Saturday, September 20, 2008

Final Customs Information

I don't remember everything I said about that customs mess over the past few months. But I will recap, now that I have 20/20 vision about the whole thing.

1. Customs were, by and large, very helpful and friendly people.
2. DHL was, by and large, fucking idiots who made the whole experience 20x harder than it needed to be.
3. Shipping by EMS is fairly safe. Shipping by FedEx and UPS can be risky. Shipping by DHL is suicide.
4. If you call customs, and are put on hold, you get an ad for DHL. That says something.
5. If your declaration is 20 Communication Devices, you may be OK. If it says 1 Bluetooth, your screwed.
6. My package sat at customs because DHL would not provide the proper paperwork.
7. DHL kept asking me for documents and licenses that did not exist. Mainly because they did not know what the hell they were talking about.
8. I authorized DHL to remove ONE Bluetooth device from the box. They removed 13+... and left several behind.
9. Even though there were technically several violations in the box, customs did not care. 100% of this mess was because of DHL.
10. Because the declaration said "Bluetooth", DHL wanted me to provide an "Authorization License" because BlueTooth is copyrighted and Trademarked... both the name, and the logo. The problem was, they would not say that. They just kept saying "License to Import" without telling what License they actually wanted.
11. After I lost all those phones, I finally found the link (a little buried) on the Bluetooth website that I could sign my company up as an Authorized Bluetooth Reseller. I have since signed my company up, and I also requested signed documentation via mail. This is all anybody wanted. It was quick and easy.
13. It is OK to call up various customs offices and ask for help and information. They were so willing to help. Unfortunately, no one could actually do anything to really help. However, I did receive more help from customs than DHL.
14. Never put more in one shipment than I am willing to loose. So, if my safe number is $500, then anything more than that, I will put into another box and ship seprately. This obviously cost more, but I feel that 5 boxes at an extra $68 is worth more to me, than 1 box, save $68, but risk getting $3000 stopped for 2 months.

Ok, I have droned on about this topic more than enough for the past 2 months. It is time to move on.

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