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Sending marine spare parts to Guatemala

By doina — last modified Oct 04, 2007 03:37 PM

Published: 2007-10-04 15:37:43
Countries: Guatemala

I made the mistake of asking Westmarine, USA to send me some marine spare parts from USA to Rio Dulce in Guatemala.

The results were as follows:

After 3 days the package arrived at Fedex Guatemala City and was then transferred to their associated custom clearances company, Aeromar Transportes Internationales S.A. Guatemala City, Guatemala. A secretary at the custom office phoned me next day and explained that I have to pay some money for the expedition of the package, handling fee, the clearance, as well as IVA Valuated Tax and Cargo charge, because the value of the package was reported by the sender to be more than USD 850.

The total transport and handling costs for the Westmarine Merchandise with a catalog price of USD 1,090.00 are so far US$ 410.00 as of 22 Sept. 2007; the package is still awaiting the custom clearance.

Further requirements from Aeromar Transportes Internationales S.A. before they will be able to clear the package back to the Fedex office was:

That I through a Lawyer have to organize a letter, signed by a Guatemalan citizen to assure that the package is for his personal use. The reason for this unexpected move was based on my temporary 90 days visit in the country as a tourist (Swedish) and as a foreigner don’t have a Guatemala NIT (National Identification Number issued to Guatemala residents only).

I have informed Fedex in USA about this remarkable situation to avoid a repeat in the future for their customers, and the answer from Fedex have indicated that an investigation will be initiated and the result might in time improve the situation for customers.

My recommendations to boat owners like myself:

• Make your marine spare part transportations by other means than courier mail when visiting Guatemala.

• If absolutely necessary to use a courier transport then ensure that the value will be declared less than US$ 850.00.

• Try to find a local company with a International Trading Permit as middleman for the transaction.

• Expect higher than normal import costs.

Hans-Martin Fruergaard, S/Y “Sea Sprite”

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