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Hurdles for importing goods into NZ

, posted: 6-Dec-2006 11:47

Every good thing that came about usually have to go through some level of difficulty. Sometimes the difficulty can be really annoying and lengthy. As mentioned in the previous blog entry ("My eo i7210 is coming!"), after weeks of patience wait I finally got the notice that the package is delivered and should be in the country in 2 days top. However what I did not expect was the lengthy process to clear through NZ Customs and the difficulty to get a progress feedback from FedEx and NZ Customs. Since last week, when I was told the package has finally arrived in NZ, I had to apply for NZ Customs Client Code. So I called up FedEx as they left a message for me, to get the application form to send to me. This alone took 2 attempts to get the form faxed to me, instantly I filled it up and faxed back to NZ Customs as directed. Then for a couple of days of nothing from neither FedEx nor NZ Customs, I decided to call FedEx and see what is up or what/where the progress was, well that didn't give me much indication aside from asking me whether I have filled the application form and sent to NZ Customs. So I called NZ Customs to see what was the held up, that was not helpful as they can't really tell me how soon it will get processed except be expected in 2-3 days time. So the weekend went by and come on Monday, I received a call from FedEx saying the process has gone through and waiting for clearance from NZ Customs - but it has been that state since last Wednesday as indicated from FedEx tracking service. It turned out that one of the FedEx staff did not file the document correctly, and did not include the proper documentation (invoice) to NZ Customs for inspection. The package was held up in NZ Customs Christchurch branch, pending for corrected documentation and support information. As adviced by the FedEx call centre staff that I can chase the progress directly with NZ Customs, so I did just that. First with the NZ Customs' 0800 number, then was told to try Christchurch branch directly. Then follow the breadcrumbs, I called the Christchurch branch and the officer that I should get in touch with is away until Thursday, and was recommended to talk to his colleague. So next, calling this given number and was greated by a rude officer, interrogating me who directed me to call him, and why, and how and what not... treated me as if I got hold of his direct dial through a 3rd person outside of the organisation. Sheesh, cool off buddy! Anyhow, without much help from this guy, he transferred me to the investigation team and we are getting somewhere. However the case was handled by another officer, so I get transferred again and finally was adviced that there paperwork was incorrect. Turned out that NZ Customs officer was given a wrong number to get hold of this FedEx guy that dealt with my case, suggested that I may have better luck calling him. Sure enough I did that and got the wrong number, tried a number that I remembered from previous phone conversation with this FedEx staff. Well, he wasn't around yet and press a quickkey and got transferred to another officer (turned out to be the guy's supervisor) and was told I should give a callback in 5 minutes later. Five minutes later, did a callback and finally advice the FedEx guy that he needs to correct some documentation and give a call to the NZ Customs officer I spoke with earlier and asked him to give me progress report at every stage. Later in the morning, got the call from FedEx guy and was told it is clearing the customs. Earlier today, no news from FedEx autonomously, as I am expecting a call for paying GST. As I'm running low on my patience and decided to call FedEx to chase up the next process, and finally was adviced that I need to pay GST (d'uh!), however the call was unable to transfer to the person who is in-charging. A note was left and I should hear back from the person in-charge soon. Ten minutes later, got a callback and got the ball rolling and "swip-swip", it's DONE! YAY! What a pain to get everything rolling... especially it is me that doing all the chase up! What happened to communication with customers autonomously from companies these days? The customers shouldn't be chasing up the companies to find out the progress of a task or anything... For now, I am glad that this is coming to an end... and I won't be importing anything any time sooner! Just too much hurdle to get something through NZ Customs. I welcome a reseller for Tegatech in NZ.





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Comment by sbiddle, on 6-Dec-2006 12:40

I've dealt with customs directly the last few times I've imported goods. It was a simple case of going to visit them, filling in the forms, paying them the GST and receiving a copy of their invoice which I then quoted to NZ Post who released the goods. Any customs agent (such as FedEx or a private agency) all go through the same process but the customs people where very helpful when I went there and I got the goods released the same day I received the phone call saying the goods were in the country. I've imported stuff via UPS and had no trouble so I guess it just depends on your luck!


Comment by freitasm, on 6-Dec-2006 12:58

Unlucky. All my stuff comes through DHL and they do the whole process for you...


Comment by geekiegeek, on 6-Dec-2006 14:08

man what a hassle. bring on a local UMPC seller! Glade I was able to buy my R2H in person (and compare prices between a couple of shops).


Author's note by chiefie, on 6-Dec-2006 14:11

I am sure my case may not apply to everyone else but it sure is annoying and real hassle just to get something imported. It sure is deterring me from consider to import any device as this was my first experience, and it wasn't easiest. I am sure FedEx could have done a lot better and be more helpful.


Comment by Grant17, on 6-Dec-2006 14:50

In our business we use both FedEx and DHL to import stuff almost every week (sometimes several times in one week).

Either of those Courier Companies take care of all the customs nonsense although out of the two, I have to say we find that FedEx provides the better service.


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