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1304 posts

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#112405 7-Dec-2012 13:53
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Hi all,
I talked about the NZ Post experience I've had with a parcel & the changes that were made in tracking it. Now, the parcel has finally made it to customs and I've hit a barrier I didn't expect. I'd appreciate some advice on this please.

The parcel was sent USPS (it came freight-free & I wasn't looking a gift horse in the mouth). When it left the US it had one of those plastic windows on it with the invoice inside. Apparently, it no longer does. 

Customs worked out the value from the declared insurance value of the item, which was US$798. They then converted this to NZ$999. The parcel weighs 7.3kg so they calculated a shipping cost of NZ$108. And charged GST based on all of that, added duty, biosecurity levy and import transaction fees and GST on each of those. 

I paid US$639.16 all up, which included freight. 

I objected to the charges and sent them the invoice, plus a screenshot of the web page with the item (that is showing the same price that I paid), the URL, a screenshot & URL for the information that the price included shipping, and they said it wasn't enough evidence. So, I sent them a copy of my credit card transactions. Still not enough evidence. 

I asked the vendor to email customs with a statement that I really did pay US$639.16. Customs is sticking to their assessment. 

What can I do now? This is patently unfair and I'm surprised that all the evidence I have sent to them is not being accepted. Hell, I could get a JP to view my credit card statement and swear its not been tampered with, except I am a JP and all the local ones know me personally, so that wouldn't wash. Do I get my bank to write a letter?

At my wits end. I seriously begrudge paying close on $150 more than I need to but, on the other hand, must have my tent before leaving on summer holidays (or I don't get to have the holiday at all). 

What makes me really spit chips is that I could have bought the tent back with me and worked out that it was (supposed) to be cheaper to pay GST & fees than to pay AirNZ for oversize excess baggage. Silly me :-( 


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  #728537 7-Dec-2012 14:01
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WOW - sounds like revenue collection!!

Have you asked to go up the chain at Customs?

Tell them to stop playing God and to actually try and justified why their assessment is more correct that your facts!

Oh, and tell them you are on hold to the TVNZ News Room... or Campbell Live  ;)


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  #728543 7-Dec-2012 14:16
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You said When it left the US it had one of those plastic windows on it with the invoice inside. Apparently, it no longer does. 

How do you know it originally had , this, is that whatthe sender said? I would have thought the sender just emailing customs a copy of that would be enough. If they have lost it, then I would have thought that would be considered a lost part of the parcel, and they would need to investigate. Sounds like a shocking experience. I don't import much myself, as I don't think the saving, vs the hassle are worth it.


Ahhh 500 geekzone server error and the bit I added got deleted

You could pay it under duress, and then either make a claim for a refund from their CEO, or take them to the disputes tribunal. If you have a copy of the invoice it 'should' be pretty black and white, and DT hearings can go either way.

 
 
 
 


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  #728544 7-Dec-2012 14:18
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Ask them what their dispute procedures are. I've had good luck contacting CEOs directly in the past, but that's often overkill.



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  #728582 7-Dec-2012 14:41
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Thanks for the advice guys.

Does someone from NZ Customs hang around here? I'd had no further communications with them since they said they were sticking to their assessment and, suddenly, a few minutes ago they changed their minds. I was just coming back onto this thread to thank you when the email popped up so I raced away to pay and get it on its way to me. 

It's very coincidental!

This is what all the fuss has been about: http://www.campsaver.com/venus-iii-dlx-plus-3-person-3-season 

Nobody in NZ has ever stocked this model, only the smaller, less-featured Exped Venus III. 

The store ships free of additional charge to NZ but for future orders I will be asking that they print an extra copy of the invoice and put it inside the package. Given that the invoice never made it through the postal system I don't blame customs for assessing on the only information they had. I do blame them for being stuck on that assessment despite a large amount of evidence to the contrary. 

All's well that ends well with them though. Now I just have to hope NZ Post deliver it without problems!

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  #728617 7-Dec-2012 15:29
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Interesting, I got a bill a good few years ago to pay duty on a parcel
I walked into the local Dunedin office, presented my credit card statement that I printed along with a printed Paypal invoice and told them my item was under the current declaration limit.

They took the pieces of paper out back, I waited 10 minutes and when they came back they told me my parcel would be released with no duty to pay.



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  #728893 8-Dec-2012 10:18
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The parcel was delivered this morning. There is a plastic envelope on it, without the sales invoice. The supplier had informed me that there should also be a copy sales invoice/receipt inside the package, on the top - there was. If customs had opened the parcel they would have seen it. 

It seems like they did a biosecurity check on a tent without ever opening it to see. There was nothing on the outside to indicate whether it was a used tent or not and they knew I had just arrived back from North America where I could easily have been using a tent (on my re-entry forms I declared that I had been in forest & wilderness areas). It is a brand new, unused tent but I'm surprised to have been charged for biosecurity clearance when there clearly was no check of the contents. 

All this kerfuffle and the invoice was there all along, if they had just looked. 

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  #728924 8-Dec-2012 11:23
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Elpie: It seems like they did a biosecurity check on a tent without ever opening it to see. There was nothing on the outside to indicate whether it was a used tent or not and they knew I had just arrived back from North America where I could easily have been using a tent (on my re-entry forms I declared that I had been in forest & wilderness areas). It is a brand new, unused tent but I'm surprised to have been charged for biosecurity clearance when there clearly was no check of the contents.


Just to note, most biosecurity checks are X-Ray+Sniffer dog.  The fact they didn't open it likely is a result of them believing it was genuine and the x-ray/dogs didn't pick anything up on it.

 
 
 
 




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  #728936 8-Dec-2012 12:11
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nigelj:
Elpie: It seems like they did a biosecurity check on a tent without ever opening it to see. There was nothing on the outside to indicate whether it was a used tent or not and they knew I had just arrived back from North America where I could easily have been using a tent (on my re-entry forms I declared that I had been in forest & wilderness areas). It is a brand new, unused tent but I'm surprised to have been charged for biosecurity clearance when there clearly was no check of the contents.


Just to note, most biosecurity checks are X-Ray+Sniffer dog.  The fact they didn't open it likely is a result of them believing it was genuine and the x-ray/dogs didn't pick anything up on it.


Ah, that makes sense - thanks :-) 

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  #729125 8-Dec-2012 23:01
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Looks like you bought them out as they are out of stock!

And don't ever underestimate the power of those little beagle's noses. In Wellington, one picked out my plastic Globus bag that smelled real plasticky. That bag had had an apple in it from Paris to London and a week or more later the darn dog picked up a couple of residual molecules!!



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  #729749 10-Dec-2012 13:36
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linw: Looks like you bought them out as they are out of stock!


They will be back in stock as soon as the sale is over. I suspect they were taking a loss at that price as nobody, anywhere, comes close to that price for those tents. It is the most fantastic tent and all the hassles were worth it to have such a great tent. 

xpd

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  #729761 10-Dec-2012 13:46
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linw: 

And don't ever underestimate the power of those little beagle's noses.


Was watching one of those Border patrol shows the other week and the little beagle detected something... so off they went looking for it... found it at the other end of the terminal... a white tail spider running along the ground. And this dog smelt it from at least 150m away....




XPD / Gavin / DemiseNZ

 

Arrma RC Owner ? Check out Arrma Addicts Auckland


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