What does that tell you? I’m outsourcing to my own country and saving a bundle. That was my plan at least. The issue was whether or not I would be able to bring in such a large number of volumes. In essence, I would be importing! The very sound of the word turned heads, straightened backs, tightened fists. You can teach, you can write, you can mend kitchen tables, but none of these compare to calling yourself an importer.
I go up to people and tell them, “Do you know what? I import.”
“What?” They ask.
“Books. That’s what.”
That adds an element of culture to it.
The thing is, it’s not really true. I’m not an importer because ever since I learned what it takes to be one, I decided that giving seven-year-olds permission to go to the bathroom continuously for the next twenty seven years of my working career suddenly had a catchy ring to it. This is why people don’t accept the normal channels, because the minute you do, you feel that you are the only idiot in the world doing it, and that you should be placed before a tribunal to explain yourself in front of a national audience. “Ladies and Gentelmen, behold, a complete idiot. An utter fool. A dimwit, knucklehead and moron. What is his crime? Let’s ask him, ‘Tell the audience what you have done.”
“I’ve tried to, uh, be an importer.”
“There you have it. Need he a defense lawyer?”
You see, the minute I delved into the matter, I realized that it wasn’t going to be that easy. I don’t know wy I ever thought it would. Plus, the minute you ask an official about your intentions, they use all of their know-how to prove just how complicate life can be when you make an effort. My good friend Rafa did his utmost to assist me in making the process run more smoothly:
This was what he suggested:
1) Go to the IRS of Spain, the ones who have no money, and fill out the KJ992930 Form which signs me up as an importer, and allows the state to have a close look at what I’m doing.
2) Go to the Customs Office and fill out the AB65634b Form which tells the state that I will be bringing merchandise into the country.
3) Provide the Customs Officials with the number of boxes, the exact weight of the cargo (I like using that word because it gives certain prestige to my product and business, the dimensions of my boxes, all of which I had no idea about.
4) Pay. Pay a lot. Pay for the total value of the object being shipped…including the shipping! Somehow, and the logic behind this eludes me, how much I pay for the books to be sent here is added to the total value of the product. Then they would add the sales tax, the VAT for the British folk out there, the import tariff, some other tax added to the rest, just to make the experience that much more painful.
“And that’s it.”
“Yeap. If you want to do it by yourself, of course. You can also have a professional importer do it for you and it will come to about 200 euros for the service with everything included.”
Hmm. Tough choice.
Not. There had to be a different route. And there was…
I contacted Amazon and told them to send over a whole bunch via UPS. The books were in my apartment within a week. The courier took care of everything and the extra cost was a joke.
What is going on here?