After departing London, the Philadelphia express’s first port of call was Charleston, South Georgia. This journey should takes 8 or 9 days, arriving Thursday. Two days later, the BZIM should have arrived in Port Everglades on Saturday 17th February.
At this point, 3 different agencies have been involved in the process
KRL Logistics, Pentalver and Hapag Llyod.
On the U.S. side, Karla at the KRL-New York office took over the handling of the shipment. Karla would work between myself and the clearing agent (who handled all the importation paperwork and US customs clearance declarations). Karla would liaise with a trucking company, ensuring the timely uplift of the container from the dockside, positioning it for storage, or delivery. With timings changing, none of these processes are put in place until each in turn is ready to be action-ed, something that would be difficult to follow through on, unless experienced, with contacts.
As the ship approached the United States, Karla had received requests from the clearing broker for POA (Power of Attorney) forms to be completed. This allows a US company, to accept ‘ownership’ for the goods, as I was not travelling with the BZIM. This is when having a company like KRL is essential. The agent was seeking copies of company invoices for the container contents. Explaining the situation to Karla, she advise ‘leave it with me’. She came back saying that I would become the ‘importer’, as a private individual. However, this required an IRS or SS number, neither of which I had, as I wasn’t a US resident. Karla came back after a short delay saying the clearing agent agreed to use either his own bond, or KRL’s bond would be used to get the container offloaded.
A late arrival into Charleston resulted in the the ship being delayed over the weekend due to the Presidents Holiday on Monday. Whilst docked at Charleston, I was requested to fill in CBP (Customs and Border protection) forms to ensure that the shipment was going to be duty and tax free. For this, I also had to provide copies of my Passport and VISA.
Tuesday 20th February, the BZIM arrived in Florida.
A final query from US customs, via the clearing agent, via Karla at KRL, was about whether a microlight is in fact a vehicle. This I believe stems from an ultralight ‘aircraft’ in the US, being defined as being a vehicle, and therefore is subject to duty and tax as a vehicle would. After explaining clearly a microlight was in fact an aircraft, on February 22nd I was informed, everything was fine, and the BZIM was waiting my arrival. It was still on the dock area at Port Everglades. The original plan was to have the BZIM taken to a storage location, for me to collect myself, but the delay arriving meant storage was no longer required. Not only that, but I no longer needed to hire a van to collect the BZIM.
The BZIM was going to be delivered to Homestead at no addition cost to the fee’s already paid. Fantastic news!
It was obvious at this stage why a company like KRL is an absolute necessity. They have the knowledge of the whole process, the contacts and the solution for when that unexpected inquiry comes from an official. Large fines and importation delays are the common for goods arriving in the USA without the correct paperwork. I was surprised how most of this paperwork was only created, once the goods are en-route.