This was not the post I was wanting to write. I was hoping my next post would be one that said “woohoo, my swaddles are here. Please go and buy some.” Instead there’s yet another hurdle to get over and my stress levels are through the roof.
The latest on receiving my inventory
On Tuesday I was feeling pretty positive as my swaddles arrived in the UK. (At last, proof they do exist! Well, I guess they could technically still be empty boxes, or just full of crumpled paper, but it’s seeming less and less likely.) They arrived in Barking, went onto Tamworth and then Castle Donnington where they’ve been since yesterday.
This morning, I got an email from Jackie in China, saying she can’t understand why they’re sat in a UPS warehouse and maybe I should call and investigate. So I called UPS as soon as they were open, at 8am, to be told they wouldn’t be going anywhere until I had an EORI number. I hadn’t even heard of this.
They sent me an email with the link to apply and it’s a huge form. They also explained in the email that once they’d had the goods for more than 3 days they would start to charge me £13 per day, per package for storage. I have 25 packages. That isn’t good. Especially as the EORI number will take around 3 business days to come through – maybe more. (And UPS will charge storage for weekends – not good to hear on a Thursday.)
I felt physically sick as I knew I had to get the form in as soon as possible, after already leaving it weeks too late, and we had 15 minutes before having to leave for pre school. Luckily my husband was around to get the kids ready, while I filled in the firm as fast as humanly possible. You need all sorts of information – your passport number, the cost of the goods, the name and full address of your supplier, your business, the Amazon warehouse. It’s the kind of thing you want to be doing sitting at a desk with a cup of tea – not on an iphone huddled on the stairs trying to block out the distractions of your family.
Notes for next time
The thing that annoys me the most is I kind of feel this is my own fault. A few weeks ago Jackie asked me for a EURO number and I just thought “what’s she on about, that doesn’t exist, I’m sure I don’t need that, I’d know if I did it” and completely dismissed it (and her). Obviously something got lost in translation (again) as it’s not called a EURO number, but she was right and we did need something. And it would have saved me both time and money if I’d investigated a bit more. Who knows, a quick google search and I might have figured it out, but no, I obviously knew better.
Now all I can do is wait (again) for my application to be (hopefully) approved. I’m worried about making mistakes as I did it so quickly (and it’s an official government form, so would there be repercussions for that?), I can’t find a number to call anyone on to push it through and in another day UPS will start charging me money I don’t have. So things are really, really stressful. I feel sick and like I want to cry – but will just have to pull myself together, as that won’t help. I might eat some cake though.
If you’re importing goods, read this!
For anyone else importing goods, to avoid this happening to you, I’d really recommend reading this guide to importing into the UK. (I wish I did, before this morning.) Here’s a link to the EORI application too. You need to do this for every shipment – ideally before it even leaves for the UK. Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing?!