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Thread: Receiving parcels (avoid DHL/other shipper fleecing)

  1. #1
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    Default Receiving parcels (avoid DHL/other shipper fleecing)

    A few weeks ago I made a post about getting a box sent over with some of my belongings in it. Was all a bit confusing, and seemed that others had fallen foul of a combination of unclear guidance and DHL.

    So here's how it went for me and the lessons to be learnt that will potentially save you at least $160 and possibly a lot more.

    First off, from the UK there are several services that ship via DHL / UPS / Parcelforce but at the commercial rates not the consumer ones. So $100 for a box up to 15kg icompared to 160-200 by the same companies direct. Parcels2go for example, and any other combination of www. some mention of parcel/baggage .co.uk.

    So in my case it went via DHL for 92.

    As it's all used personal belongings then I needed this form http://www.customs.govt.nz/NR/rdonly.../0/nzcs218.pdf But I made the mistake of attaching that to the box. See below for what to actually do. Now this form looks like the wrong one, due to all the expceptions to exceptions in who shouldn't use it, but if you're here, or about to be, then it's the one you want.

    So DHL had the box, then it arrived at Auckland before being trapped with a 'delayed clearance' flag. I enquired to be told that I was about to be charged $160 for the privelege of DHL unsticking the form and handing it to customs. No thankyou.

    So what you actually do is fill in that form, take it with your passport to any MAF office to get the MAF clearance certificate, or promise to take in what they need to see, and then to the customs office with your passport. You also need the Airway Bill and the flight details (separate for DHL). Ntoe this needs to be written, not noted froma call. DHL tend not to offer htis, but as soon as you ask they will do it. In my case then I got them to email this straight to the customs. So from 12:00 when DHL said $160 i got it all sorted, MAF, Customs and back to DHL with a released flag in 1h 40.

    The tent MAF didn't even want to see as I explained what I'd done to clean it (hoovered to death, pegs in jeyes, then dishwasher, then back in jeyes).

    Customs were also fine, but as the parcel was over $400 in value there was a $38 charge paid by credit card over the phone. If I'd had the DHL email to me then I could have paid in person, but I was back in the office before it arrived with them.

    Note that the Customs charge would have been on top of the DHL charge. And also that I went into the office in Tauranga despite the parcel being in AKL. Not sure what the process would be if you can't get in to an office in person as they need sight of your passport, although I THINK that you can send a copy of your passport to them, may need to be a certified copy though. Best to call and check, they were very helpful.

    So in summary. Send through an agent, then as soon as it's posted get a copy of the airways bill and flight details emailed to you. Fill in teh form downloaded above. Then go into MAF and then Customs with the completed form. Pay the $40 and the system releases your parcel. No delay, no ransom from DHL.
    Last edited by Duncan74; 22nd November 2010 at 12:55 PM. Reason: Usual speeeling muppetry

  2. #2
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    Thanks Duncan. Will be helpful when I send mine soon.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Duncan, it wont just save money but will give some piece of mind!!! DHL!!!

  4. #4
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    We arranged the shipment of boxes with Mail Boxes etc. in the UK, for the same reason as Duncan, you can tap into commercial rates.

    One arranged through their Stirling office went Parcelforce...it arrived at our landlords and was waiting for us when we arrived...no customs, no MAF, no nothing. The second was sent DHL..it got delayed..charge to fill in forms or we could do it ourselves. We did it ourselves, cleared it at the local customs office with both MAF and Customs and it was released in short order.

  5. #5
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    Apparently the difference is that DHL have their own bonded customs agents, hence they go through the process with all parcels. Parcelfarce end up using the postl delivery system over here which is more geared to letters, and so Customs have a set time to choose if they want to take anything off the conveyor belt, and so there's an issue of resources that means it's pot luck. Personally, I don't have a problem with the MAF/ Customs charges, it's the sneaky way DHL try ramping it up ($160 to hand in a form). A bit like using an immigration agent for the EOI.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan74 View Post
    That's the "complex" form that DHL wanted to charge me additional fees to complete. As my items were all personal and clearly not new then there were no charges by NZ customs even though DHL said I would be charged if I tried to deal with the paperwork myself.

    Well done on another customer avoiding the DHL scam.

  7. #7
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    Yep, less than $400 then no charge, over $400 then for personal effects it's $38. Even if you pay DHL then you still need to fill in the form, the fees are for them giving it to MAF, and then to Customs.

  8. #8
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    We sent 10 boxes ( max weight 20kg each ) via the local postal service in Malaysia and it got delivered with no hiccups. Except of 3 boxes which got delayed for some inspection. ( 1 box had OH power drill in it and another were toys - wodden blocks)

    To send via DHL in Malaysia is very expensive.

  9. #9
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    *******NOTE*******

    As well as customs emailing/ faxing the clearance form to DHL, you also need to send the MAF form to them. Customs take a copy for their records, but don't forward that on. Email scan / fax is fine.

    (any suggestion that it would be quicker to grow fins, swim accross the ocean to the uk and swim back with the parcel would be unfair to any organisation that claims a 4-5 day service.

  10. #10
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    Just to update, box arrived yesterday. Unopened by MAF or customs despite clearly declaring a tent, camping stove and various food items. Seemed to have taken a bit of a hit at some point, but nothing broken inside, including the PS3.

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