The cycling jerseys have finally arrived. What a saga. The jerseys arrived in Dar early in the morning of Wednesday December 12. It has taken until now to get them released from customs. They were released at 16:22. At 17:00 the office closes for Christmas. Brinksmanship. When the jerseys arrived I was told that I had to pay about 660,000 shillings in duty and tax (for a few cycling jerseys mind) or about $450. An outrageous amount I thought. We have diplomatic status so anything we receive should be tax and duty free anyway (this is called PR06 status – we have pre-approved PR06 papers on file). We have never had any problem bringing stuff in in the past. I mentioned this and they kindly said they would re-assign customs status. They did. They now asked for 1.1 million shillings or over $700 (for a few jerseys). Go figure. It is Christmas after all. Customs was upping the ante. They did not want to see the PR06 on file. They would only accept a new PRO6 document for this package specifically. A PR06 has to be signed by the Foreign Minister. To make a long story short, the new PR06 was delivered at 16:05. The package was released at 16:22.
38 minutes to spare – or I would have been riding topless.
Don’t forget to donate to the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.