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June 30, 2003

Getting a package through customs

From my Point of View

For once I slept late today, which I really needed after many long days of travelling and new experiences. But when I got up I had buisness to attend to, a box of clothes and stuff was waiting for me at the airport. I believed that getting this box through customs were an easy task performed in half an hour. Boy were I wrong.

First I took a taxi out to the International Terminal of Brisbane Airport where I believed my package would be, but a helpful clerk at Quantas Airfreight told me this was not the case, and after a few phonecalls he found that as with all freight coming with Thai Air it was sent to the Patrick Air Services facility. So far so good, the facility is a few km from the terminal so I got another taxi there.

Luckily I got the taxi to wait for me, because at Patrick I could not get the package right away. First they had to do some paperwork which included me paying $55 AUD, and then I needed to go to the Australian Customs centre to declare the package. This were supposed to take about an hour, so I sent the taxi away when I got there. First I filled out a number of forms, and then I had to go over to the Quarantine department. There I needed to wait for an available clerk which then told me she needed 15 minutes to do some more paperwork, and as it was 4 in the afternoon they were closing so I would have to return tomorrow to get my package. This of course also demanded a fee, this time $85 AUD. And as my taxi had left I had to walk a km back to the airport to catch the expresstrain downtown.

So to get my package I have to return to the airport tomorrow. There I must first go to the Quarantine department to get a freight-transfer stamp on my documents, whereby I must go to Patricks and claim my box. Then I must bring my box back to Quarantine for inspection of its contents before I can bring it with me. This of course also demands a fee, which are supposed to be included in the $85 I paid today, unless of course the inspection takes more than 15 minutes. In this case I must pay another fee before I can bring my package home, for which I must use a taxi since there are no buses or trains going anywhere near the Customs&Quarantine offices and I do not have a car here.

This means that included the freight-cost of 1100NOK this 20kg box of clothing have cost me almost $500 AUD to move from Norway to Australia. Getting to the airport earlier today would have saved me the $60 cab-ride I must do tomorrow, but it is still quite an expensive freight considering that it have costed me almost as much as the combined value of its contents. *sigh*
Obviously I'm not sending it back to Norway with airfreight...

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