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Tuesday, 9 March 2021

If the Government wanted a quick way to improve overseas trade....

Since hardly any British meteorites are available on the open market, dealers like Linda and me are forced to import them from around the world: Argentina, the USA, Morocco  and Germany are all tried and trusted sources. Of course, since Brexit we even have to pay import charges and taxes from Europe: this is reflected either in higher costs to our clients, or lower margins for us!

What is really irritating, however, is the outrageous delay we experience when we bring stuff in from the USA. A recent example - some iron meteorites - took just two days to leave a dealer in New York and arrive at Heathrow: that's when things ground to a halt. The parcel sat in arrivals for FOUR days, before being moved forward to East Midlands Airport, on to Parcelforce, Coventry thence to Customs for clearance. Typically it will sit there for FIVE days! Eventually if / when it's cleared, we'll receive a POSTCARD (Why not a phone call or e-mail?) after a further TWO days advising us how much import tax / warehouse / transport fee we're required to pay. This we carry out online. If we're very lucky, the package might reach the local Parcelforce Depot TWO days later. We then have to go and collect it! Of course, we paid 'up front', so when - as does happen - clients grow bored with the wait or delivery deadlines are passed, we end up out of pocket.... What a joke! You can't tell me there aren't ways to expedite this procedure.  

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