Jump to content

Delays in customs processing through DHL


Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

This is at least the third time in as many months that I've used DHL for the sending and customs processing of goods, mainly food supplements. The first two times back in July and August, everything went very well, it was quick and efficient. The first time the vendor already had taxes included so I didn't have to pay anything; the second time I paid DHL before the goods were dispatched for delivery. For the first delivery, it took around 2-3 business days for the customs procedures to be completed. The second time DHL advised it would take 2-3 business days but took just 1. 

 

This third time is proving to be a headache. The merchant is the same as for the second shipment in August but it's larger this time. One set of products is the same as in August, just twice the quantity; the second set is something new but still manufactured by the same supplier.

 

The goods arrived Saturday night a week ago, and I thought they would be cleared quite quickly based on the customs status at the time. Then came the 13th, which was a public holiday so I assumed that perhaps some staff had taken a 4-day holiday. Nevertheless, there was not a peep out of them so last Thursday I emailed DHL to enquire what was going on and made a complaint about how long it was taking. They advised they would try to clear it as soon as possible. I then enquired again on Friday and they told me the goods were in the queue for inspection.

 

Finally on Monday they were inspected (perhaps customs doesn't work on the weekend) but because the customs forms were not filled out properly (I didn't specify that I had two sets of the first product and the second set contained 3 separate products) they asked for a website address or printout from the merchant. I sent this along and they advised it would some time to update the paperwork and the goods would need to be "re-inspected".

 

It's been 3 working days since then with no progress. Does anyone know what's going on? 

 

Unless there is a severe staff shortage something is not right. I can understand that the failure to fill out the paperwork correctly may be delaying things slightly, but the fact it took them over a week to even look at the goods in the first place tells me something is different to normal. Maybe they are overwhelmed with incoming shipments?

 

And before anyone says DHL sucks...they've been reliable so far. Just don't understand what's going on this time. 

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, notrub said:

OK.  I have had shipments from US via DHL from Amazon and the stuff arrives eventually.  Except a Kindle reader that disappeared for so long they refunded my money.  Having said that, DHL sucks.  I would never knowingly ship anything with them, unless there was absolutely no other solution.

Well, the stuff arrived. They even sent me pictures of the goods after inspection. The issue here is simply the bizarre lengthy customs procedure, something that didn't apply 2 or 3 months ago. I mean, even with covid, right now there should be more flights than there were a couple of months back and thus if anything, things should be a little faster now. I've looked on their website and they are speaking of only minor delays...perhaps 1 or 2-3 days, not 10 days.

Link to post
Share on other sites

With covid there is much less international traffic therefore Thai customs are interfering with a greater percentage of shipments. It all sorts itself out eventually. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, uncleP said:

With covid there is much less international traffic therefore Thai customs are interfering with a greater percentage of shipments. It all sorts itself out eventually. 

Good point. I'm sure it will sort itself out; as I said, one of two products I've imported before with no issues whatsoever. Just this time it's twice the quantity of last time. 

 

Last month I had a shipment sent via USPS, picked it up at the postal customs office. Couldn't have gone more smoothly...took less than 10 minutes to get everything done including payment of the import duties. Most of the time was spent in traffic getting there and back and having to wait over lunch since I arrived only around half an hour before the lunch break. I was out of there around 1.30pm, after waiting 50 mins (not including lunch). 

 

Although I don't want to visit the postal customs office every time such a shipment comes in, I know that when it does, I can clear it rather quickly. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm also having customs problems which Ive never had before. My problem is with FedEx. I had a friend send me some supply's for my CPAP machine. I paid extra 3day delivery and now its been two weeks tied up in Customs and I have to register as an importer. Need to pay a Broker to take my passport to Customs for inspection. I learned a lesson. If not C.O,D. I wont have anything sent here anymore. I will just let them keep the package. Its a 1lb package. It cost me $113 to 3 day send it and now they latest estimate from broker is another 3,900 baht (duty is only 431 baht) to pick up my passport and get the package. I don't like the idea of a broker taking my passport. To many hoops to jump through. I'm 79 years old and don't get around very good anymore.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, willyumcr said:

