DHL Customs Disaster

Things have gotten very ridonkulous with Customs in Kuwait, everybody faced problems but I have never had a package stuck in the Ministry of Information for over a month and a half, and I only had Gears of War 3 and Toy Model in the box, nothing else. I kept calling DHL they keep telling me two days later again and again, it was a headache. The items arrived in Kuwait on September 16th, they said the items had to go to Ministry of Information since they shutdown their desk at the airport so they said that would take a 7 to 10 days, I said thats fine so 10 days went buy and nothing, then they told me a few days later it cleared then they said it would take another week in customs because of the mess they have. Then they were on Strike and I was told my package was lost and it would take a few more days to find it then a few days more to clear it.

It went on week to week like this, until I decided to go check in Customs and they said they never received any package back from MoI. I asked where it would be and went to MoI, and I found the items were still there and never taken back. It was a disaster, I basically went to so many different offices asking what they wanted and nobody knew. At one point I spoke to one sensible guy and told him you have had the package for a month and half and havne’t decided what you want to do with it. He spoke to another guy and signed a few random papers and gave the package to me. DHL don’t have a clue about it and I’m not paying them anything for it, I wanted to blow up and rip the guys at DHL to shreds but at that point I have my package and I’m not going to bother with them, but for over a month for a toy and video is ridiculous.

New Shipping Rules From Customs

A lot of us order lots of items from outside of Kuwait, and now with the arrival of the iPhone 4S people will be making a ton of orders to satisfy their Apple addiction, I for one am addicted to Amazon. Now things have gotten a lot worse then before with customs and I’m not sure if this will get any better.

Ministry of Information shutdown their desk at the Customs Airport Counter. So what does that mean, it means every package has to be taken from the Airport to the Ministry and checked out so the process was long before but now its even more ridiculous.

Previously:

  • 3-5 Days International Delivery
  • 3-5 Days Kuwait Customs Clear

Total 10 Days

Now:

  • 3-5 Days International Delivery
  • 3-5 Days Kuwait Customs
  • 4-7 Days Ministry Of Interior
  • 4-7 Days in Custom for the Delivery Company to Pick it UP

Total 24 Days

The Ministry of Information is going through to check what is or isn’t banned but they are going through everything and they don’t have a clue what anything is. I had a very difficult time explaining to them what Gears Of War 3 was, I don’t think they have seen a PS3 or XBox before.

Quick Update
Airport and Port Customs are on strike, good luck getting any of your packages any time soon.

Customs Going Overboard

ShippingKuwait

I have recently been complaining about package delays from Customs but it seems it has gone to another level. You can forget that half the people aren’t going to work because they have decided to strike until they get the salary of a CEO in a billion dollar investment company with all the benefits. There are new regulations in customs that EVERY package has to be searched and ANY media goes to ministry of information.

I spoke too soon about my limited edition Gears Of War 3, I should have just picked it up from here instead of the craziness that I now face with them. My package has been transfered to the Ministry of Information because they don’t trust my translation for video game and they said all media has to be searched by Customs not some. I thought customs was an issue before but this has been taken to another level, I went to the Ministry of Information to see what is going on. They told me that it takes 4 days to process and if its clear it is sent back to customs at the airport and then you clear it there. So basically another 7 to 10 days for the whole process to go through on top of the two and half weeks it has been in Kuwait. I will see what will happen next.

MyUS Quick Shipping

The one thing that we all live by is online purchases in my case I buy movies, electronics, hardware , books, and pretty much anything else that comes to mind. The only issue I have is when it gets stuck in customs, there were times that it would get stuck for weeks with Aramex and a few times they would lose my product which drove me nuts.

In this case I switched to MyUS and I was very happy with them, quick to reply always taking care of my shipments. I could combine items and ship certain items, and you get choices to ship through FedEx, DHL, or a combination.

