Sorry, I wasn’t able to follow up on the previous post. I honestly forgot and got busy.
We went all the way to the DHL office in Pasay. We were so exhausted in the ride. We were greeted courteously and we made our inquiries politely (my dad suggested we do it this way, he use to be high up in DTI). We might not be able to get our package if we tried to scream at them and choke their necks with a sleeper hold. So we waited patiently for a representative from DHL to assist us. The following conversation took place:
“Kayo po si …,ung package galing hongkong?” (Are you …[my friend’s name], the one with the package from Hongkong?)
“Yup, inquire lng nmin bkit ang mahal nung value na bngay ng customs e may resibo kami na 100 dollars lng yan” (Yup, we were just inquiring why customs overvalued the product when we had a receipt?)
“Mam, kasi po, madaming 18 karat gold” (Mam, you have a lot of items with 18 karat gold)
Oh we were laughing! We bought spinoffs and cheap fashion jewelry! And get this, the appraising was done by a well-experienced customs official! Oh that was so funny. All our anger vanished, customs officials actually admitted that they were “well experienced” and that they valued spinoffs as 18 karat gold. The DHL official gave us no names as to who appraised it and how.
My friend insisted for a custom’s official. I wasn’t there at the room but she told me something I’ve seen hundreds of times at a government office and even in government hospitals. It’s what I call a TELENOVELA scene. A superior comes up to the erring party and consoles the complainant. She reprimanded the erring official (no names, they are very strict with names!) and starts to offer the complainant a deal. My friend, convinced that that was all there was to it and consoled by the superior, immediately accepts the deal. No legal matters were discussed, no complaints filed, its a lot of BS going on there! It sucked that I wasn’t in the room. The deal was 100 dollars off the damn overvalued price. I asked why my friend accepted such a deal? Para matapos na ( So I can get on with it). We were waiting for hours. The customs entertained us at about 6 pm. She was glad to have the items but overpaid for them. She got duped into the telenovela scene.
We were able to gather our losses when all the items were sold. However, BOC still got 200 dollars of our money. Oh we got a receipt. And we weren’t the only ones who had experienced it this way. Apparently from what I gather the BOC stations themselves on large shipping carriers and waits for packages that are labeled purchases. If you declare them as gifts or personal effects, they wouldn’t care. Purchases are another matter to them. I don’t know how they re-value the items but their ‘experienced’ appraisers are doubtful at best.
We had 2 other complainants there at the DHL office in Pasay. They had the same problem with the BOC!
And just to prove all the statements I have placed here: We made two more international purchases and we told our suppliers the problem. They both shipped the items as gifts/personal effects and sent them without using the major carriers FedEx or DHL. They used DepEx (a singapore company) and LBC. The more unknown to the BOC, the better. Also they used euros and yen as values to hide the US dollar conversion.
Guess what? The two other shipments were BASICALLY IGNORED! And this time we shipped to the tune of 200 dollars per package. NO TAX was imposed! “Only in the Philippines,” this was the statement from both suppliers.