EMS Customs Office Process - Tips and Frustrations to prepare for

"Always settle for the 2nd highest or 2nd lowest, they might be fair and doing it right". 
A lesson learned indeed.

I ordered online from a China based ad posting site. Well I had no trouble using EMS before since my previous transaction was just some small (Gold Anti-Radiation Stickers) so I received the package quickly. But this time I ordered Batteries – 2 extended batteries with charger from the same site and had it shipped using EMS. Since EMS was cheaper I told myself. I’d give it two weeks to arrive.

So then two weeks had passed and I checked online where the package is. The seller had sent it 2 weeks ago, but the seller gave me 1 more free battery because he was late 2 days to process my order. (how nice of her). But my luck had ran out here in the PH, my package was held in the Customs office of EMS.

When I went to EMS’s office these were the tips given to me:
1.       EMS does not ship door to door delivery of big packages, not unless it is very important such as documents and valuable certificates. These are all that EMS ships as of today. If you use EMS you would have to pick it up from the Main office.
2.       If you are buying from abroad frequently shipped here, at least wait for it to reach 3 or 4 separate parcels, so when customs charges you certain taxes' they will only charge you one tax on all 3 or 4 items thus lowering your total custome tax compared to paying for each.
3.       If you are paying for only 1 item, expect that almost 45% of [the item cost + shipping cost] you will pay as customs tax.
4.       If you want a sure door to door delivery, use UPS or Fed-Ex or the likes, they are more expensive but they will surely deliver the package on your door step. And if you need to pay more, they can receive your payment when they come to deliver.
5.       Different items have different tax rates. Shoes are more expensive than bags, gadgets have lower tax rates and it's accessories have higher. Just search for the rates in text book laws.
6.       If you don’t claim your packages at the EMS customs office in over 3 months, the customs office will auction your item and sell it locally.

And by the way, since I had already read tons of bad mouth about EMS and it’s customs officers extorting money just to release your item, I wore a regular white shirt, shorts and put on an ID lace of a University, and true enough; since they perceived me as young, I had to pay less than other’s bill. One officer even told me that he was surprised to see that I only had to pay a low amount and that I should be happy. # Or maybe he was happy to see how much I was going to pay.

My Frustrations
1.       I live in Quezon City, and I had to pick it up at Pasay City!? This is an absolute inconvenience for me since I ‘am also working fulltime and has to be in the office the whole day. I tried to reason out with EMS's customer service hotline which takes 1.5 hours to get thru but they demand I go only to their Pasay main office.
2.       Why wouldn’t they just transfer the package to a Q.C. post office? There are even people I’ve talked to who came from Lipa Batangas!
3.       By the way I was at their office for 3.5 hours and one service personnel told me that it was a slow day that day.
4.       When I asked the – like the head of the customs assessment officers. She was like hysterical and mad about discussing and lecturing me about what taxes I needed to pay. Her way made it look like she knows stuff but at the same time can’t explain the computations and the breakdown of taxes I needed to pay.
5.       When I ask more questions they got more mad. I happen to be a Master’s Degree in Business Administration student and I can handle financial management cases quite well, and they seem to be mad as to how I ‘am challenging them with 20 questions. At one point, the officer explaining to me; I caught him lying because he changed his statement when I was clarifying some charges he was talking about earlier. Clearly he was either drunk that day or was just babbling anything about confusing stuffs. In his frustration he got up his chair and left the room. He must have felt – oops!
6.       Why are there employees seems to be doing just nothing? And why do these people deserve 15th month pays again!?
7.       I paid for exactly P2,223, for the item I purchased online. the EMS Customs office was charging me P1,200 after I demand for them to recompute, I ended up paying P990 only. (45%) of the price I paid I had to pay again as tax.

It’s a good thing that there are people who works there that are good people. If you ever come to their office talk to their men personels, they are nicer.
there's an highly armed guard at the door but they still have steel bars. I'm sure it's because people really want them dead because of their service.
Employees Pashal Pashal while people are waiting

Oopss!!! You Missed the PH! or PH  is just not considered.

take a look at the guy on the left, his face after learning he has to pay this customs officer tons of money for his package.


focus on the ceilings. if the ceiling colapses. EMS is not liable for your items.

there goes our tax money. the cage behind the blue tarp is their warehouse. it's not secured. and if it rains.. goodbye package.

what a lovely office they have.

Customs officer made a mistake writing down my tracking number. they must be drunk.

computation of what taxes I needed to pay. not written on a receipt - for magic magic purposes.

while I was waiting I cant help notice what they are doing in operations... OOOPPSS!! they're just eating while we wait for them to finish.

If this happened I wouldnt be here at the Pasay Office. I would be just in QC North Center. what progress they make.

Hope I can help those people who are lost and needs to track their shipping parcels. I integrated EMS's Tracking system in this blogsite of mine to help others who also like me was lost! in EMS's tracking system. The tracking system works! (tested for PH use) if not please re-check your tracking number or use other numbers given to you.

A typical EMS tracking number consists of 13 characters, starting with two letters, following by nine digits, ending with two letters. The tracking number can usually be found on the mailing label or receipt. If you are the receiver, you are advised to ask the sender for it.

SCROLL DOWN on the frame below slowly!!! USE/Input your Tracking Number at ~
POST/EMS(With USPS)and click Track!