Sending Electronics US- Philippines & Relocating Furniture US-Philippines (Ohh Woes)


Cargo container full of Balikbayan deliveries- shared from The Filipino Expat

This story starts with me wanting to ship a 27″ TV to the Philippines since Walmart and Best Buy had a pretty sweet deal for 24”-27” Flat screens under $140. I called my local Balikbayan cargo company like LBC to inquire about the electronics tax charge and sadly they are charging $50-100 tax fee on top of the shipping charges so that would be around $100-200.

Mind you the TV I’m planning to buy is around $99-110. That’s about less than PHP 5000. Supposedly as of October 2016 there is a new ACT that they are only to tax packages that are worth  PHP 10,000 and up- no more than $210 as of Oct 2016 exchange rates

You can read more of the order here at   and


With that information in mind I called my local LBC – and very briskly they said that new law is not yet implemented here in Southern California or US and is not yet applicable.  Also she seems mildly annoyed with my inquiry.

So until I can cheaply send a small TV or electronic via Balikbayan Box- Ill opt to buy one locally in the Philippines or via

** Note Someone suggested I put the TV in my suitcase on my next trip home. I hear horror stories of those items being confiscated or damaged during the luggage transport and based on my experience I don’t want to risk having a brand new cracked TV upon my arrival. Plus additional baggage weight drama 😦


Manila Forwarders Relocation Cargo Container


My next project- Me and my friends from the Philippines like most of the furniture being sold here in the US. Especially the Ikea brand headboards, cribs and shelving.  I also have a few older family acquaintances who plan to retire in the Philippines in 3 years time and would rather ship a few household items to the Philippines which naturally would not fit on a regular Balikbayan box. I’ve heard a few Filipino cargo forwarders offer relocation services and that’s when I started making calls.

I called Manila Freight Forwarders  asking about relocation services about getting an estimate. Their Relocation services is where you can rent and load a shipping container about 20 ft long or partially around  8x8ft space to move bigger items like furniture from US to Philippines.  This is part of their Balikbayan Relocation services.  Here is what I found:

  1. Cost is between $2500-4200 depending on size. There is a weight limit of sorts but I doubt anyone can max that. The container size is 20ft and some offer a smaller space of 8’x8’ ft which can fit a few household items and balikbayan boxes.
  1. On top of the $2500-4200 charge, there’s a delivery/pickup charge, loading charge & other taxes – because you need manpower to load all the stuff to a container – pretty much the size of a truck – so allocate at least $400-1000 more on said fees.
  1. Yes the items will be inspected by customs and will be taxed unless you are exempted under Section 105(1) of the Tariff and Customs Code,- its a bit of a read. And will work  better if you have Military Security Clearance.
  1. If your items do get taxed- especially for brand new items or electronics- that’s another cost you have to pay and it will be held hostage by wonderful Philippine Customs until all fees are settled.
  1. On a positive note: If you are planning to mail just a few items of furniture like table, headboards, crib, mountain bike – better have it disassembled/repackage or bring it in  NEW Box package form and ship it under a cargo company’s Odd size box fee. You will only probably pay $300-500 instead of thousands of dollars
  1. Yes you can ship a car from US to Manila —- the cost is pretty much that a of a brand new car or 2nd hand one (year older model or so)
  2.  You are responsible for securing, insuring and safely packaging fragile items.

It takes about 30-45 days from US to the Philippines (Manila) shipment timeframe plus 2-3 days for customs inspection and processing.

Bottom line .  You need at least $4500-6000 to relocate your whole life to the Philippines. You gotta be richhhhhhhh.

I’m linking a siteblog of one very successful Filipino family who used similar relocation services upon moving from the US Midwest to Visayas

Atlas Shipper also offers Cargo Relocation Service- so call your local representative  if you are interested in relocating to the Philippines.   And you can get tips about other success relocation stories from Expats forums relating to the Philippines

I do have a post coming up of me sending a stroller from the UK to the Philippines (Manila) Ill keep you guys updated on the status of that from start to finish.  Till the next post!



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