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Help with customs clearance?

Help with customs clearance?

Old May 28th 2010, 3:15 pm
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Default Help with customs clearance?

Ok peeps this is a tricky one! And if anyone can help I will be eternally grateful.
My better half has decided that we are going to pack our container to ship to New Zealand ourselves thus saving us a fortune but he has designated the customs clearance papers to me....thanks!
I've been on the NZ Customs site and the MAF site but even after reading all the gumpf I can't make head or tail of the forms.
Has anyone on here packed their own containers and dealt with the customs paperwork on the NZ side? If so please, please help me or even direct me to a good freight forwarding company who will do it for me.
Thanks, Julie xx
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Old May 28th 2010, 11:22 pm
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Default Re: Help with customs clearance?

sorry can't help - this is one thing I'd say is worth paying money for - if it goes through a reputable company customs will know both ends that everything is above board - if you do it yourselves once you've worked your way through the paperwork you'll probably still flag warning signs both ends and get everything double-checked by MAFF this end too, delaying you getting your belongings this end.... what are you intending to do when you get this end for the 5-8 weeks it takes to get your container?? are you renting a fully furnished? motel? or hiring essentials? you may find the extra money spent on these for the 2-3 weeks additional it may take to clear your container out-ways the additional cost of getting a company into pack for you???.
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Old May 30th 2010, 1:54 pm
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Default Re: Help with customs clearance?

We are remaining in the UK for another month once the container leaves for NZ so we arrive about a week or so before the container does so there will be no worries about hiring things as we are staying with family. My worry is the clearance on the NZ side along with organising a freight forwarding company that will pick up the container and deliver it for us. Mayb e I can find one that will sort out the container's paperwork on that side???
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Old May 31st 2010, 4:56 am
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Default Re: Help with customs clearance?

dont think many insurance companies will touch you if you pack it yourself.
we used crown 2 years ago and got a very good service.
Do not take the quoted price as what you have to pay.
We played off two companies against each other and each came back
with a much better price.
when they rang us after sending the quotes we just said "yeah your price was
ok but allied have come in with a better price, we think your service will be
better but we have to think of costs. Can you do anything with your price ?"
hey presto instant 500 quid saving.
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Old May 31st 2010, 5:26 am
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Default Re: Help with customs clearance?

We got quotes from 4 companies and then got them all to drop their original prices until they all matched each other except Crown who dropped their price by $950 and were still $1000 more expensive than the others!!
Dont be afraid to haggle as it works!!
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Old May 31st 2010, 5:58 am
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Default Re: Help with customs clearance?

We had exactly the same with Crown and Pickfords. Crown dropped their price but were still way more expensive. We got Pickfords to match Letton Percival's insurance quote and we got in writing at the UK end that they would deliver 40 miles outside Wellington, not the 30 it said on their contract so that we didn't get stung with extra delivery costs

I wouldn't have packed up my stuff myself. I look at it a bit like trying to install a new kitchen or plaster a wall yourself. I would almost certainly be rubbish at both and it would take me ages or I could pay for a professional and get it done properly and efficiently.

Looking at how the professional packers came in and packed our stuff up over 2 days, knew how to pack and the speed they did it at and just the sheer amount of packing material they used was impressive. Anybody who does this day in day out gets to know what they're doing. The paperwork was sorted for us, our stuff was delivered promptly at this end.

Personally I wouldn't put yourself through all the stress just to save a few bucks which you could end up paying in costs at this end anyway through potentially broken goods and extra inspection fees as I'm sure you won't get the same rates a large company could negotiate, and I don't think you'll find insurance either.

It has been done by others though, so it is possible. Good luck.
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Old May 31st 2010, 8:48 am
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Default Re: Help with customs clearance?

I don't want to sound condescending but have you ever moved house before?

I only say this as I have and it was a pain enough the times that we moved ourselves, locally.

You will have to buy the right packing materials, moisture reducers, know how to stack the items tight in, load the MAF and customs items at the rear for easy access and checking, etc. Also, what will you do if you get to the back of the container and then find a pile of boxes that don't fit? LCD TV's and fridges can only stand upright? Are you aware of this? Leather sofa's sweat and wrapping them in bubble wrap makes it worse. The bubble wrap can then stick to the leather.....there are many more instances that a removal company will be aware of......

