAT is computed at 12% of the total amount. Customs doc stamps are fixed at Php 15. Presentation to customs fee is fixed at Php 112. Current exchange rate is taken from the Bureau of Customs website http://customs.gov.ph/ right side of the webpage. Rate of duty varies, cosmetics and beauty products are charged 7% as per my experience with the 2 packages.

They convert foreign currency value to Philippine peso so check the exchange rate from their website above.

From the computation above you can more or less assess the total amount you would have to pay. Take note though that this is for the Makati Post office and for cosmetic and beauty products, other post offices may charge differently.

They open the parcels in front of you although the first parcel I bought was placed in a small packet, you know those yellow bubble padded envelopes, so they did not bother to open it. The second item I purchase was placed in a box so they opened it and checked the contents and then taped it back to close it.

At the Makati Post Office, while they are examining your package, they have a computer monitor on the side, you can see and ask about the computation. As per my observation they already have a template, like an Excel file that computes everything automatically once you input the item value and the rate of duty.

Here’s the timeline for the eBay item I purchased:

Purchased May 9, 2016
Shipped out May 10, 2016
Arrived Philippines – May 16, 2016
Enroute to Delivery Office – May 18, 2016
Claimed at the Makati Post Office – May 27, 2016
*I could have claimed this earlier but due to my laziness, it stayed at the post office for one more week. This one took 18 days, could have been shorter if I claimed it earlier.

The timeline for the Testerkorea.com purchase:

Purchased May 9, 2016
Shipped out May 12, 2016
Arrived Philippines – May 19, 2016
Enroute to Delivery Office – May 26, 2016
Claimed at the Makati Post Office – June 3, 2016

Electronics and gadgets are taxed higher so if you are planning to buy one from abroad especially the US, I would recommend you use freight forwarders like My-shoppingbox.com which has a tie-up with Globe Telecoms, MyEcasa, Pobox or Forex. They charge a fixed amount based on the actual weight or volumetric weight of your package. The fees you pay them are already inclusive of the shipping fees, customs fees and other fees. They also deliver straight to your house.

I only tried this because I now have a Makati address, I once lived in Pasay and in that case all packages regardless if it’s EMS or regular will have to be claimed at the main Philpost office.

If you have questions or have some experience with the post office in your city, hit up the comments section and share your feedback.


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