From Australia to PH: How to Pack and Send Balikbayan Box via LBC Express - Sea Freight

balikbayan box from Melbourne to the Philippines
Hello everyone, and hello internet!

Can you believe we are now enjoying December and a few more days and we will bid goodbye for this tough year and hope the year 2021 is much better.

For today’s blog, I would like to share with you how to send the famous balikbayan box from Australia to the Philippines. I still couldn’t believe that I’m now a member of the expats who send the balikbayan box back to the Philippines, and I find it so exciting especially my husband who helped me so much in each boxing preparation.

Actually, he is more excited each time the Kuya (from Traralgon) picked-up our balikbayan box and sends it to Melbourne for shipment.

Disclaimer: This is #NotSponsoredPost, pero Hello, LBC! #BakaNaman!

What is a Balikbayan Box?
A balikbayan box is similar to a homecoming gift from abroad. However, this term is derived from many OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) worldwide – balikbayan (means returning home). 

Sending balikbayan box is a privilege given by the Philippine government to many Filipinos abroad who want to send gifts to their families back to the Philippines. Hence, these balikbayan boxes are tax-free, provided that each box will not exceed the amount limits, and only sending allowable items to the country.
Balikbayan box items must not be commercial. Clearly, for personal or family use only.

Balikbayan Box Courier Agents
You can get a balikbayan box to any courier or logistics company. Here in Melbourne, there are at least 5 to 6 logistics company who caters balikbayan box to the Philippines, however, I personally use the LBC Express services.

How much is LBC Balikbayan Box from Australia to the Philippines?
You can get LBC Balikbayan box to any Filipino Stores around Australia. Here in Melbourne, I usually get my boxes at Manila’s Best Filipino store located in Cranbourne, or I contact our local Kuya who is a contractor logistic of LBC Express and delivered straight to our house in Warragul. 
Each balikbayan box costs AUD$10.00 each and comes with a receipt and packing list. Tracking Number is also written in the packing list for convenient monitoring of your packages. 

Aside from the box, you will also pay the shipping fee depends on the destination of your packages. 
From Melbourne Australia to Legazpi City, Albay Philippines, I paid AUD$110.00.

balikbayan box from Melbourne to the Philippines
Here is the sample of the LBC Express packing list and receipt that I used when I sent my first balikbayan box back in July 2020, bound to Legazpi City Albay.

What items you can pack/include in your balikbayan box?
Ideally, you can pack anything that you want to send to your family, that you know they will enjoy. Typically, these items are clothes (including bags, shoes, accessories), homeware stuff, kitchen stuff, groceries, blankets, toys, etc. Anything that you can fit inside the box, but make sure that the quantities are not deemed commercial or for sale (meaning 20 items and above). 

Although I did send heaps of secondhand/outgrown clothes to my family for my nieces and nephews, those are non-commercial.

Make sure that your items will not exceed to allowable Php150,000 worth of Tax-free. Check the terms and conditions here. 

The following items are prohibited inside every balikbayan box sent by Filipinos overseas to consignees/recipients in the Philippines.

Alcoholic beverages
Dismantled Auto Parts (Chop chop)
Cultural artifacts and pottery
Dog and cat fur
Firearms, Explosives & Guns, including parts of
Food products such as cheese, meat
Hazardous Materials
Trophies, gold, Haitian
Meats, Livestock, and poultry
Merchandise from embargoed countries
Textiles (roll)
Trademarked and copyrighted articles
Fluids and Perishable food items
Automobiles (any parts)
Ceramic tableware
Defense articles or items with military or proliferation applications
Prohibited drugs and drug paraphernalia
Fish and wildlife
Fruits and vegetables
Game and hunting
Animal hide drums
Pets, plants and seed, soils
Used clothing or shoes of commercial quantity (Ukay-ukay in bales/boxes)
Pornographic Materials
Pirated items (DVD, VCD, tapes, etc)

You may also check Section 101 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines for more information on prohibited items to enter the country. 


balikbayan box from Melbourne to the Philippines

balikbayan box from Melbourne to the Philippines

I diligently wrapped these secondhand wooden toys for my nephews in order to protect them from moisture. 

Use blankets and place them at the bottom of your box then place all the heavy items first, in the middle section you can place all breakable items (provided to packed and protect them with bubble wraps), then on the top section, you can place all lightweight items. 

balikbayan box from Melbourne to the Philippines
If you don’t have bubble wraps, you can use clothes to wrap your breakable items, or use plush toys as cushions! Packing is a challenge and thus takes patience and time to arrange them safe and secured. Make sure that you protect all inside corners and maximize all the spaces. 

Make sure that you neatly arranged the items, and do not create any deformation or bulging of the LBC Express balikbayan box. You can tape every corner of the box for added protection.

