Package Retained at Customs

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Package Retained at Customs


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Old 7th August 2012, 02:11 PM
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Default Package Retained at Customs

I'm in Spain and I had my Mom send me a package containing a few things of little value from the US. I created the shipping label and customs form online and emailed it to her a week ago when she shipped it via USPS Express Mail. The package's tracking info confirms it arrived in Spain, but today it also says "Retained at Customs". I thought I'd do a little online research to see how long the delay might be and I was hit with story after story about how dysfunctional and crooked the Spanish customs system is. Here's one:

Living in Spain as Foreigner: Spanish Costoms vs 'I' (about retained package)

I called my Mom to have a laugh and she told me she had also included a brand new $400 cell phone in the package as a surprise gift because she knows I broke my cell phone here. Ouch.

What are the odds that the package will still be delivered without any further action from me? If that doesn't happen, based on what I've read, they will want me to pay an exorbitant amount in order to retrieve the package. If I do nothing instead, will the package be sent back to the US?

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Old 7th August 2012, 02:24 PM
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I don't know if this will help, but recently I had a package ( a dog grooming table) delivered from GB.
It was held at Barcelona when it arrived on a Friday (around 5pm) I presume for customs check,as this was the first point of entry into Spain, and I received it the following Tuesday , all intact, very happy.
Although the tracking, showed it reached Barcelona, it didn't show when it left, and they had my home phone number to contact, but didn't use it, the van just turned up.

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Old 7th August 2012, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by expatrocks View Post
I'm in Spain and I had my Mom send me a package containing a few things of little value from the US. I created the shipping label and customs form online and emailed it to her a week ago when she shipped it via USPS Express Mail. The package's tracking info confirms it arrived in Spain, but today it also says "Retained at Customs". I thought I'd do a little online research to see how long the delay might be and I was hit with story after story about how dysfunctional and crooked the Spanish customs system is. Here's one:

Living in Spain as Foreigner: Spanish Costoms vs 'I' (about retained package)

I called my Mom to have a laugh and she told me she had also included a brand new $400 cell phone in the package as a surprise gift because she knows I broke my cell phone here. Ouch.

What are the odds that the package will still be delivered without any further action from me? If that doesn't happen, based on what I've read, they will want me to pay an exorbitant amount in order to retrieve the package. If I do nothing instead, will the package be sent back to the US?
my late husband once had a new cheque book sent from his US bank to here......... it went around Europe about 3 times - was retained at customs somewheer in Spain - they wanted his Spanish business ID number - since it was a US business he didn't have one

he never got the cheque book ............. it went back to the bank in the US & he picked it up on his next trip

I think that since there's a fairly expensive phone in your package they will want some sort of import tax to be paid

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Old 7th August 2012, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
It was held at Barcelona when it arrived on a Friday
Did the tracking info mention that it was "Retained at Customs"? That's what scares me. Here's my current tracking info on correos.es:

31/07/2012 Accepted
01/08/2012 Dispatch from the point of origin international office
04/08/2012 Delivery to the destination international office
04/08/2012 In transit
04/08/2012 Retained at Customs
05/08/2012 Retained at Customs

Quote:
I think that since there's a fairly expensive phone in your package they will want some sort of import tax to be paid
According to the link in my original post as well several other stories I've read online, they are happy to receive your payment of taxes by bank transfer, send the package back to the point of origin anyway, and not refund the taxes. I could avoid that by having someone I know in Madrid go to customs there, but how much money will they want?

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Old 7th August 2012, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by expatrocks View Post
Did the tracking info mention that it was "Retained at Customs"? That's what scares me. Here's my current tracking info on correos.es:

31/07/2012 Accepted
01/08/2012 Dispatch from the point of origin international office
04/08/2012 Delivery to the destination international office
04/08/2012 In transit
04/08/2012 Retained at Customs
05/08/2012 Retained at Customs


According to the link in my original post as well several other stories I've read online, they are happy to receive your payment of taxes by bank transfer, send the package back to the point of origin anyway, and not refund the taxes. I could avoid that by having someone I know in Madrid go to customs there, but how much money will they want?
As 4th and 5th was a weekend, maybe it might have been cleared yesterday or today, so all being well--lets hope! you should receive it tomorrow or Thursday, Hope all goes well for you.
My parcel was held from the Friday evening till I got it on the Tuesday.

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Old 7th August 2012, 03:57 PM
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Thanks fergie, I'm sorry to ask again, but can you tell me if your tracking info specifically said that it had been "retained in customs"?

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Old 7th August 2012, 04:14 PM
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NO probs. I just checked the info I had, and it just said held in Barcelona, -not specifically customs.
My item- the dog grooming table, was only worth 120e, and it had never been opened until I received it here in Spain, it was bought from Amazon, they wouldn't deliver direct to Spain, so I had to have it delivered first to my daughter's UK address, then forward it here via courier, and it ended up at my address.
Order was placed with the courier on 23rd of July, and I received it on 31st-so 9 days later, but of course there was a weekend in between, when I doubt the customs will have been clearing courier items.

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Old 7th August 2012, 04:24 PM
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Unless something has changed the UK is in the EU . Why would customs pay any heed?

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Old 7th August 2012, 06:21 PM
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Unless something has changed the UK is in the EU . Why would customs pay any heed?
The parcel was sent by the OP's mother in the US.

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Old 7th August 2012, 11:35 PM
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I believe you will be paying a pretty penny for custom taxes.

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