I'm also having customs problems which Ive never had before. My problem is with FedEx. I had a friend send me some supply's for my CPAP machine. I paid extra 3day delivery and now its been two weeks tied up in Customs and I have to register as an importer. Need to pay a Broker to take my passport to Customs for inspection. I learned a lesson. If not C.O,D. I wont have anything sent here anymore. I will just let them keep the package. Its a 1lb package. It cost me $113 to 3 day send it and now they latest estimate from broker is another 3,900 baht (duty is only 431 baht) to pick up my passport and get the package. I don't like the idea of a broker taking my passport. To many hoops to jump through. I'm 79 years old and don't get around very good anymore.

Sending via the regular postal service is trouble free though. That's the way I will probably do it exclusively from now on. Or I might consider DHL for certain items I know will get through without an inspection being necessary. There is nothing else I will have sent via DHL this year anyway; this was the last package. Whether or not I decide to risk it again next year (perhaps around February) remains to be seen though based on this experience of my goods being stuck in customs for 11 days now, something doesn't seem right. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, VocalNeal said:

My beef with the likes of FedEx is that they are paid to deliver from door-to-door but for whatever reason if the package requires customs clearance they drop their door-to-door commitment this end and we end up having to pay to get it delivered locally. 

 

Just a bunch of crooks.

Well after sending another email asking what's going on basically telling them to expedite it and also inform the customs inspector to kindly finish his inspection today, I received an explanation as to what's going on.

 

Because the original form was not filled out properly (basically, the inspector found more goods than what was written on the form) it had to be amended (which took place on Monday). Then, the new form would have to be approved and finally inspected again by the FDA, a totally bureaucratic process. Of course I assume responsibility for not filling it out correctly the first time, but these goods come in two sets. I didn't realize I would have to basically detail every little item separately (I had a hunch that maybe that's what they wanted, but decided against it). I know that in future I'll have to be very thorough from the beginning, and this may have cost me a good few days in extra delays. 

 

Following my email, I received an answer finally clarifying the situation. The amended documents have been approved, but since the FDA people (and probably inspection teams covering other types of goods) don't work on holidays (such as today) or weekends, the inspection process will probably only be finished on Monday or Tuesday.

 

Again, given it took all of 10 minutes or less to complete everything in person at the Thai Postal Customs Office last month for a similar shipment, I don't understand why amending a document takes 4-5 business days followed by an inspection of something that has already been inspected. Either the Post Office is 1000 times more efficient and competent than the customs people working with DHL or the latter has such a huge case load that they're easily overwhelmed. 

 

Anyway, you learn from experience. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/23/2020 at 3:08 PM, VocalNeal said:

Or the latter is a licensed customs broker and they will charge you brokerage fees

What difference does that make?

 

All I'm asking is for them to hurry up and clear the consignment. I am happy to pay all fees associated with this shipment, but so far all I've experienced are never ending delays.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t think DHL is the problem here.  I’ve used both DHL and FedEx over the past several months.  DHL customs in three days.  FedEx shipmenttook seven, yes.... seven weeks to clear customs.  All for a tube of ointment that was included in the shipment (from USA) that was ultimately deemed to be medicine and forbidden from entering.  The bulk of that time was spent waiting for the actual inspection of goods by the food and drug division.

 

Pre-covid I shipped these types of items regularly with no problem clearing customs......done in a day.  I think the volume is now so low that the inspectors have more time to gin up the customs fees to keep their agency afloat.

Edited by Tracyb
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I import regularly and can say the paperwork is critical to be perfect. If they waive a inspection they basically don't scrutinize the paperwork. Once customs decides to inspect then it will take time as there are a limited amount of personal. Remember 99% of customs is automated. 

 

Also forgetting the quantity can have substantial penalties so be careful. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Back in July, I ordered some vitamins from the US and the company uses DHL to transport them here. I ordered two items at the same time, weight limitations meant they had to be two separate orders. The first one arrived within ten days, now almost four months later I'm still waiting for the second item. The vendor eventually gave me a refund, and even they sounded cheesed off with DHL. "Their tracking system gives you no useful information at all," they moaned to me. Why use them then?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...