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Trip Report Down side of transporting Asian purchases to the USA

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For many years and over many trips to SEA we had thought about purchasing and having transported home some large purchases-- in this case two dressers.

We had read and knew people who have done this, even with some less than successful results-- furniture cracked from dryer climate and central heating being the most frequent situation.

So last fall during our 19th trip to Thailand, we had our driver take us to a furniture showroom in Chiang Mai. We spent some time with the manager and a very friendly salesman. We selected two pieces: a medium sized tall dresser and a shorter dresser/side board. Both are teak, but I believe the salesman used another name--maybe a variety. Total price including shipment by sea to Boston $2350.

We decided to sleep on our decision---oh, so American. The salesman said he would pick us up the next day to process the paperwork if we intended to buy them.

We did decide that they would serve us well in our new house, so we purchased them by credit card. We were given some paperwork and a bunch more followed by mail, including wood certifications and fumigation details. Also included were two copies of sales receipts-- one for the actual cost and one for $1020 dollars less "for customs".

We were not going to be home until mid-December so they held the shipment until mid-January when we would already be in our new house in NH. Perfect...

I received an email from the salesman in January asking if they could ship...sure.

More paperwork arrived detailing the shipment, it's weight and expected arrival date, first to NJ and then to Boston. One paper detailed our first bit of added cost and the NJ facility including arrival date for the ship and the name of the cargo forwarder to Boston. Both had addresses and phone numbers.
There was a fact sheet as to what we might expect, including a rough timeframe and possible setbacks. The total weight was 158 KG, about 350 lbs and represented 1.18 CM

This form also included our first addition costs: $201.58 due to caroTrans the NJ agent, payable by company, certified or money order check ONLY. I Fedex'd that two days before arrival. Then an email arrived telling me that customs was requiring an X-ray...fine... Later another bill arrived a week or so later with an additional costing of $185 for the X-ray. A few days later the shipment was released by customs. I spoke with eagle air transport in Boston who would receive my crates by truck from NJ. They were very helpful and suggested a NH trucker who could deliver to crates to my driveway.... Oh, btw eagles fees would be $112.... NO PROBLEM.. I paid them cash.

The NH trucker will charge me $142 which I may pay directly to the driver in cash or my check.

So today we drove to Boston to get the paperwork from Eagle, took it to customs and had it stamped near to the fish pier---which allowed us to have a delicious exceedingly fresh fish luncheon---then returned it to Eagle with the stamped customs papers. The clerk told us that the NH trucker comes everyday at 4PM so he would see that it gets loaded on today.

You can hire a broker who can handle some of this.

Bottom line is that I expect our parcels are not far from our house at this moment and that they will be delivered next week after our Monday snow storm, or maybe in the middle of it.

Come over with your crowbar and help us unpack...

BTW, they were shipped as "personal effects" so there was no duty, but also I think they enter under custom's GSP rules.

The whole reason for this long story is to demonstrate how quickly added costs can add up. Are the chests worth about $3000., probably not, but it will always remind me that I do in fact HATE Chiang Mai.

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