Just as it seems like things are beginning to settle down, we get hit with a new challenge. We are in the process of getting our belongings shipped from Miami, Florida to our home in Cuenca. This has been a challenge, but one that we are up to handling.
First I was told that I could not ship all my fabric, sewing machines and art supplies as there was just too much of it. I pointed out that I had told our shipper exactly what I had and that there would be no problem. Wrong! I had to prove that I use the materials in my art quilts, quilts and art pieces and that I have exhibited my work. After much back and forth, the shipper’s legal department agreed that I do use the fabric in my art and am entitled to ship it.
Second hurdle is that we have been told we need to supply the make, model and serial numbers on all our appliances, tools and machines. This we were not told was necessary when we were packing or it would have been listed on the inventory next to the items. Now our shipper will go through the inventory to go to the boxes that have appliances, open them, write down the serial numbers, model numbers, and makes, re-pack them in the boxes and re-seal them.
Third hurdle was that everyone was insisting that we did not need a 40 foot container, until I reminded them that when they picked up the items in a 20 foot truck, they had to go and rent another truck to handle the items that did not fit. Now they agree that we do indeed need a 40 foot container and, of course, that will cost a little extra.
Fourth hurdle was being informed that we needed to provide certified copies of our pensioner’s letters, Visas and the inventory needed to be in Spanish. Our immigration attorney went back and forth with them for a bit explaining that we already had our Visas and all documentation used for approval were at the Immigration Ministry. We had to pay $20 for certified copies of the benefits letters, provide copies of our Health Insurance letters and will be paying $200 to have the inventory translated into Spanish.
Fifth hurdle was being told we needed to put a value on everything and that there could be no zero value on anything, even if it was something I printed out that was a free pattern, for example, I had to put at least a two-cent valuation. Once everything was valued, then I had to put a total as the total value had to be under $4500 for a 20 foot container, now that we are getting a 40, I believe it can be a little higher. The other problem we noted was that I had a couple of duplicate entries and I had to put (duplicate entry) next to the item. I could not remove it or the inventory numbers would be out of sequence.
The last hurdle is being told that because of the fabric, art supplies and duplicate entries, we now need to be in Guayaquil when the shipment arrives and meet with the custom officials to explain everything. So we will be flying down the night before as we will have to be there from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Additionally, we have to find someone who speaks English who can translate for us. It is going to be a L-O-N-G day.
Hopefully, everything will go smoothly and once back in Cuenca, I plan on having a tall, cold cervasa!
So the moral of my story is, if you are planning on shipping your belongings, make sure you do a very detailed inventory, place a value on the item and if it is an appliance, tool, etc. write down its serial number, model number and make, even if they tell you that you don’t need to.
Until later my friends, here are a few pictures of some of my art quilts that helped me convince them of what I do.
Terri at the Drake’s Nest