Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I fought Japanese Customs and Japanese customs won...maybe

Hi everyone! Sorry for not posting for so long but I've been busy with a few photo shoots ( thank goodness, I get to pay rent and eat this months : P ).

I've been dealing with a certain matter for the past week that has left me feeling a bit defeated and frustrated...Sigh.  I don't even know where to begin to tell you, so I guess I"ll just take the plunge and jump right into it.

Anxiously waiting for a certain package to arrive, I became a bit worried when I noticed that the delivery date had exceeded the 10 day mark ( Priority mail guarantees 6-10 days, and I normally get my packages within 6-7 days). On the 14th day I received a notice from the Tokyo Branch Customs Office for Overseas mail, stating they needed to speak to me in regards to the contents of my parcel...Double Sigh.

So I made the call and spoke to a Mr. Ueno, he informed me that my package had exceeded the restricted quantities of cosmetics allowed within Japan (This is where my heart rate started to gradually escalate).

Of the five years that I have been receiving parcels, I've never been made aware of any "item restriction on cosmetics", and trust me when I say this, I've had a RIDICULOUS amount of makeup sent to me through the mail...I guess someone at customs felt like doing their job that day and picked my package.

Mr. Ueno quickly told me that I needed to speak to someone in the Pharmaceutical and food safety bureau, Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare. I could see that this was going to take up my entire day, so I kissed whatever other plans I had goodbye (or sayonara). So I patiently wrote the number down and made another call (can you see where this is going?).

Unfortunately, I can't give you the name of the person I spoke to in the ministry of health bureau since he didn't give it to me...but let's just call him Mr. #@$%&* ( you can use your imagination of what this is suppose to read). I guess Mr. #@$%&* didn't have his V8 that day because he was so impolite and curt. Mr. #@$%&* stated that packages containing cosmetics can only hold a maximum of 24 items of makeup.  He then went on to inform me of my "options"; option #1 is that I could go to post office where the package is being held and pick 24 items and all other items would be discarded  or option #2 would be to have the package sent back to the states and then have the items shipped back to me properly...mind you, by sending the package back it would be sent via snail mail, therefore taking 3 to 4 weeks to go back to the states...Triple Sigh.

After finishing the call, I was left with this hankering feeling about the whole "24" item thing. So, of course, never taking no for an answer, I did my homework and found that you can indeed send more then items; in fact, you can send up 24 pieces per item.

So, I placed another call to Mr.Ueno and educated him of his own policies. I advised him that I would like to go there, check this package, and go through the contents. So, now I have to wait till my next available day off, which is September, 16th. He agreed to hold the package and that is where this store stands so far...VERY frustrating to have something so close yet so far away.


I'll keep you posted on any changes in this situation as they occur.

Here is a photo of the Customs Notice

You could see my name as well as the name of the person who sent the package, so I used what was closest to me to cover our names. Makes an wrinkled paper look cute : ) 



Found some post its 

Looking Gorgeous (but frustrated) one lipstick(or not) at a time


(Here is some extra information if your sending a packing from the states overseas.)

I just want to let those of you who many not know that the United States Postal Service offers various priority flat rate services on international shipments. The USPS packaging is free and they range in size, from gift card envelops (10"x7") to large boxes (12"x12"x 5 1/2"). You can get these envelops/boxes at your nearest USPS office or you can go online at usps.com, order all your "FREE" international shipping supplies (packaging, custom labels, etc.) and the USPS will even ship these items to you for FREE (isn't "free" a great word)  Now, international shipping fees vary from $13.95 to $58.50, depending on what packaging you choose to use (by the way, you can schedule your package to be picked up at home online and save 5%, so remember a penny saved is an eyeshadow purchased!)and your package will arrive at it's destination within 6-10 days.  I always use the large box because you can ship up to 20Ibs (yes, 20Ibs of makeup), so you get the most bang for your buck. So maybe you can use this information the next time you need to ship a package overseas : )

4 comments:

  1. I did know about the flat rate priority and I have shipped that way to my friends in Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore in the past... But it's quite an art to make sure the contents all fit and get to the 20 lbs mark as close as possible....

    I had issues with USPS Large flat rate... once it was going to HK and since it left the NJ facility it looks like it vanished from the surface of the earth.... It was a CP for someone in HK and I felt terrible about it and as the 2 month mark passed by (priority should be less than 2 weeks!) I was losing hope and thinking I needed to buy back all the lost contents.... then on the 10th week it suddenly showed up at the receiver's doorstep! But of coz the box looked all battered and torn (as you can imagine)

    The other time was buying for a blogger friend in JP. Japanese are obsessed with Coach and I just bought a few bags from the outlet and send it over to her... and JP customs demanded close to $100US for duties.... sigh....

    After all these bad experiences I had to USPS, I switched to DHL. It's faster than EMS but the rate is around Priority mail and they have less hassle with lost mail etc... and delivery is prompt! They once made the deadline by delivering on Xmas day to my friend in JP!

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  2. I've trained my friends and family to become pro packers :P

    I've never had an issue with the large flat rate boxes(of course I've jinxed myself, so let me knock on wood :P). I always always ask whomever is shipping the packages to include a insurance fee of $1000.

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  3. Hi. I just recently discovered your blog and I love it. I was just recently in Japan (this past Novemeber) and I so wish I had found your blog before my trip so I would have known what brands to pick up. It's a slow day at work so I've been going back through your blog and I need to know...what happened? Were you able to keep all your items?

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    1. Hey Anonymous :)

      Thank you, and I hope you'll continue to stop by. I had to ship everything back, and then my friend had to ship it back to me...ridiculous!!!

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