How many times you can send a balikbayan box to the Philippines?
You can send up to 3 times per annual. For example, I sent one (1) balikbayan box last July 2020, then two (2) balikbayan boxes last October 2020. Technically, I am still allowed to send a balikbayan box for my 3rd shipment this year. 

balikbayan box from Melbourne to the Philippines

How long will it take to send the Balikbayan box to the Philippines?
Depends on the destination, the balikbayan box takes 40 to 60days of point-to-point delivery. In my case, my box origin is from Melbourne and my destination is Legazpi City Philippines which took almost 60days!

Our reliable Kuya from Traralgon VIC, picks-up our boxes and deliver them straight to the warehouse in Melbourne. 

Using the LBC Express tracking system, you can monitor your package anytime, similar to what I did when I sent my first balikbayan box last July 2020.

balikbayan box from Melbourne to the Philippines
Please note that I am using Sea Freight, and not the Air Freight for a practical reason. However, you can track your air freight packages using the same tracking system. 

Is LBC Express Reliable?
There is no perfect courier, and I can only share my opinions based on my experiences. I have been using LBC Express to send money and packages when I’m still in the Philippines, and I got ZERO issues and delays. That is why I am confident enough to use LBC Express now that I am living here in Australia. My first balikbayan box shipment back in July 2020 goes smoothly, and they delivered it straight to my Mother’s house. Apart from a few scratches and dust (those are due to the occasional hazard) my balikbayan box arrived safe, with no breakage, box is not damaged, and completely sealed.

I also like how transparent LBC Express deals with its customers. Their packing list is simple and concise, gives you a provisional receipt and you can easily track your packages anytime. 
Overall, I feel safe and confident as well that LBC Express will take care of my boxes and making sure that it will arrive in my family with a happy face.

LBC Express is a Filipino-owned company, and best to support a Pinoy brand. 

If you have any questions about sending the balikbayan box, please leave your comments below!

Share this:


  1. I used to send balkbayan boxes to Philippines before when I was working in Saudi Arabia. It's really challenging to pack everything in one box making sure that they will not be damaged during the transport. I trust LBC, I think they are one of the most reputable cargo carrier not just in the Phils but in the world.

    1. Packing is challenging but I like it! I find it so much fun :)
      Some had a bad experience with LBC from the delivery end, but I haven't experienced any bad news.

  2. Yung ate ko sa Singapore kadarating lang din ng balikbayan box niya dito last week. HEHE parang ang saya nga magpadala ng ganyan lalo pag magpapasko. Parang regalo mo na sa family mo :) LBC din pala gamit niya :)

    1. Nalilibang ako mag-pack! Si hubby naman enjoy na nakikita niya yung progress ng packing at supportive naman siya.
      Balikbayan box is also a great way to send my outgrown items from Australia to the Philippines.

  3. I’m sure your relatives here in the philippines will be delighted to receive your balikbayan boxes!!! I mean just look at all those goodies!!

    1. Hahaha yeah mostly for my sister, nieces and nephews!

  4. Sobrang helpful neto lalo na sa mga OFW. Dapat talaga magaling mag pack para masulit ang shipping fee.

  5. I didn't know balikbayan boxes are tax-free! Nice!!! That way, many people will be encouraged to send something to their loved ones! I also didn't know LBC is Filipino-owned! Yay!! So happy to see that they operate worldwide! :) I'm excited for your family in Legazpi to receive your new balikabayan box padala! :)

  6. Wow- packing up a balikbayan box is definitely like how I pack up our suitcases for travel. My jewelry and shampoos are sandwiched between the clothes and I also do it with japanese canned tuna plus the chocolates that I check in. hahaha!

    1. That is true! I will share what are the practical items to send from Australia to the Philippines, and how to avoid damages of the boxes.

  7. What I'm trying to figure out is the most affordable way to send gifts to my bosses and my fellow staff in Geelong, hehe! But it's good to know they have balikbayan options where you are.
    I'll ask my SIL if they have that same tax free privilege if she sends from Texas cause there's a lot I want to buy online but need someone to put them together and send them to me. :)

    1. Sending mail or packages anywhere going to Australia, is truly a pain and so expensive!

  8. iba talaga ang pinoy ano pag magpapadala ng balikbayan box. naalala ko kahit nun nasa US ako, grabe gapuno ko din box kada sulok sik sik ng siksik.. ito nga now waiting ako ng box from my aunt na merong akong mga stuff. pati yung sa bff ko naman mga stuff naman ni coco. and pag kayo mga nasa abroad nakapagpadala, yung fulfillment niyo ano?

    1. yes, and the moment our box was picked-up, maluwag sa pakirandam.

  9. Hello! do you need a Bureau of Customs declaration form pa when sending balikbayan boxes thru LBC? may form na binigay sa amin kung saan ililista lahat ng items plus declared value. We're also planning to send watches and phones din sana, hopefully safe at no duties and taxes?

    1. Hello Kay!

      If you will use LBC Express for your balikbayan box, LBC agent will give you a packing list form (see my photo above). That is where you will list-down all your items. Make sure that all are for personal use or gift for families. No large quantities as higher than 20pcs. (except kung second-hand clothes). Sending phones, and other gadgets are okay basta for personal use at few quantity (like less than 3 para sigurado).

