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!! 😎