After shipping so many different kinds of items through multiple ways I figured out that the best way is to ship through DHL in somewhat of medium to small size package. Sometimes I combined a lot of packages into one big package and that would get stuck for at least 10 days, and with Aramex the smallest packages take at least four days. Now with DHL & FedEx if I ship it in a more compact size even if its combined it flies under their radar and I get it out of customs the second day.

Delivery Holds

FEDEXPlane

Recently I have gone on a little online shopping spree getting a variety of items, from electronics to books. I sent some to Aramex and some to MyUS account, and even from MyUS I shipped some items through FedEx and some through DHL. I basically broke down the shipments to see what would get caught and who would get through.

It seems that people aren’t working in Customs currently because its too hot, so they are leaving the containers outside and still fully packed. All my items arrived in Kuwait but nothing was being delivered, I spoke to Aramex, DHL, and FedEX and they all gave me the same reason, currently nobody is looking at the containers and we have to wait for them to clear it. A day later a few items were cleared such as toys, video games, and print work.

Now what got caught was based on these details:

  • Anything heavier then 10 KG – (Netgear Server)
  • Electronics – (A Shaver)
  • Books – (Comic Book Art & Halo Art)

In Kuwait they are unpredictable and lazy, we have become even worse then Saudi. All the shipping people say its a nightmare to ship to Kuwait when even Saudi is getting more organized then us.

MOC Stopped It

HaloLegendsBD

I have a package from MyUS shipped through DHL which came in with 4 Hard Drives, a motherboard, some ram, and 4 Blu Rays. All the Blu Rays are animated movies, Green Lantern, Dante’s Inferno, Halo Legends, and Justice League Crisis On Two Earths. I have come to the conclusion that you can only buy cartoons on Blu-Ray or DVD into Kuwait so they won’t stop it. Bt I was wrong, it has been two days since they said they would get clearance and I told them its only a cartoon why would you stop it. They really drive me nuts, and they wonder why there is so much torrent downloads in Kuwait, people are honestly willing to purchase but if you make it this much of a headache then they won’t buy online. Put a 5% tax that has to be paid and that is it, no inspection nothing, Customs is supposed to make money for the country rather then waste time inspecting toys and other items. It will probably be clear in a day or two but this is seriously very annoying, and I just bought these because I like these animated movies so much that I decided to buy them. They don’t care about the other items, I have had more electronics shipped in in one box before without it being stopped at all but for movies they stop it.

Airport Customs Stop

Coming in Kuwait Airport, I had one bag that I checked in and my briefcase, passed immigrations and waited for my bag to come out on the belt. There were a few late night flights arriving on Jazeera as well as our flight so it was packed. There were lines at the bag scanning machine, we placed our bags, mine came out first and I gave my coworker his bag and I said hello to the Kuwaiti guy standing behind the screen.

As I was about to pick up the larger bag, the customs guy spoke to the other customs guy right behind him behind another counter. As I was walking around about to head out the other guy said hello and asked for my passport. I asked him which bag he wants to see, the next is towards the left so he asked me to step towards the right slightly away from people. He opened my passport and said hello Marzouq, I said hello and asked him which bag he wants to search, he seemed nice enough. He then said, he doesn’t want to search my bags and thanked but was wondering what was in my pockets, I took out both my phones in my right pocket, so the he asked about the left one and I pulled out my wallet. He then said sorry for the inconvenience but sometimes guys sneak in small bottles of alcohol in their pockets, and they just take them and throw them without doing anything about the guy. He was very courteous, and I spoke to someone about this today and he said they do this because they know the person isn’t selling it, and since its personal use they just does it and let the person go, they don’t want to embarrass the person which is pretty decent of them. It was something new for me, I don’t mind when they search and I’m happy they are doing their jobs at 1 am.

Aramex Kuwait Customs Clearance

Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for choosing Aramex as your transportation partner.

