Spinnaker Entry to Australia Story

Those of you following us closely know that we had a frustrating time trying to get our spinnaker delivered while we were in Brisbane. Despite the fact that I ordered the sail from Quantum Sails in Capetown back in February, and called them a week before we arrived in Brisbane for two weeks, I had the hardest time getting them to deliver the sail before we left Brisbane. We ended up having to delay our departure by two days before they finally got it to Brisbane on Thursday before Easter. I think the sail maker had delayed making the sail when I told them in February I wouldn’t need it until March. When I called them to ask for delivery they suddenly remembered they needed to make it.

Anyway, when I finally knew it was on its way on Wednesday, I started trying to make arrangements to pick it up. I thought it would be a simple matter to get a rental car. But, it turns out they were all booked because of the holiday weekend. No problem, it would be a simple matter to take a taxi. Wrong! The taxis were also booked, even to the airport!

Fortunately, Brian on s/v El Regalo came to the rescue. He and JoDon had just returned from a camping trip and he offered to take me to the airport. I told him he could probably just drop me off while I did the formalities. We got to the air cargo place, and they confirmed they had the package. Yay! But, I needed to take some papers to Customs to fill in clearance papers. Thankfully, Brian stayed and drove me 4 km to the Customs building. We had to wait a few minutes for them to open. The customs service desk guy was very nice and was helping me fill out the paperwork, but he said once I filled out the papers I would have to wait until Tuesday (because of the holiday weekend) to get the package unless I used an agent to file it electronically. So, after several phone calls we found an agent who would do it for only $245.

Thank god Brian stayed because we had to drive to another town. There we had to wait a while because they had to research how to get our paperwork done because apparently being a foreign yacht needing a package was unusual. After going off to get an early lunch, they finally got the paperwork. Although we aren’t supposed to have to pay taxes or duty as a foreign yacht, they claimed I would have to pay “other fees” to avoid the duty and taxes. The other fees worked out to be half the price of the duty and taxes. So, after paying almost $1000 to pick up our package in Australia we finally had the clearance papers. While I’m grateful the agent was able to do it so quickly and get us out that day, I wasn’t happy with the price. We then drove back to the air cargo place and they brought the box to Brian’s car. We got it! That was the important part.

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One Response to Spinnaker Entry to Australia Story

  1. That is embarrassing at the Aussie end Frank. Sounds more like what often happened to me in many Asian & Pacific Isld countries! Ridiculous.

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