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  1. #1
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    Default ***container shipping***

    THIS IS TO INFORM THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE THINKING ABOUT MAKING THIS MOVE; EDUCATE YOURSELF YOURSELF ON WHAT YOU'RE GETTING.

    TERMS SUCH AS "DOOR TO DOOR" AND "FULL-SERVICE SHIPPING" CAN BE A LITTLE MISLEADING

    When you pay the $6,000-$7,000 for shipping to the Dominican Republic, you would think that all you'd have to do is wait for a call and when you arrive at your residence everything, would already be assembled inside, right?
    WRONG...

    SHIPPING
    Shipping companies will do whatever they have to do in order to make a sale. Whatever they tell you, expect to wait at least a week after the approximate arrival date for the container to arrive. That's when the blame game starts...

    INSPECTION
    YOU as an entity (not as an individual) must report to the port on the day of arrival to inspect your merchandise ($500 RD for hard hat and safety vest rental) **WEAR JEANS AND PREFERABLY A LONG SLEEVED SHIRT**. This isn't something that takes ten or twenty minutes. Everything has to be unloaded and inspected individually. All boxes and containers have to be opened. Sounds good right? Well expect to wait about 2 hrs at your container in the sun for an inspector and a supervisor to arrive at your container to inspect the value of your goods. (When I arrived, i found that my container was already opened and four people were sitting in my dining room chairs. I had to watch as my $2,000 dining room set was sitting on old, uneven asphalt while workers sat in them. I asked the supervisor why they were sitting in my chairs and he says "nothings going to happen to your chairs...".

    INTERVIEW
    After the inspection, you are told that you will have an interview the next day. BUT... before that, you must pay the PORT FEES and BROKER FEES which add up to be almost $1400. If you don't pay, your interview will be cancelled and your container will be held until you pay the money (Guess what happens if you decide not to pay at all? Yup, confiscated. So you'd be out of $6,000-$7,000 and all of your household goods.). Now you've paid your port fees and you're ready for the interview. **TAKE A COPY OF EVERY PAGE OF YOUR PASSPORT OR YOU WON'T GET THE INTERVIEW**. Here they tell you how much taxes you're going to have to pay for importing your goods **ADVICE; TAKE ONLY WHAT YOU NEED. IF NOT THEY WILL TRY TO EAT YOU ALIVE**. Take $500 RD for paperwork etc.

    THE WAIT
    Now that you've paid everything you thought you've had to pay, and have waited hours in the sun, and paid some more money, you have to wait for customs to give the broker the final invoice for the taxes of your merchandise. Here's the catch... Let's say you wait three days after the interview for the final invoice. The final invoice may come in late on a Saturday evening. Nobody works on Sunday. Maybe there's a holiday on Monday, and the final person that has to sign off on your case won't be back until Wednesday... ALL OF THESE DAYS ARE COUNTED AGAINST YOU FOR CONTAINER STORAGE! Not just by the port, however but also by Aduanas. It's about $30/day for the both of them. So that just became an extra $200 bill.

    CONCLUSION
    If this is the way you want to go, I just want you to be educated on what you're getting into. Many people make the mistake of thinking there's the same level of professionalism in DR as there is in the US and other big countries. Customer service is HORRIBLE and At times it seems that there are no consequences for wrongdoings. This will wreck your brain if you can't learn to adjust and chill out a little.

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  3. #2
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    DR typical organized robbery...

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  5. #3
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    Once you get involved with Aduanas you are toast.

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  7. #4
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    Admittedly, my entry was Jan 2009.

    I experienced none of the aggravation you did - happily for me.

    Yes, went to the dock - for the on-time arrival.
    Got walked around by agent who paid everybody
    Inspected my goods and they were transferred to a truck for delivery to my house - that day.

    Car had already been paid - separate trip - interview same trip, in SD at the Aduana headquarters.

    The truck followed me & my car to Cabrera............ done.

    Caucedo was my entry point - I had been advised ONLY to go there.

    Trick is to set it all up right - AT BOTH ENDS.

    Benchmark Export in PA - Hispaniola Freight in SD (Customs brokers)
    All in my fee..... ~$4,000 as I recall....
    40' ft container w/ car and household effects........... car was about $1,800 duty with the residency exemption.

    Standing on that dock was no fun, I agree.

    Your point is well taken.
    My additional advice -
    This is not a place to pinch pennies, International Shipping.

    My Liaison with Hispaniola Freight was excellent.
    Advised on timing issues.
    They even walked me downtown to help with my matricula.....

    Never had a surprise..... excellent service.

    And I had ZERO Spanish - Hispaniola dealt with me in English.

  8. #5
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    Doing this is kind of like shooting craps. WW had a giant roll. Someone else may shoot snake eyes.

  9. #6
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    My container of stuff was delivered to me at my house back in 2003. Nothing like the horror story of the OP. I did pay to have it unpacked, but somehow that detail was not conveyed to the local workers. So it was like Christmas for a couple of days.

  10. #7
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    These people held my container purposely for an extra 6 days just so I would have to pay both of the storage fees... Oh and you paid about $4,000 for your entire move?

  11. #8
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    when you have a container to the port use a GOOD broker to deal with that, less stress :-) you just have to go to the port (one time) to retrieve the deposit $ for the container.

  12. #9
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    What knows how the shipping OUT of DR works? Same hassle as shipping in? I shipped in six years ago,it wasn't that difficult, but at the inspection in the port you have to pay attention.

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  14. #10
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    When we brought in our container (2007). The shipping company took care of the inspection, walking us through the "residency exclusion, and delivered it to our home. No hassle no problem. In the entire shipment one lamp shade was ruined and that was the extent of damage and NOTHING was missing.

    Bob K

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