Senders of balikbayan (personal effects) boxes should avoid dealing with 43 disreputable freight forwarders subject of complaints from shippers and consignees for non-delivery of such boxes, cautioned the Department of Trade and Industry-Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (DTI-FTEB).
DTI-FTEB in its latest advisory also cited 54 foreign freight forwarders and consolidators from Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and U.S. that have pending complaints.
The FTEB, a DTI-Consumer Protection Group (CPG) line bureau, said the non-delivery of balikbayan boxes usually occurs when foreign consolidators and principal sea freight forwarders do not remit a portion of their collected charges to their accredited Philippine agents or local sea freight forwarders so as to prompt the release and delivery of the boxes.
“When necessary funds are not remitted to accredited Philippine agent/local freight forwarders, the shipment or the balikbayan boxes with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will not be released and will not be delivered to consignees/recipients,” DTI-CPG Undersecretary Atty. Victorio Mario Dimagiba said.
“Unfortunately, the DTI-FTEB records show that some incidents of undelivered balikbayan boxes involved freight forwarding companies with accreditation. Thus, we have already revoked the accreditation of D’Winner Logistics Phils. Inc. and Globalnet International Freight, Inc. and currently seeking for revocation of accreditation of Steadfast Air-Sea International Incorporated for, together with its licensed Customs Broker/Mr. Victorino C. Guilles, Jr., abandoning shipment consigned to it,” Dimagiba added.
The DTI-FTEB is the office that implements an accreditation scheme for sea freight forwarders, replacing the Philippine Shipper’s Bureau last year under the DTI’s rationalization plan.
As of January 9, DTI-FTEB has issued accreditation certificates to 664 sea freight forwarders, of which 57 also handle balikbayan box shipments.
Dimagiba stressed that the accreditation scheme “helps professionalize the freight forwarding industry and the DTI will continue to strictly implement its criteria to weed out those companies that are not qualified to engage in this business.”
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