Hold on your online carts, Aramex packages will go through customs!

The following is an email from Aramex Shop&Ship notifying customers of new Kuwaiti Customs Authority regulation:

“Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for choosing Aramex as your transportation partner.

The Kuwaiti Customs Authority has recently notified us that all courier shipments containing non-documents shall undergo customs inspection upon arrival at Kuwait airport. While Aramex shall continue providing its clearance services, we are unable to provide a specific time frame as to the duration of the clearance period, which may exceed five working days. Aramex therefore encourages all its customers who require speedy clearance to collect their shipments’ documents for self-clearance at the Aramex Ardiya office.

Should you need further assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us on + 965 1820011.

Best Regards,

Aramex Shop&Ship Team”

So only letters and documents can pass through. But otherwise, each and every package of yours will have to go through customs, so you will have to add an extra 10-15 KD at least on top of your online purchase price, add to that the 2-3 days delay on average, as many packages will arrive just before or during the weekend and will have to wait for next working day to clear them. I would say however it’s 7 days in most cases, as if you’ve been to customs clearance once before, you won’t wanna do it again, and neither does Aramex I’m sure. They’d rather collect their payment upfront, since the hassle is not worth the extra 5 KD charge.

So added days for delivery, added cost, and ten times extra headache, Kuwait has made online shopping literally impractical. This is a blow for Aramex themselves however more than it is for the end user, who will go with the more convenient path now. I bet this is the best time for Aramex to reduce prices to cover the difference.

Now as for Kuwaiti Customs, I’m not sure why they would have to go through each and every single individual package, when most shipments are from trusted merchants like Amazon, with a bill specifying all that’s inside it. Well maybe I know, but I mean it won’t be a reasonable explanation for such a call. But let’s just say that’s fine, they lay the rules, and they have their wise reasons. Do they have the capacity for it? Before you say you want to check each and every package, can you handle all that load? For some Disney kid’s cartoon, I had to carry the package, guided with security guy, back and forth twice from the storage to the Ministry of Information hut to authorize it. And that place of theirs is so tiny a think guy can barely walk between the desks with one Pakistani guy who clears it. How can all the packages go through this one person? And that’s just for the DVD, let alone all the other items inside. I heard any item that has a charger has to go through Ministry of Commerce. No comment!

Has anyone paid the customs a visit, you will see what a mess the process is, and how overwhelmed they were already without inspecting all these Aramex packages. Now if you want to inspect the package, I say fine. I’ve got nothing to hide (most of the time!). But give us a process. I don’t have to waste a whole day, running from one building to the other trying to follow a process that insiders keep arguing about it.

So in a nutshell, for the foreseeable future, I say put on hold the items that can wait. Ohh and… I Love You Kindle!

Did you enjoy this post? Why not leave a comment below and continue the conversation, or subscribe to my feed and get articles like this delivered automatically to your feed reader.

  • MS

    I already have two packages on hold today and i think that i will never collect them

  • MS

    I went through customs twice, but thanks God that i did not commit a suicide. Anybody with a solution and a replacement for Aramex?

  • http://blogallalong.com/ Bashar

    MS: Damn :/. You can get them out, unless they’re very extreme. You just have to suffer!

    I’m looking for alternative. Right now best thing is to make friends with people outside Kuwait :>. OR… go live there…

  • http://cute-nemo.blogspot.com nemo

    they have to change this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://blogallalong.com/ Bashar

    nemo: We all hope, only! I’m chatting with a friend who again recommends MyUS.com, but their prices are crazy high!

  • Ali

    The thing about most Kuwaiti authority establishments is that they come up with an impractical decisions when something goes wrong (e.g. They find an illegal substance in a package upon random search).
    They never bothered thinking of a way to keep a smooth flow of packages and parcels under the new ( & more strict) rules, and frankly they don’t seem to give a @&#* about how this affect people.
    The real winners here are the big shot vendors/importers who jack-up their prices once they get their merchandise and expect us to pay a minimum 3x the price it is sold anywhere else. After all the very same whales who run the Kuwaiti market are the ones who have a lot of the customs officers on their payrolls to stall/damage/over-tax/lose or even outright confiscate PERSONAL items that match the brand they are selling.
    Can you spell C-O-R-R-U-P-T-I-O-N?

  • http://blogallalong.com/ Bashar

    Ali: perfectly said.

