List of Prohibited Items in a Balikbayan Box

If you are planning to send a package or Balikbayan box to the Philippines, it is important that you are aware of the items that are prohibited when sending via air cargo or sea cargo. This is to avoid going back and forth your house or buying gifts only to find out that it’s not allowed. This will also help you prepare your things before going to the courier.

Related Articles: List of Taxable Items via Air Cargo

Prohibited Items in Balikbayan Boxes to the Philippines

We tried to send a package to our hometown in the Philippines via airplane but we had some issues because some items included wristwatches. According to LBC, this is one of the items that are not allowed when sending via air. They advised us to send it via sea cargo shipping instead which would take up to 60 days depending on the location.

For your reference, here’s a list of items that  are not allowed via sea cargo shipping or air cargo shipping to the Philippines. This list is taken from LBC in Karama.

balikbayan box prohibited items

Items Not Allowed via Air Cargo

Delivery Arrival: 3-7 days from date of dispatch

  • Money/forged/duplicated currencies
  • Jewelry – Gold, Silver, Branded Watches
  • Batteries – AA/AAA, 9 volts, all types of battery
  • Bulk liquid items
  • Engines
  • Medicine – vitamins and supplements
  • Gas Stoves
  • Generators
  • Imitations – fake bags, electronics, watches et.c
  • Vehicle parts
  • Perfume products, body sprays
  • Pesticides/insecticides
  • Cigarettes/Tobacco/Cigar
  • Common acceptable items sent via air cargo:
  • Any form of liquid such as toiletries (lotion, toothpaste, cream, shampoo) are acceptable within a maximum of 3 pieces as long as they are properly packed. Fancy accessories and watches for kids, foods such as chocolates, chips, spreads are also acceptable.

As a general rule, items that are not allowed via air cargo are allowed via sea cargo. But there are still items that are prohibited via sea. Here’s a list:

Items Not Allowed via Sea Cargo

Delivery Arrival: 30-60 days from date of sailing

  • 3 layers of fishing nets
  • Crude ivory and rhinoceros horn
  • Gambling items/machines (playing cards, etc)
  • All other products prohibited by UAE customs laws or any other laws in the country
  • Narcotic drugs
  • Tires/Reconditioned Tires
  • Cooked/home-made food/food that will spoil
  • Original engravings, prints, lithographs sculpture and statues
  • Products imported coming from boycotted countries
  • Products from Israel or products that have Israeli trademarks and logos
  • Money/forged/duplicated currencies
  • Poisonous materials
  • Radiation polluted substances
  • Printed publications, stony sculptures, mannequins contrary to Islamic teachings
  • Products that will spoil
  • Pirated CDs/ACDs
  • Products made from pork
  • Gas and other flammable items
  • infectious substances
  • corrosives
  • Radioactive materials
  • Cigarettes/Tobacco/Cigar


You can contact LBC Customer care here – 800-035702444. Their website is

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