how not to import a cruiser

Discussion in 'Importing' started by Matt1260, Jul 13, 2018 at 1:24 AM.

  1. Matt1260

    Matt1260

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    Just two cents for anyone else wanting to import a land cruiser from Costa Rica. Do not use Vanguard Shipping and do not use the Seattle port. It seems many people import cruisers to Florida without a hitch. But it has taken us two and a half months to get our container since dropping the trucks off. Now, the trucks are sitting in Seattle, incurring storage, transport fees, and handling costs up the wazoo because Customs decided to wait 11 days to do an inspection and you only are allowed 9 free days of storage at the Port. The accrued costs are hideous--$525 so far for 3 days over. Thank you feds. Thank you so very much for taking care of your citizens.

    They still have to be sent to ANOTHER storage for ANOTHER "intensive exam" because Customs think they saw something or some things that require a closer look. This means the costs are going to be well over $1000 before even paying the tax. These costs are passed on to the shipping broker. And guess who the shipping broker passes them to? We were obliged to guarantee payment of any additional costs after the fact. What company makes a customer write a blank check!? There was, of course, no disclosure of such possible costs being incurred. If we'd known this was a possibility we would have much rather driven them through Mexico back to the states.

    Basically we are being severely punished/penalized for not doing anything. We're seeking any lawyers knowledgeable in importing/customs. They will find that there's no cartel, coke, or humans stowed away in our trucks and yet we are being penalized to kingdom come.
     
  2. woytovich

    woytovich Fake news SILVER Star

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    That's the way it works as far as I know. When I brought some stuff in from Australia years ago there was always a big ? as to the final costs and I was always obligated to pay for whatever came up. This is one reason people doing the importing as a business deserve to be paid for their efforts and pricing on "on the way" vehicles is not finalized prior to the processing concluding.
     
  3. Nas90tdi

    Nas90tdi

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    Unfortunately that is just the way it works. Sometimes you clear customs in 24 hours. Sometimes you don't. It really depends on how the Customs guys are feeling. You can pursue this, but I wouldn't sink a bunch of money into fighting it. You won't win. At best you might get some storage knocked off the fees.
    I have never used Seattle, so can't speak to their business practices. If it's anything like every other thing in Seattle it's run by inept morons who don't give a rat's ass about you.
    I have cleared customs in Tacoma really quickly, with no issues. But, that's operated by a totally different set of people than Seattle despite being right down the road.
     
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  4. Matt1260

    Matt1260

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    has anyone ever spent over $5000 to ship one 40' container from costa rica to the states?
     
  5. CIR

    CIR

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    Sorry about your troubles, welcome to importation and customs.

    I assume you are the responsible party for importation and your name is on the documents, therefore, you are accountable for penalties and security checks - whether they happen in the States or along the way before reaching the destination.

    Everything is more costly in the USA but things move a rapid rate compared to Costa Rica. About 10 years ago I imported a converted school bus (RV) into CR and it took me two years and several "lawyers" to get the plates and vehicle registered properly. I also made the drive down from the States several times, never up. To say it would be easier to drive up is an exaggeration. Each border going up is very strict and not anything like going down. It is doable but driving the PA highway through Nicaragua and Honduras today would be an adventure, and the "cops" would do everything they could to get their "security check" payments.

    In all, the fact that you got your vehicle into a container and onto a boat from Costa Rica is a great accomplishment! The recent developments are minor road blocks en route to your destination. Unfortunately, the world of borders and customs are not perfect (or even rational) at times but if it was me, I would prefer every customs inspecting every container that entered their ports or at least scanning them. What you are experiencing is cargo profiling and is human behavior.

    Good luck!
     
  6. mattimooseprime

    mattimooseprime

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    Oof. That's why I don't do container shipping. I do standard ro-ro and pickup in Tacoma......Wish I could help you out! I can reach out to a few people and get back to you with some ideas.
     
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