  • http://www.solostuff.net S0lo

    I’m using http://www.earthclassmail.com some times when the weight is high. Although there is a per month fee. But with this new announcement, I might consider it more.

  • http://mbhtech.blogspot.com MBH

    I buy online because it’s cheaper by at least 15 KD.

    I went to the customs once and God knows I wish to never see their faces or names ever again.

    Full of retards who refuse to listen to logic. Just follow orders blindly, and wrongly, since some items are excluded from the lame rules. This applies to customs AND ministry of information (more like ministry of confusion!)

    Last time I went to that dreaded ministry, I arrived at 1:22 PM, and EVERY SINGLE EMPLOYEE was gone!!!! Only the cleaners were there!! The government official time is till 2 PM!
    I asked the cleaners when did they leave, and they said all employees leave at 1 PM!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I SWEAR, NOT A SINGLE EMPLOYEE. NONE. ZERO. NADA. ZIP. ZILCH. NOTHING.

    I think they want to take all those movies, games, gadgets we order for themselves…

  • stuck at work

    its not fair i have two packages that are coming on the way one is worth 230 dollars and the other is worth 6!!!! i am not gonna pay 20 kd for a very lite product that i bought for only 6 dollars….. ive tried to call the customes and they dont pick i also tried to call 7imayat il mostahlik also no answer what am i supposed to do i really need the 6 dollar product cuz without it i cant use the 90 dollar product that i previously purchased…………………………….hufffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff i am so annoyed

  • http://blogallalong.com/ Bashar

    MBH: Yeah… now there is no reason to buy online most of the time.

    Government hours. Will since they discriminate in way women leave before men by 15 mins, men tend to leave early as well, and then women take another 15 min so that they’re still 15 mins ahead… This is how it goes sometimes.

    But at all rates, I go there at 8:30 or 9 to finish by 12:30. going there after 1 doesn’t help a lot!

    We’re gonna have to figure another way now.

  • http://blogallalong.com/ Bashar

    stuck at work: phones are never helpful in Kuwait for such things. You’ll be lucky if they answer you while you’re hovering over their head.

    This is so unfortunate. Best thing is to let go of the $6 item, get someone coming from outside to bring it, or buy it locally. Cheaper either way. Pissing off, but cheaper :(

  • http://blogallalong.com/ Bashar

    SOlo: Sorry I missed your comment there. What do they use for delivery? They must end up with some carrier at the end, and all carriers will be stopped at customs now

  • http://twitter.com/shopnship Feras Hilal

    Hi Bashar,

    Thanks for voicing your concern, we’re terribly sorry to hear that this is happening, but believe me, we’re feeling the pinch as well, and we sympathize with our customers. We informed you immediately once we were informed about this!

    But sadly, we have little say in this, and like you, we are citizens as well, and we are obliged to conform to all laws. However, we are working at our utmost speed and power to soften the blow, and to reduce the impact of this on our customers. I think that more and more people need to be vocal regarding this, perhaps we can bring about change (we are both on the same side), remember that you, the customer can be very effective in this.

    Here’s the breakdown for the Kuwait Customs charges:

    5% CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight).
    10KD Kuwait Airways Fee.
    2KD Bank Commission.
    1KD Handling Charges.
    5KD Clearance Charges (if choose Aramex to clear it for you, otherwise, only 2KD for self-clearance for the declaration form).

    However, things are still not quite clear regarding the regulations and procedures, so there still is some hope. We will keep you informed with any updates as soon as we receive them.

    Thanks,

    Feras Hilal
    Marketing Team Member - Online Conversationalist
    Aramex International, Global Support Office

    Tel: +962 6 5515111 ext. 1329
    Fax: +962 6 5527461
    aramex.com

  • http://blogallalong.com/ Bashar

    Feras Hilal: Thanks for taking the time to clear things up, and sorry about the unfortunate spam filter. I guess it’s because of the long comment with phone numbers. My bad.

    Thanks for the bill breakdown, and yes, I expect you guys to suffer the most from this. If people can’t buy online, it takes away the fun from the them, and the business from you.

    I have to salute you however for being honest and open about the change. Thanks, and let’s hope we can do business together soon.

  • http://www.myadminmail.com/ Gary Silver

    I use services of company called MyAdmin, which provides virtual mail management services. The company is very good one and I’m satisfied and happy.