Where will you put the container for loading, assuming you can find a transport company that will hire you one and deliver and leave it at your home? Most come mounted on trailers and you may end up paying for the hire of this, as well as the container, during loading.

As for insurance, you'll need to find one that covers you for damage during loading and unloading (I assume you've found a transport company in NZ that will collect from the docks?) as well as for door to door transport. ....

Good luck with your task
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Old Jun 3rd 2010, 2:47 pm
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Default Re: Help with customs clearance?

Originally Posted by RobDon View Post
We got quotes from 4 companies and then got them all to drop their original prices until they all matched each other except Crown who dropped their price by $950 and were still $1000 more expensive than the others!!
Dont be afraid to haggle as it works!!
Could you give me the four companies you got the quotes from and i'll get some quotes from them to compare costs? Thanks xx
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Old Jun 3rd 2010, 9:41 pm
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Default Re: Help with customs clearance?

Originally Posted by Jewelie38 View Post
Could you give me the four companies you got the quotes from and i'll get some quotes from them to compare costs? Thanks xx
Robinsons, Pickfords, Crown & John Mason.

We eventually went with John Mason because nothing seemed to much trouble for them no matter how many times I spoke to them about things that seem really quite silly now!

John Mason also matched Letton Percival insurance so we took out JM insurance too.
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Old Jun 3rd 2010, 11:18 pm
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Default Re: Help with customs clearance?

We used PCS - they were cheaper again and personally very good for us - no breakages, everything packed really well.
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Old Jun 5th 2010, 3:09 am
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Default Re: Help with customs clearance?

we used crown who were very good at this end but not so good in the uk
although most of the issues we had with them centered around shipping my motorbike.
we have also used John Mason many years ago when we migrated to Australia,
again very good service with no complaints
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Old Jun 6th 2010, 8:24 pm
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Default Re: Help with customs clearance?

Thanks guys, will look into their prices. We already have a quote from eliteshipping for £1,800 to pack our own 20ft container and then £300 for it's insurance to reach the other side. I'm also looking into getting a quote from a freight forwarder on the NZ side to arrange our customs clearance and transport the container to our new residence. I know some of you think we are mad to do it ourselves but with some of the horror stories on here regarding the different companies leaving things behind etc. I'm starting to think that maybe we will be best to pack our own container.....jeyes fluid at the ready.....lol
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Old Jun 7th 2010, 11:56 am
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Default Re: Help with customs clearance?

hi there,
new to the site, hubby is kiwi and we moved our stuff back to the uk with the worst packers ever, horror stories. as we are moving back asap (once house sells) we have decided to do the same and pack up ourselves. we have also had some horrific experiences with MAF, we got fined $200 for not declaring a banana (which we were given on the plane!) as one example. they are scrupulous and unforgiving! regarding the forms, you are usually required to make the declaration yourselves (ie, not the packers) and that should give you an indication at what they are looking for, go onto their website and get as much info as poss, expect delays so you're not distraught if the worst happens and be prepared for things to be confiscated!! and quite frankly, we're on a budget too and am not bothering with insurance, we lost a box on the way over as we shared a crate and didn't even notice until about 2 yrs later! go onto the MAF website, phone them if necessary to clarify. we are also getting some casual labour to help stack the boxes as the container is only here for a short time - contact a local recruitment agency so you're not frazzled at the end! good luck.
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Old Jun 8th 2010, 8:57 am
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Default Re: Help with customs clearance?

Originally Posted by P18PPS View Post
We used PCS - they were cheaper again and personally very good for us - no breakages, everything packed really well.
Do you mean PSS? I used PSS and they were excellent.
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Old Jun 10th 2010, 10:21 am
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Default Re: Help with customs clearance?

Thanks for the advice guys, have decided to get 3 quotes, Excess International, John Masons and PSS. Found that trying to get a freight forwarder on the NZ side was going to work out almost exactly the same as getting a company here to just load our already packed items and do the whole job door to door.
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