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  1. I need to ship several boxes from Cebu City back to the US...The only company I've been able to find is Manila Forwarders. It will cost me $250.00 per box from Manila to Baton Rouge, LA...Very expensive....Another $35.00 from Cebu to Manila. Are there any other companies that ship from PI to the US...? Seems most of the good Companies do not. They just ship from the US to the Philippines. Sea freight is what we want, not by air... Thanks in advance for any tips.....
  2. river rat

    Sending Home Balikbayan Boxes

    Got a question maybe some of you can help me with. We are trying to mail home about 8-10 Balikbayan boxes from Cebu to California. We seem to be having a problem finding anyone here who can do this by boat. Everything is by air, and quite expensive. We were quote a price by LBC yesterday of $525.00 per box, <choke>...FOREX is not an option here in Cebu... Can someone direct us to a local shipping company who can do this at a reasonable cost? Easy from the States to here, but much more difficult from here going back home. Thanks
  3. I purchased a concrete vibrator from china and they want to ship it by sea. Has anybody done this before or know how long this may take? It has not been shipped yet so can still change the way it is shipped. Thanks in advance
  4. I am considering relocating to the PI but all my 'toys' are currently in Oz. One of the 'toys' is an old car restoration project. The car is a 1970 Aston Martin DBSV8. I have owned this vehicle for 25 years and it has been in pieces for most of that following a bit of a prang:( The body panels have been removed from the chassis which is completely stripped of parts. The chassis needs extensive work to remove and replace the chassis rot with new steel. The aluminium skin panels also require considerable restoration work before they can be reattached to the chassis. I want to restore this car myself and perhaps get assistance with the aluminium skin panels And it is RHD. So it can't be imported into PI. It could be shipped to a free port (PEZA etc). Shipping in to a PEZA would make shipping back out to another country easier too. However enquires made when I was at Subic led me to believe that unless one were going to invest lots, SBMA would just send one to a locator who would rent one a scruffy ill-suited building at an exorbitant rate. All useful suggestions welcome. Yes, of course I could stay in Oz and do it:(
  5. For whatever it is worth, I thought that I would detail my experience with getting a FedEx envelope sent from Miami to me here in Lapu Lapu. This is for instructional purposes only. No criticism of the process, or the host country, or FedEx is implied or intended. I needed some dental floss that I have not been able to find here. (SuperFloss or Floss Threaders… now, after my ordeal, someone can tell me where to get it locally!). I asked a friend in Miami to send me a FedEx envelope with these items, plus my police “clearance” duly authenticated by the Philippine Consulate in Chicago for my 13A visa. There was also a new, not yet activated credit card in the envelope, and a couple of burned DVDs with my favorite TV show….. total retail value, about 20 USD. The package was sent from Miami in an envelope, and arrived here in LLC a couple of days later. So far, so good. All the normal FedEx paperwork was completed to the satisfaction of the US end. So, I naively sat and waited for delivery….. After no delivery for a couple of days, I checked the tracking website. My envelope was “Held for customs clearance”. So, off to the airport I went. After all, with a retail value of about 20 USD, how much could the duty be? Oh, the bliss of ignorance! Upon arrival at the FedEx facility at MIA I was sent to a customs warehouse just down the road. I presented my passport and was directed to the FedEx representative in the warehouse. I am not sure if this man was a FedEx employee or a contractor, but he was polite and businesslike in explaining to me that my envelope could not be released because there was no accompanying invoice. He instructed me to contact the sending office in Miami to get an invoice and that was apparently the end of the conversation as he politely waited for me to leave. Now, may I point out that I was sitting in a FedEx facility being asked by a FedEx representative (employee or not) to contact a FedEx office in Miami to get a FedEx document for an already delivered FedEx envelope. ( I hope I made my literary point.) I didn’t want to do that so I asked him if we could just make an invoice there in the office. Without a moment of delay he produced a form from his desk and his copy of the original FedEx paperwork and told me to copy the package contents onto the invoice form. That is what I did…. word for word, line by line, an exact copy. After he charged me P 700 for the form, he took the new paperwork and walked away. It was at this point that I realized that I was not in Kansas anymore, so I decided to let the stress go and just sit back and enjoy the experience. I had a feeling, later vindicated, that I was just beginning to see the tip of the bureaucratic iceberg. As an aside, there was a FedEx advertising poster hanging on the office wall with the message in large letters and FedEx colors: “Take the hassle out of delivery”. What a joke that turned out to be. In a few minutes the polite man returned, unfortunately not with my envelope. That would have been too easy. He did however have a fistful of paperwork with him. He sat at a desk and started to prepare the paperwork. I knew I was in a Kafka novel when I watched him place 9 carbon sheets between 9 copies of a form. Sitting there, I made the innocent assumption (later proven to be a gross underestimate) that I would need to get 9 signatures on those forms. I reaffirmed my decision to just go with the flow if I wanted my dental floss, 13A visa, credit card, and a dose of Homeland. What else could I do? That all took about 30 minutes. After the paperwork bundle was assembled I was sent to the customs house, a short walk down the street. Clutching my paperwork, I presented myself to the guard and was then sent to my first appointment. In the customs house over a span of about one hour and 30 minutes I collected 15 (yes, count them 15!) signatures and associated stamps. I had to visit two different offices twice and one office three times, each time to talk with a different person. Keep in mind that all the people I talked with in the customs house were friendly and polite. One nice lady had soothing music and subdued light in her office and offered me a sweet drink to consume while she chatted with her co-workers for a few minutes before actually doing anything with my presented paperwork. Eventually I got the last signature (or so I thought!) and was hoping to receive my FedEx envelope worth about $20 USD retail. I should add that none of the nice polite customs people actually read any of the paperwork. They just signed and stamped, but they did it politely. Now, with 15 signatures, and no package, I was sent back to the customs warehouse hoping to get my package, fool that I was, without too much delay or fuss. After an additional 5 signatures (2 from the same man in the same office, albeit at different stages of the process) and about 30 more minutes, and total fees for duty and storage of about P 1300, the clouds parted, rays of sunshine bathed the earth, and angels sang a heavenly tune and I signed on the appropriate line and received my FedEx package, unopened, in good condition, and only costing about 2 hours of time and 50 USD, exclusive of the actual FedEx charge, which was about 40 USD. You can bet that I enjoy every second of flossing to the maximum possible degree…. Sometimes I even floss while I watch Homeland on DVD and caress my new credit card at the same time. I would also read my police clearance duly authenticated by the Philippine Consulate in Chicago, but I turned that in to the BOI. So, I just think about it fondly. Welcome to Wonderland!
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