Last week, I said I’d pick up the last of my necessary parts — that week. But they still weren’t ready for pickup on Friday, nor the following Monday, nor Tuesday. They were ready Wednesday, but I couldn’t reserve a truck until today, Friday.
To make a long story short, today I learned that once you try to import more than $3,000 worth of stuff–an amount I had always been under in the past–you can’t clear US customs without engaging the services of a customs broker. Not unless you are willing to handle the small mountain of paperwork required yourself, which requires access to certain publications, and quite a lot of procedural knowledge.
I hate paperwork.
I had just enough time to find a customs broker at the industrial complex where my parts are sitting. He was really happy to meet me. He has set me up with seventeen pages of forms to fill out so he can act as my agent to fill out dozens more pages. That’s what I’ll be doing over the weekend. Maybe next week I’ll get my parts. I’m trying to relax. I have more work to do on other things anyway, like a printed manual. For which I need finished product to illustrate. And what about packaging? What indeed.
Not sure how much brokerage services will cost me. This is another reason I’ve been reluctant to state prices until I’m really ready to ship–then I’ll know (probably) what my real operating costs are.