Other countries, other customs – Part 1/3

September 21, 2015 — by Mama fish2



Other countries, other customs – Part 1/3

September 21, 2015 — by Mama fish2

What happens when you pack your own 20ft container?

What happens when you pack your own 20ft container?

Three weeks longer than expected and exactly one month after our arrival to the place we now call home, our beloved belongings have finally arrived.  We were so excited to see our stuff and get it moved into our new house.  What we didn’t know was the 3-day long process that would follow its arrival to the “dry port” Lilo in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Lilo Terminal Building
Importing your belongs into Georgia Country

Day 1:  Sunny Saturday morning 10:00am
Papa fish jumped into a cab, and drove one hour out of town to where our 20ft container was waiting to be claimed at the by us.  Lilo is located near the international airport on Chimakhuli St.  The kids and myself stayed at home eagerly waiting for our stuff to arrive… NOT.

The port is the typical uber efficient govement-run establishment you may find yourself in (for any kind of paper pushing bureaucracy necessary) to set oneself up as a foreigner residing in Georgia.  Usually you are attended by resourceful bilingual Georgian woman who really are quite pleasant just not very flexible.  The rules are the rules, but not always clear.

Prior to our container arriving we were advised (by the Georgian consulate in Madrid, Spain and the Logistics/transport company in Tbilisi) to apply for our temporary resident visas (upon arrival to the country, not before) and obtain a tax revenue number for a smooth release of our personal belongs… NOT.  In our particular case, they were unused.. but never mind.

Papa Fish confidently pulled out all his official papers, one by one, each were denied with a smile as they apparently did not fulfill necessary paperwork requirement – the trusty invoice of which was meant to define the value of our goods.  Typically foreigners, who relocate to Georgia, are relocated by companies or businesses whom have been hired by them to work in Georgia.  They take responsibility for the shipping of their “new hires” personal belongings.  This was not our case.  We relocated voluntarily, we packed our own container, we shipped our own container, and now we were here to claim our own container.

Lilo Terminal - Moving to georgia
Expertise Moment – Unloading

The woman standing behind the counter relentlessly tried to help Papa Fish as he pulled out all his papers.  They proved to be completely baffled as to why an invoice from a relocation company was not present.  Even though the bill of lading, clear as water, stated the goods had no value.  Anyway…

Nonetheless, three hours later Papa Fish found himself treading on new waters, step by step, Papa Fish was informed about the next step towards claiming our container, since we were not able produce the official invoice of non-valuable personal belongings. list.  I mean who has their personal belongings valued; it was relocation not an importation.

Next step:  Return home empty handed, prepare yourself and your Mama Fish to release all control of the handling of the families goods and return Monday (two days later) at 10:00am for the unload of your 20 ft container.  Yep, unload.  We had the same nightmare thought… how are they every going to get that all back in the container?



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