Hi, all. We just had - for the first time ever - an outgoing loan returned to us by the US postal service (AFTER charging $56 in postage), with a sticker indicating that attaching a Customs Declaration is no longer sufficient, but that they now require Customs Declarations to be submitted *online*.
This raises a few questions:
(1) has anyone else had this happen?
(2) if so, were you able to figure out the correct protocol and succesfully ship thereafter?
From what I can see online, the international shipping option that uses the online Customs Declaration is part of an integrated process that looks like it can only be performed, and paid for, as an individual, rather than done via an institutional account. Our institution normally covers all shipping expenses and we do the paperwork; our shipping & receiving office is certainly not equipped to file online documents FOR us, and we have no money in our museum's budget to pay for loan shipments. It has always been that we labeled the package, attached the Customs forms, passed the package to shipping & receiving, and then the University paid the postage - but apparently that is no longer possible.
If anyone has insights into the proper workaround for this, I think a great many of us would benefit from knowing what to do. Otherwise this promises to greatly interfere with our ability to make loans.
Doug Yanega Dept. of Entomology Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314 skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
"There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82