Wednesday, April 11, 2018

First Time Claiming An International Parcel at The Philippines Post Office + What Are The Requirements and How Much Is The Fee

I recently ordered something online from a U.S. Brand. And if you are a frequent online shopper, you know that it's either you use a shipping courier to consolidate your U.S. online orders, pay additional fees to ship it straight to your local home address (like My Shopping Box). That is if the shop does not ship to international addresses. However, there are brands based in other countries that offer global shipping and you take advantage of it for two reasons: (1) Could be because they offer free shipping with minimum purchase and real time tracking or; (2) You just don't want to spend extra for utilizing third party shipping couriers.

However, buying stuff overseas could incur additional duties and taxes. Sometimes, if you're unfortunate, you might be asked to pay more or less than the amount of your total purchase. Yup, that happens. I remember a few years back when I ordered a face brush from Ebay which only cost less than P50 and when my father claimed it, he told me he was asked to pay for P112 for tax! That's even double the price of my item! No joke! It made me realize that if I am to buy overseas, it should be more than what the custom people would demand so I won't be at a loss.

When my parcel arrived at the Valenzuela Post Office and I was notified, I got really scared. I know it could happen but I had to turn a blind eye. I also had to claim it because my parcel amount to almost $180 and que horror it would be if the post office people would overcharge me!

Few things to remember when claiming your parcel:
  • You will know when your parcel arrived at the nearest post office near your place when you receive a notification card (picture above). Be mindful of the information printed on it like your personal information together with the days and time you are supposed to claim your item.
  • Bring a valid I.D. for verification purposes.
  • Custom people have the right to inspect/open the parcel (which didn't happen to me).
  • You'll be asked for a fee so they can release the parcel to you. I believe it depends on the post office you are assigned. Other people would say it depends on the total cost of your items but again, mine's almost $180 and I was only asked for P112! Score!
  • You'll be asked to sign at least a couple of documents (one is on the back of the notification card and one on a log book) and will provide your receipt.
  • Inspect your item and go in peace (if you don't have any complaints)! :P

Here's what's attached on my box upon claiming!

My Experience...

Valenzuela post office is a total mess inside. Parcels are everywhere and maybe other post offices are like that. The room isn't air-conditioned for a fuss-free visit and I pity the ones who are working there especially the guy who assisted me. He was really nice and accommodating to think that Adrian and I arrived a couple hours before the scheduled time. This is because we just finished renewing my Police Clearance Card from the nearby City Hall. Since we're just around the area, we were trying to figure out where the heck was post office located and Google Map told us it's just a few walks away. It was indicated that claiming time should be around 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM but we were assisted almost immediately.

We were too early so that explains why there are a few people (Adrian and I and another lady) who are about to claim some parcels. The process was very quick (the guy didn't open my parcel nor overcharge me) and I didn't expect I'll pay less than the amount I'm paying when I use shipping companies to ship my parcel straight to my doorstep. Going to Valenzuela Post Office isn't much of a hassle because it's not too far and I only had to pay approximately P32 for transportation back and forth.


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