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removed
Premium,VIP
join:2002-02-08
Houston, TX
kudos:40

Package stuck with U.S. Customs

I've been expecting a package from Hong Kong for quite some time now. It was brought into the United States via international express mail on 6/9/09 and "inbound to customs" on 6/10/09. Since then, there have been no status updates, so I can only assume that the customs service has taken the package in for further inspection and that they will likely assess a duty (no big deal).

What concerns me is the amount of time it's taken so far. USPS has not been helpful, saying essentially that the customs service can keep the package as long as they deem necessary. While annoying, this wouldn't be as big a deal to me if they just gave me a time line so I know when to expect to be able to pick up the package.

Do you guys know of a way to expedite this process? I'm interested in possibly expediting this current shipment (though it may be too late), as well as somehow expediting this in the future so that I'm not stuck in this situation again. The package in question is worth approximately $1000, so I'd probably be willing to pay extra on my next shipment in order to ensure that it clears customs faster.

Thanks!
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Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12

UPS and FedEx would be your best bet. They don't get held up in normal customs like the average USPS package. FWIW, I shipped a router to a buddy in freaking Canada via USPS and it was stuck in customs for 2 months; so I feel your pain.



drew
Automatic
Premium
join:2002-07-10
Port Orchard, WA
kudos:6
reply to removed

I'd recommend FedEx-ing your drugs versus USPS.

Customs takes as long as they want.



HardwareGeek

join:2003-11-15
Brooklyn, NY

I get shippments regularly from overseas via FedEx, DHL, TNT and USPS.

While 90% of all my packages arrive on time, 10% no matter who shipped it will always take 2 weeks to 3 months to get through customs. 99% of the time the problem is the shipper did not put enough custom form copies on the package and they run out, and it sits waiting for someone to send it back where it came from.
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Email/MSN: Michael at hardwaregeeks.comAIM: MikeR35292



the Grumble
Yep, I changed my name again -

join:2009-05-11
reply to removed

I think the person from Customs opened your package and liked what they seen and are keeping it.



wenter99
Alpha Male
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Albuquerque, NM
reply to removed

Seems sort of odd to me. I've sent and received a lot of packages to and from HongKong in the mail since 1995. With proper and accurate customs documentation affixed to the parcel it almost always takes only 5-7 business days either way door to door for just standard AirMail, International Express Mail generally takes just 3-4 business days for delivery, either way.



Combat Chuck
Too Many Cannibals
Premium
join:2001-11-29
Verona, PA
reply to removed

said by removed:

What concerns me is the amount of time it's taken so far.
Once customs has it it takes however long customs wants to take. A couple weeks is nothing. While not familiar with the USPS process I suspect that this isn't a case of missing paperwork and is a case of customs not believing the paperwork is accurate.

I would contact the shipper and see what they say. You might not get anywhere but you aren't getting anywhere right now either. Your only other option right now is to wait.
--
Come let us reason together.

curiousone2

join:2002-12-07
Austin, TX
reply to HardwareGeek

I worked with DHL and the reason why something would get stuck in customs is lack of paperwork. If they get all the paper work they need from the get go it won't get stuck.



skinsfanusa

join:2001-03-09
San Marcos, CA
reply to removed

Keep track of it. Call customs and figure out who is personally in charge of your package.

If you ordered a Cisco item that is counterfeit, There is a chance you might not get it.

Bug them so you can figure out why they are holding it.
If it's counterfeit, they have a window of time to inspect it and then they have 30 days to notify you at which time, You will have to get written authorization from the manufacturer that the item is legit.

Expand your moderator at work


Combat Chuck
Too Many Cannibals
Premium
join:2001-11-29
Verona, PA
reply to curiousone2

Re: Package stuck with U.S. Customs

said by curiousone2:

I worked with DHL and the reason why something would get stuck in customs is lack of paperwork. If they get all the paper work they need from the get go it won't get stuck.
Not necessarily, they pull quite a few things that have sufficient paperwork. It depends on what was declared (items that are frequent targets of forgeries get pulled), how accurate they think the valuation is (computer equipment valued at $1 is likely to get pulled) and whether the package "looks" like it actually contains what it says it contains. (a 1 ft.X 1 ft.X 1 ft package that weighs 70 lbs and is declared as "clothing" is likely to get pulled).
--
Come let us reason together.

curiousone2

join:2002-12-07
Austin, TX

that's true but we would make sure paperwork was correct before it departed our international hubs. Even here in the states we would hold on to packages with no paperwork. We would open packages to make sure they were shipping what they said they were. If something was wrong we would sent it back and have them correct it.



removed
Premium,VIP
join:2002-02-08
Houston, TX
kudos:40
reply to removed

Looks like the sender messed up and didn't include any copies of the commercial invoice. It took DHS almost 3 weeks to make me aware of this - but I did fax the information they need, and am waiting for them to process it now.

