Miramar’s The Perfect Storm, otherwise known as Zorah, the fourth fastest dog in the universe (by two-tenths of a second), died today. she was 17. she was a very good dog. 😢
so, i went down to pick up my HPOI this morning.
i didn’t have to spend three quarters of the day dealing with testy customs agents, indifferent import brokers, and recalcitrant shipping managers, and paying almost $500 to various people i had never heard of before, who had practically nothing to do with my shipment…
i arrived, was directed where to go, submitted two documents, had the lady scan my driver’s license, and then she gave me a piece of paper (with my scanned driver’s license on it), and told me to go “down the hall, to your left”, where i walked into a big wire cage. on the other side was a warehouse, full of wares. a friendly-looking guy with a grey beard under his mask, came up, asked to see my paperwork (😉), and then told me to pull around to the sally-port and he would meet me there. i backed my car up to the sally-port, and the guy came with a forklift, carrying three big boxes… i loaded them into my car, and drove away.
total elapsed time, LESS THAN 20 minutes.
total money that exchanged hands, $0.00!
it’s SO! MUCH! EASIER!! when i know what i’m doing, have done “the needful”, and have everything ready BEFORE i show up… 😎
and, i think i may have enough incense, now… 😉
so, here’s an interesting twist…
the people i have been talking to on the phone, at US customs (two different CBP air cargo officers, to date), have all been demanding two things: one, that the document they need to see is the “bill of lading”, and the commercial invoice and the master airway bill that i have are not good enough (pay attention to that last one, because it’s important), and, two, that the shipment be manifest in their system, which (allegedly) doesn’t happen until the flight leaves the ground, before they can even think about releasing it.
okay, “bills of lading” are for ocean cargo. if it’s air cargo, the “bill of lading” is called a…
wait for it…
“master airway bill” 🤦
so the broker i’ve been talking to (the one who cleared my shipment the last time) recommended, now that i actually have an email address for US customs air cargo, that instead of going at them on the phone (her precise words were “Customs does not have much patience, and if they have to read too much or explain too much they will just send you to a broker, as they are not obligated to clear low value shipments.”), i should just send them the MAWB and the commercial invoice, with the flight information, and ask them to clear it “under section 321”. so i did.
half an hour later, this was their response:
> Please be advised that AWB 125-91897142, arriving today 3/19/21 on BA49, has been entered and released.
they got the date wrong. this is not for a shipment arriving TODAY, it is for a shipment arriving SUNDAY… 🤦🤦
because of the fact that they actually GOT the master airway bill number correct, i SHOULD BE able to bypass customs on sunday, and just go pick up my shit.
and the broker agrees.
so, come sunday, one of two things will happen. either:
one, i go down to WWFS, pay them their cut, and pick up my shit, or…
two, i go down to WWFS, get the run around, leave, come back on monday (after having talked with a CBP officer on sunday about why their release wasn’t actually a release), and have to pay them their cut PLUS a 24-hour storage fee, before i can pick up my shit.
i pray to the incense god that it’s going to be the first option, because i really don’t have the energy for the second.
ETA: it’s not arriving sunday, it’s arriving TONIGHT! (which is why they got the date “wrong”… it turns out mr. joy gave me the wrong date). because of the fact that it’s already been cleared through customs, AND i have beat the rush (and the $36 extra charge for paying them in person, using CASH ONLY 😒) by paying my ISC online, i can go down FIRST THING TOMORROW and pick it up without incurring extra fees whatsoever!! WOOT!! 😎
the HPOI have left india, and are now in london. their estimated departure from london is 210319 14:25Z, and their scheduled arrival time is 210321 17:25PDT.
i’ve been on the phone since 9:00 am (it’s 11:00 am, now) and talked with two different customs agents, and four different… i don’t know what they’re called, but they work for US customs, WWFS, and british airways cargo service, and they are PARTICULARLY annoying… and i’ve FINALLY gotten someone who understands that i’m trying to avoid extra storage fees, understands that the US customs office is closed on sunday, AND has the ability to find, and send me the document (the bill of lading) that US customs says doesn’t exist in their system. as soon as that happens, the shipment can be cleared through customs before COB friday, so that i can pick it up sunday and avoid the additional storage fees! 👍
not only that, but i’ve got their name, phone number, email address and physical address, so if they DON’T send me the bill of lading in a timely fashion, i can, physically, go down there and STRANGLE them and STILL have all the paperwork before the US customs office closes for the weekend. 😈
as soon as i have the bill of lading, i can do everything but FORCE the customs flunkies to clear the shipment, in spite of the fact that they, pretty clearly, couldn’t give a flying fuck whether or not i will EVER be able to pick up my shipment.
the HPOI is leaving bangalore tomorrow. it arrives in seattle on…
and, because of the fact that it doesn’t leave until tomorrow, the people at US customs won’t even TALK to me, because my shipment isn’t in their system yet… despite the fact that i’ve got ALL the paperwork they want, plus a “Certificate of Insurance” which they didn’t ask for, but they want anyway. <grumble, mutter> 😒