If you have friends family or a loved one living in the Philippines you will probably find it necessary to send mail or packages to them. There are few things that you will need to know and consider before sending mail and packages to the Philippines.

Like any other international shipments made outside the U.S. shipping a package to the Philippines may make it subject to Philippine Customs examination. You will want to check whether duties and taxes will need to be paid. And you may be required to fill out customs forms to list the contents and value of your shipment.

There are several options available for delivering mail and packages to the Philippines. Cost; time it takes for your package to be delivered; guaranteed delivery; ability to track your package; size and weight of your package are some things to consider when selecting between the options.

United States Postal Service

Out of the various options for delivery of your mail or packages to the Philippines the United States Postal Service is the least expensive is very convenient in most cases. For regular mail you can send a letter postcard or greeting card with a first class stamp. For packages you will need to visit your local post office or https://www.usps.com/ for international requirements and rates.

Prohibited items in the Philippines as posted on the USPS website include: coffee (in any form); coins currency notes or securities travelers' checks platinum gold or silver precious stones and other valuable articles; lottery tickets or circulars; ammunitions firearms and weapons including replicas of weapons; gambling devices; certain liquids or easily liquefiable items; certain glass and similarly fragile articles; perishable infectious biological substances; perishable noninfectious biological substances; and radioactive materials.

The United States Postal Service delivers mail and packages to the Philippines but it is the Philippine Postal Service that will physically deliver the mail or package. It is recommended that any letter that contains checks or other negotiable instruments be sent by Registered Mail or other shipping service like FedEx or DHL. Never send money checks or money orders through regular mail service as they are often stolen from letters and cards.

The recipient may be asked to pay a fee for opening and inspecting the letter or package. Delivery time through the postal service can take 2 to 6 weeks and may not be suitable for important or time sensitive documents. This service is ideal for mailing letters postcards books and photographs.


UPS is more expensive than the postal service but it is less expensive than FedEx or DHL. Delivery times are faster than the postal service and you are provided with a tracking number to track your package. This service is good for the price conscious and is ideal for larger packages. UPS has retail locations and you can schedule a pick up. This service is recommended for larger packages or packages with a higher value. Go to UPS web site at http://www.ups.com/ for rates requirements and tracking packages.


DHL is more expensive than using postal service or UPS but their delivery times are quick and they maintain control of your shipment until it is delivered to the recipient. Shipments can be tracked via computer. DHL will pick up your shipment. This service is recommended for important or time sensitive documents. Go to DHL web site at http://www.dhl-usa.com/en.html for rates requirements and tracking packages.


FedEx is more expensive than the other international shipping companies. Delivery times are quick and reliable. FedEx maintains control of the packages until they are delivered to the recipient. This service is recommended for important or time sensitive documents. FedEx has numerous locations and you can schedule a pick up for your package. Go to FedEx web site at http://www.fedex.com/us/ for rates requirements and tracking packages.

Balikbayan Box

A Balikbayan box can be used to ship items by air or sea and is used by various forwarding and shipping companies. This is a great service for shipping heavier items. You can ship just about anything in this type of box as long as it is within guidelines of Customs. These boxes come in different commonly used sizes: regular size is 23-by-17-by-20 inches medium is 24-by-18-by-24 inches and jumbo is 30-by-20-by-20 inches.

There is no weight limit if you are shipping the box by sea. However if you wish to send it by air you will have to pay the standard fee plus any charges for excess weight. Delivery times are very slow and can take up to 90 days by sea. Shipping by air is much faster as the recipient could receive the package when the airplane arrives.

Costs for this service varies by the company and you may be required to purchase the boxes from the shipping company.

Reference: United States Postal Service, UPS, DHL and FedEx

Disclaimer: The contents of this post were accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing. Immigration is constantly changing, and old information often becomes outdated, including procedures, timelines, prices, and more. Take note of the publish date. For archival purposes, these posts will remain published, even if new information renders them obsolete. Do not make important life decisions based on this content. No part of this post should be considered legal advice, as RapidVisa is not a law firm. This content is provided free of charge for informational purposes only. If anything herein conflicts with an official government website, the official government website shall prevail.

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