The Department of Trade and Industry in the Philippines has placed 43 sea freight shippers on its blacklist this year. The blacklisting comes in wake of excessive complaints lodged against the companies – mainly due to non-delivery.
“The DTI’s Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau listed these erring freight forwarders to prevent consumers from patronizing their services. The advisory also cited the 54 foreign freight forwarders and consolidators from Asia, Australia, Europe, Middle East and the United States that have pending complaints pertaining to balikbayan boxes,” said Trade Undersecretary Victorio Mario A Dimagiba.
The non-delivery of balikbayan boxes, or packages from mostly migrant Filipino workers, usually occurs when foreign consolidators or principal sea freight forwarders do not remit a portion of their collected charges to their accredited Philippine agents and local sea freight forwarders to prompt the release and delivery of the boxes.
“When the necessary funds are not remitted to accredited Philippine agents and 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 and recipients,” Dimagiba explained.
“Unfortunately, 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 the revocation of accreditation of Steadfast Air-Sea International Inc. for abandoning shipment consigned to it,” he said.
The DTI-FTEB is currently implementing an accreditation process for freight forwarding companies. As of January 9 this year, the agency has issued accreditation certificates to 664 sea freight forwarders, of which 57 are also engaged in handling balikbayan box shipments.
“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,” Dimagiba said.