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Captain Log ID: 1009
Title: Sea Sprite & Spare Parts To Guatemala
Boat Name(Id): Sea Sprite ( 2454)
Sailor Name(Id): Hans-M. Fruergaard ( 6446)
Geo Region: Rio Dulce
Date of Occurance: 2007-09-22
Latitude: N 15º   39'
Longitude: W 89º   0'
Sender (if email-in):
Earlier log from "Sea Sprite":  994
Newer log from "Sea Sprite":  
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Time for some repairs on Sea Sprite and I asked Westmarine, USA to send me some good quality marine spare part to Rio Dulce in Guatemala.

The result became as follow: After 3 days, at 17 September 2007, the package arrived at Fedex Guatemala City and was then transferred to their associated custom clearances company, Aeromar Transportes Internationales S.A. Guatemala City, Guatemala. A secretary at the custom office, phoned me next day and explained that I have to pay some money for the expedition of the package, handling fee, the clearance, as well as IVA Valuated Tax and Cargo charge, because the value of the package was by the sender reported to be more than USD 850. The total transport and handling costs for the Westmarine Mercandise’s with a catalog price of USD 1,090.00 became finally US$ 560.00.

Further requirements from Aeromar Transportes Internationales S.A. before they would be able to clear the package back to the Fedex office was: That I through a Lawyer have to organize a letter, signed by a Guatemala citizen to assure that the package is for his personal use. The reason for this unexpected move was based on my temporary 90 days visit in the country as a tourist (Swedish) and as a foreigner don’t have a Guatemala NIT (National Identification Number issued to Guatemala residents only).

I have informed Westmarine and Fedex in USA about this remarkable situation to avoid a repeat in the future for their customers, and the answer from Fedex have indicated that an investigation will be initiated and the result might by time improve the situation for the customers. Westmarine contacted me by email and we decided to return the package to USA and when arrived I will be credited according the catalog prices.

My recommendations to boat owners like myself will be:

• Make your marine spare part transportations by other means than courier mail when visiting Guatemala.

• If absolute necessary to use a courier transport then assure that the value will be reported lesser than US$ 850.00.

• Try to find a local company with an International Trading Permit as middleman for the transaction.

• Expect higher than normal import costs.

Good luck with your needed spare parts....

Note: Note: One week later I went to Livingstone to renew my entry permit, and the Customs officer informed me that he is able to issue me a temporary Guatemalan NIT for use by tourists only. So finally I also got a Guatemala NIT for my future import requests or similar unexpected situations.