It's getting closer................ it's off the ship and now getting ready to be put on a rail car headed to Pasadena, Texas!
I'll have to tell you my friends, this first experience in shipping goods from France has been filled with the unexpected. Have you ever heard the expression "You don't know what you don't know!"? Well, this explains me over the past few months and a few false beliefs that I held.
Misnomer Number One: I was under the false belief that my container would be shipped from the port in France to the port in Pasadena (Houston). I was wrong. I found this out when I was e-mailed an invoice from a "container line" in New Jersey billing me for "Terminal Handling", "Stripping" (I can only imagine this is getting my goods off the boat and segregated from the other items), "Document Fee", "Port Security Fee", "Terminal Fuel Surcharge", and "Chassis Fee." My container arrived yesterday on the OOCL NAGOYA and, if time allows, will be on the way to Texas tomorrow. Shipments leave NJ for Pasadena every Wednesday so if it isn't loaded today, it will be loaded and en route next Wednesday.
Misnomer Number Two: I thought I could handle all of the import and customs paperwork with the help of the shipping agency in France and not use a "Customs Broker"! I can't even go into all of this but let's just say that the Customs Broker in Pasadena has been awesome and I was lucky to find them. They informed me of a little customs form that, if not filled out in time, could have cost me a large fine! Again, you don't know what you don't know!
So, for anyone thinking about shipping items from France to the U.S., I WILL SHARE WITH YOU EVERYTHING I HAVE LEARNED! I don't care if you are starting a business yourself, I am happy to share all of the knowledge that I obtained.
So next my shipment will be put on a train to Pasadena, off-loaded to a warehouse where it will be segregated from the other shippers items in the container, and all of the items will be assigned classification numbers. These classification numbers are what the custom's "duty" charges will be based on.
So, if all goes as planned, and my shipment is on the train tomorrow, I should be able to pick up my items some time around December 2nd or 3rd! I'll immediately catalogue them, post them on the MFFC store website, and, hopefully, OPEN THE STORE!!!!!!!!!!!
I can't wait to see all of the French Brocante that I purchased. It's going to be like Christmas morning and Santa Claus came early!
Au revoir, Mitty