I'll post back when I finally have the package in hand.
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Oleg
Premium
join:2003-12-08
Birmingham, AL
kudos:2
reply to removed

I never have had any problems with shipments from Hong Kong i have ordered a lot of computer parts and never have had a problem.



Memob

@arpa.net
reply to removed

Similar situation here... Coin purchased on eBay from seller in Latvia. Paid May 21. Have tracking number from seller. Seller sent item on May 26. USPS website says arrived in New York May 28. Today is July 6 and still havent gotten item. The thing that annoys me most is that I have 45 days to claim PayPal, so if I go through with that, the package still could arrive.



removed
Premium,VIP
join:2002-02-08
Houston, TX
kudos:40
reply to removed

said by removed:

I'll post back when I finally have the package in hand.
I finally got the package yesterday. The duty came out to $42, and the package was sealed with bright green "INSPECTED BY US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION" tape.
--
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Mr Neutron
Ceaseless, Tasteless, and Gormless
Premium
join:2005-05-30
Gorham, ME
reply to removed

said by removed:

Looks like the sender messed up and didn't include any copies of the commercial invoice. It took DHS almost 3 weeks to make me aware of this -
Sorry, did the Department of Homeland (in)Security mess with your package?

What, was it the size, shape, and weight of a Fat Man nuclear device or something?

What the hell are they doing messing around with incoming packages now? Am I reading this right? Or did you mean DHL
--
We could use the £5,000 to buy a spoon. And then fill up with ice cream.


removed
Premium,VIP
join:2002-02-08
Houston, TX
kudos:40

You're reading this right. Customs is part of DHS now, and (like always) they handle all packages that are stopped in transit and held for inspection. In my case, some of the paperwork wasn't in order (the sender forgot to include some invoices) so customs held the shipment until they got all the documentation they needed.
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Waldothe3rd
Premium
join:2009-02-16
Sun N Sand

1 edit
reply to removed

Customs Brokers take the pain out of international commerce, however it's not worth it for just an item or two



Mr Neutron
Ceaseless, Tasteless, and Gormless
Premium
join:2005-05-30
Gorham, ME
reply to removed

said by removed:

You're reading this right. Customs is part of DHS now, and (like always) they handle all packages that are stopped in transit and held for inspection.
Oh, joy.

Well, in that case, it sounds to me as though your package was "fast-tracked," what with there being a mere three-week delay and all.

Wow. I'm surprised at the fact that I'm surprised.
--
We could use the £5,000 to buy a spoon. And then fill up with ice cream.


Subaru
1-3-2-4
Premium
join:2001-05-31
Greenwich, CT
kudos:1
reply to drew

said by drew:

I'd recommend FedEx-ing your drugs versus USPS.

Customs takes as long as they want.
I've seen so many people get busted or soon to be busted.. they call the Feds at UPS bring a dog out.. if it's drugs they dress the Fed up in UPS delivery clothes and arrest I would love to see the WTF look when he takes the cuffs out.

not all drugs get caught just the boxes with "odd smells"
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It's NOT Ni-kon It's NE-KON!






removed
Premium,VIP
join:2002-02-08
Houston, TX
kudos:40

Thank you for turning a joke into a boring story about federal law enforcement playing dress-up.



Subaru
1-3-2-4
Premium
join:2001-05-31
Greenwich, CT
kudos:1

welcome



Mr Neutron
Ceaseless, Tasteless, and Gormless
Premium
join:2005-05-30
Gorham, ME
reply to removed

said by removed:

Thank you for turning a joke into a boring story about federal law enforcement playing dress-up.
I found it intriguing that the FBI (or whomever) would even bother dressing up like that.

I mean, I'm sure the Feds to (imagined) bad guy ratio is something in the order of 50:1, so is this willingness to dress up when they're going to bust the dope fiends in thirty seconds anyway merely a twisted sense of humor at work, or what? Why forego the usual SWAT/ninja outfit to don UPS brown?
--
We could use the £5,000 to buy a spoon. And then fill up with ice cream.


Ivan
Premium
join:2001-11-15
Internet


UPS on Time
Some people just look good in Brown


Oleg
Premium
join:2003-12-08
Birmingham, AL
kudos:2

1 edit
reply to removed

I never risk losing over $100 i better pay more and order it from US business unless it is something you can't get in US like old records.