You can now send your OFS gifts from Amazon!
The Philippines has been able to order from Amazon for decades, but my OFS has never recommended it before because shipping is expensive, and the options are limited.
But Amazon recently commissioned several local courier companies for their last mile, lowering shipping costs. Amazon now offers free shipping to the Philippines for orders of more than $49 on selected items.
Another reason why sending something from Amazon is better now is that the Philippines’ Bureau of Customs (BoC) is more transparent about its rules regarding Amazon packages. They’ve been sending this information out on the news and on social media to encourage Filipinos to order from Amazon. This move from the BoC also helps to “clean up” their image.
The Bureau of Customs guidelines regarding Amazon deliveries is that you won’t run into any taxes or fees as long as the total cost of your package is less than 10,000 Philippine pesos.
If the item costs more than 10,000 pesos, you must pay taxes and duties.
This video interview explains the process in greater detail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiUyw0fqgYA
If you want to know how much the customs duties, taxes and fees will be, Amazon will give you an estimate and add it to your cost but this doesn’t apply to all items.
You still shouldn’t send anything considered regulated or restricted, like CDs, electronics or medication, or anything perishable.
We’re still unsure how fast these delivery times will be or if certain shipments will still pass through the Philippine Postal system. One of my OFS bought something on Black Friday. His purchase was shipped under AmazonGlobal Standard Shipping, and it arrived on December 8, which is fast.
However, when his package arrived, there was a suspiciously large tear on the box.
He bought a bunch of books, which might be why whoever was looking into his package lost interest.
So if you’re going to do this, don’t send your OFS anything that looks expensive or easy to sell.
It’s probably too late for something to arrive before Christmas, but even if it arrives in January, your OFS will still appreciate it.