      As long as your total declared value is less than Php10,000 means pasok yan sa no duties and taxes.

  10. Hi! May I know the contact number of the lovely kuya from Traralgon? I've always wanted to send a box but never knew how to. Salamat for posting!

  11. I have been sending balikbayan box through a company I used to trust only to find out after careful examining na may mga items na nawawala. Example, I sent used rubber shoes 9 pcs and 2 leather shoes mga gamit na ito. Only 2 arrived, akala ko nalilito lang ako but now found out nawala talaga. I don't know if Customs in the Philippines are to be blamed on this as there was a news before na nagbubukas sila ng boxes, katwiran nila dapat i tax yun mga padala. E na tax na yun where it came from di ba? so palusot lang nila yun. I am so disappointed kasi kung magpapadala ako ng keso, 7 piraso, 2 lang nakakarating. Hair trimmer supposedly xmas gift sa mga pamangkin hindi rin nakarating. So I thought of trying LBC dahil sabi ng brother ko nagbabala si Pres. Duterte na pag binuksan pa ulit LBC??? box e malilintikan ang Customs. Not sure if this is accurate news. Disappointed and lost which company to use. Please advide

    1. I'm sorry that some of your items are taken from you.

      I've tried LBC balikbayan box services twice na, and I haven't experienced (yet) any issues. Upon arrival to the recipient, I asked them to take pictures side-by-side and check if it was deliberately opened. Fortunately, dumating naman na okay lahat.

      What I heard about LBC is that they have their own logistic employees, meaning not subcontractors which avoids the lost issues. But there are places that they subcontract the delivery. Maybe that also happens to other logistic services.

      Customs in the Philippines can open our boxes when their x-ray machine detects something suspicious and not declared properly, pero dapat walang mawawala.

      What I did is I only sent items na hindi mahal ang value, para (just in case something happen) hindi masakit sa bulsa. If I know that there are similar items naman available sa Pinas, I rather send money instead para dun na lang bilhin.

      Maybe you can try getting the contact number of the LBC warehouse na malapit sa padadalhan mo. That way, you can also monitor the end delivery :)

  12. Hi. I just wanna clarify, kasi on your blog you said, "Make sure that your items will not exceed to allowable Php150,000 worth of Tax-free." While on one of your comments, you mentioned "Php10,000". I am confused which is which. And is it the maximum amount per box or per transaction/shipment? For example, I would need to send two boxes to one address (for all my relatives). How does this amounts apply?

    1. Hi!

      Based on the current BOC policy, the maximum allowable tax-free goods balikbayan box shipment is up to Php150,000 per year.

      I mentioned about Php10,000 coz this is for each balikbayan box, in order to become tax-free. You see, just because there is a maximum allowable cost of goods to become tax-free, doesn't mean we have to maximize it.

      Just to be safe, that's why I mentioned Php10,000 per box.

      You can send 2 boxes in one shipment (I did that too recently!), and each box I declared 'below Php10,000' declared value in order to become tax-free. Contents of my boxes are mostly household goods and secondhand gifts and (in good faith) I see the value as below Php10,000.

      However, if you valued your boxes above Php10,000 - LBC office will ask for your insurance fees.
      Our LBC guy here suggested that just keep it below Php10,000 :)

  13. Hello ask ko lang po bakit until now wala pa rang balikbayan box na padala ng sister ko. Last August 5 pa yon nong kinuha sa bahay nila. Galing po sa Australia Adelaide. Bakit hangganngayon wakpa rinag

    1. Hi!

      Best to call LBC hotline 1-800-522-0000 for follow-up. My latest balikbayan packages was pickup here in my place last August 24. I inquire to LBC hotline, and said that my boxes are already loaded to cargo last 1st week of September, and the ship will depart Melbourne this 1st week of October.

      May malaking delays ngayon due to COVID. Dumalang na transaction going in and out of Australia, kasala na yung kakulangan nga mga drivers to pick-up and deliver. Konting patience lang dear!
      Babalik rin sa dati kapag wala ng COVID.

  14. My tita is from Australia. taon taon ko po iniintay yung balikbayan box sobrang na eexcite ako araw araw ko din chinicheck sa lbc kung nasan na yung package hahhahahha until now wala pa din po.

    1. Hahaha, kalma ka lang! Na-extend ang delays ngayon ng cargo shipping. Yung dating 2-months, naging 3-months na due to COVID. Basta makarating ng safe, okay lang.

  15. Hi there! what was the average weight of your shipments? I'm trying to understand the difference in the rates from shipping AUS-MNL and MNL-AUS. I will be availing of their services, but I will be shipping from Manila to SYD.

    1. Average weight of my balikbayan box content goes to 50kgs to 60kgs. I haven't tried sending from PH to Australia.


DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any partner brands/company(s), beauty & lifestyle brands, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities, unless specified.
Copyright © For Urban Women - Awarded Top 100 Urban Blog / Fashion, Lifestyle and Travel. Designed by OddThemes