The Kuwaiti Customs Authority has recently notified us that all courier shipments containing non-documents shall undergo customs inspection upon arrival at Kuwait airport. While Aramex shall continue providing its clearance services, we are unable to provide a specific time frame as to the duration of the clearance period, which may exceed five working days. Aramex therefore encourages all its customers who require speedy clearance to collect their shipments’ documents for self-clearance at the Aramex Ardiya office.

Should you need further assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us on + 965 1820011.

Best Regards,

Aramex Shop&Ship Team

What this sounds to me is that Aramex is trying to make an excuse and basically says that we will take your money to bring your packages to a certain point but your better off picking it up. One note, I have done clearance by myself before and its hectic there and you can barely find the clearance people from one Ministry to the other, for example you need clearance from the Ministry of Communication when ever you bring an odd piece of networking equipment or server and you won’t have time to get it back to clearance, and recently they lost a package of mine after I got the clearance. These guys don’t have a clue what the hell they are doing, I’m not blaming Aramex but that is a very cheap ploy on their part to exit from the responsibility. They are providing a service and people are paying for it, even after increasing their prices they say this after all that people have gone through with their deliveries. Most of my packages get stuck in custom clearance in the first place and I wait for it to be cleared because if it gets lost its not my fault. Also I don’t think customs will be able to handle the volume of packages that come in from all the different courier companies on a daily basis from Kuwait Airport, I have seen how many staff they have and if one guy goes to work you would be lucky. I remember my server taking over two weeks to clear and thats with me calling them consistently, I wonder how long they will try stopping every package before going to back to normal and leaving the items. About a year ago these guys pretty much let everything through without a headache and in reality if people just pay the fee they owe then that’s fine, why does it require clearance, let people just pay the tax for it.

The Latest Run Around

Its been about four to five weeks now since my Norco DS1500 debacle and I haven’t gotten any resolution at this point. I filed a legal letter with Kuwait Airways, Global Logistics and Customs but I haven’t gotten any where. I have even called some people I know and they basically told that I would have to file a lawsuit to see any money and it isn’t really worth it. The problem is that Aramex did deliver to Kuwait, it was lost by the handlers of customs. Looks like I got the short end of this stick, and I don’t think I want to file a lawsuit against customs or Kuwait Airways at this point. If I left it with Aramex I could have gotten into an argument with them and gotten something out of them but now can’t do anything, this is frustrating.

Our Lovely Customs

I ordered the Norco DS-1500 Sata Storage to incorporate into my Rack Server, planning a very interesting build. I have had it in my Amazon Cart for about 6 months, and I at last decided to buy it as of three weeks ago. Around the 20th of June it came into Kuwait and there was a problem at customs, I knew something was going to happen just wasn’t sure what. The smart people at Aramex listed this Sata Storage device as a sporting goods on the manifest, so how surprised were the customs guys when it looked like a box with a bunch of wires. So automatically they held the box so Aramex contacted me asking for the invoice, I told them the invoice is inside the box and I decided to finish the paperwork myself.

Went to the customs guy and finished all the paper work necessary, they just asked for the MOC clearance for the product. I know that usually they will clear it quickly. The box was opened one day so the next morning I went to the MOC and that took sometime, more then I thought was necessary since I had to find the head of the MOC clearance department and he was taking a longer break then usual, as the secretary said. I didn’t have time to go to the customs so I thought I would go the next day. When I went the next day they couldn’t find the box, I went to Kuwait Airways and they said they returned the box to Global Logisitics for storage. It has been over four days now and I have sent formal letters to both Kuwait Airways and Global Logistics regarding my Sata Storage and nobody seems to be giving me the time of day, I’m bouncing back and forth between the two and they are both denying that any of them had kept it or the other received even though I was with the customs guys when they returned and it has been over a week and I’m asking for financial damages to paid for the item as well as the shipping that I paid for it. Lets see how this all works out and how long it will take, and the customs guys are saying that Kuwait Airways and Global Logistics are responsible for holding the items.