Shipping Fun

If you have been following, we have been lingering around Georgetown in a effort to get a new thermostat for one of our refrigerators. It turns out that the new electronic thermostats are inexpensive (less than $15 each) so we ordered one for each of our three refrigeration units, plus a spare. Then, we needed delivery of a new credit card. Then we added a dimmer for the light on our compass. Then, since we had a package coming anyway, we added some fishing tackle, and other miscellaneous stuff.

It all seemed so easy. Not simple, but easy.

First, have all the goodies and mail assembled at our mail forwarding service in Florida. They collect all the bits and pieces, and put them in one box which is sent to Reggie Express in Fort Lauderdale that gets them on an airplane to Georgetown.

Those steps went smoothly and on time. Delivery to the airport in Georgetown happened on schedule on Wednesday afternoon. Now, things are in the hands of our customs broker (Doeboi–pronounced “dough-boy”) and the Bahamian Customs service.

I would think that in a town this small that the customs brokers and customs officers would have a smooth and happy working relationship. Apparently, I’d be wrong.

There was a hang up with one of the invoices. The total was on the second page. Now this was for an item with a total duty due of $5. The agent at the airport refused to approve the import. The woman working for the broker got fed up, drive 30 minutes into town where she got the local head of customs to approve the paper, then BACK to the airport to get the package released with the boss’ signature.

Two lessons. Petty officials are petty everywhere, and never try to import anything, anywhere, without the help of a local customs broker!

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