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Shipping company

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Knowing567
10/25/2018 07:04 EST

Can somebody recommend a good shipping goods company that they have used and were happy with it?
I may or may not ship big things but it just occured to me that shipping some boxes may be cheaper by ocean than thru the post office.

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FAIRCLOUGH
10/26/2018 18:11 EST

Nothing I shipped by mail ever made it. they claim it gets lost in customs.
I shipped a container full using WARD VAN LINES in Santiago. Door to door service, customs clearance, packing and unpacking.
Most forwarders won't deal with homestead items.

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Knowing567
10/26/2018 19:12 EST

Thank you very much Fairclough.
Good info.
What do you mean by "homestead items"?

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FAIRCLOUGH
10/27/2018 08:39 EST

Homestead items are ite.s not subject to duties such as clothing, furniture, cookware, dishes, used items such as lawn mower, stereo system, basic tools, clothes drier that operates on 240 volts, medications etc. Not worthwhile bringing a tv. They are cheaper here and operate on 220 volts.

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FAIRCLOUGH
10/27/2018 08:39 EST

Homestead items are ite.s not subject to duties such as clothing, furniture, cookware, dishes, used items such as lawn mower, stereo system, basic tools, clothes drier that operates on 240 volts, medications etc. Not worthwhile bringing a tv. They are cheaper here and operate on 220 volts.

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quietbibleguy
11/4/2018 18:41 EST

Fairclough, thank you for that information. Is there a URL where one could find out what does and does not qualify as homestead items? For example, used computers and used home video studio gear for ministry. How would Chile look at that?

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FAIRCLOUGH
11/5/2018 09:13 EST

It qualifies if it is used. Ward van lines and their shipper in the US will send you this information in a package. Even new items will pass if they are not in their original packing or with twistie ties around their cord.

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FAIRCLOUGH
11/9/2018 17:03 EST

Used is OK.

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quietbibleguy
11/9/2018 17:22 EST

Fairclough, thank you. I take it as long as it cannot be resold as new, it qualifies as "homestead" items? But I guess my question is, is that also going to extend to my ministry computers and video gear?

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FAIRCLOUGH
11/10/2018 09:59 EST

Your shipper in the US can guide you with description of the items.
Be sure to get insurance for about 150 pct of value for every item you ship because it is quite likely items will disappear in customs.

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encourager89503
11/21/2018 08:05 EST

It usually isn't the shipping company that you need to worry about.. It is Chile Customs inspectors. Last year, my Christmas package never reached me because customs wanted it more for themselves. There were some new clothes and other new home decoration items in the package, but customs took all of it. I tried to contact customs about it but they denied everything, of course. Disgusting!

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quietbibleguy
11/21/2018 16:33 EST

Fairclough, thank you. I contacted Ward Van Lines, and am looking forward to hearing back from them.

Do you know if they ship by the pallet, or only by the container? . .

I am trying to get down to just the stuff that I really need to bring. I am hoping to get down to 4-5 pallets, but there are a couple of long tubes for green screens (one is 8' long, the other is 10' long) that don't fit on a pallet. . .

I am trying to decide whether or not to sell my tools, chainsaw, etc. I also have some old computer monitors that still work. But, monitors (and TVs) are cheaper in Chile, maybe there is no point of shipping them, and then waiting for them to arrive? . .

Decisions, decisions....

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encourager89503
11/21/2018 16:35 EST

Your electric tools will not work in Chile. Anything electric is 220 volts and will not work on 110 volts.

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quietbibleguy
11/21/2018 16:42 EST

Encourager, no offense intended, but may I ask how you know it was customs? And did they take the clothing because it was new? (And their size?)

I am 6'8" tall (2.07 meters) so I don't think they will take my clothing. But if they take my computer gear it could mess me up. I hope my shipper will insure home-built computers.

Do they normally take things more to resell them? Or things they want for themselves? And just out of curiosity, did you insure your things? And were you able to get reimbursed?

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quietbibleguy
11/21/2018 16:50 EST

Encourager, thanks. I forgot to specify. I meant hand tools (like for cars, carpentry, etc.). Only, I don't do much car work or even house maintenance anymore (no time). And I read that one can have car work done inexpensively in Chile. So I am thinking about taking only a small amount of hand tools.

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encourager89503
11/21/2018 17:24 EST

I made many phone calls to track down my shipment. The last tracking info was that the shipment was in "customs" in Santiago. There is no one there who would confirm that it was there. It was either taken by an unknown customs person or the tracking information was incorrect. I talked with many people who have had the same problem with their own shipments. I would suggest that you either ship what you absolutely need with you airline luggage and pay the extra airline fee for being overweight (maximum extra baggage suitcases is 5 ) or sell everything and when you get to your destination in Chile, buy new in Chile. No one that I talked to, who has had the same problem with customs, actually received their shipment(s). I have been in Chile now for just over 2 years. Even items that I have bought online through both Amazon and eBay since my initial move to Chile have never made it through Chile customs. I truly believe that it is a racket that Chile customs has decided to confiscate all shipments from the U.S. and either keep for themselves or sell in Chile and pocket the proceeds for themselves. Sell everything before you leave or pack as much as you can in your airline luggage and pay the extra airline fee for excess baggage handling. Sorry, I don't have any other solution for you. Even my last year's Christmas package that was sent to me through UPS never made it to me. The packages are always claimed to have never reached Chile customs.

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encourager89503
11/21/2018 17:29 EST

I did not insure anything as I never expected that someone in customs is running a racket to make more income from people who ship things to Chile. New or used seems to make no difference. everything has a value and is possible to sell in Chile for extra income for the dishonest customs workers.

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quietbibleguy
11/21/2018 18:05 EST

Encourager, that is too bad! And I am sorry to hear it. I have had issues sending things to Colombia. If I did not send it (DHL) with tracking, it did not get there. I have heard that crime rings work in the ports. I am sorry to hear it affects Chile also. At some point it will be an issue for me, because I need fast computers and video parts for my work. I will try to bring what I can on the plane, but some things don't really fit (lights, big PCs, adapters, stands, screens, etc.). Sooner or later (and probably sooner) I will need to buy parts. Amazon just started sending packages DHL, but they don't ship everything to Chile (I have no idea why). In Colombia they have package re-shippers. Do they have package re-shippers for Chile?

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encourager89503
11/21/2018 19:22 EST

Not sure what a package re-shipper is. Do you mean a freight-forwarder? If so, I don't know of any here in Chile. In the U.S., yes, but maybe someone else on www.expatexchange.com can enlighten us both. Everything else here in Iquique is exactly what I expected and sometimes even better than I expected. I spent 2 years doing extensive investigation to find a better life that I felt back in 2016 would be a better place to retire. I still think that Iquique, Chile was the best, by far, place in the world to retire on SSI and my small company pension. I'm VERY happy and hope that you will be too wherever you settle in this great and wonderful country. The only let down from my expectations before arriving here was customs. Very sad, but NOT a deal-breaker.

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tercermundo
11/22/2018 09:23 EST

What airline did you use? We have been stolen from 3 times at SCL by American Airlines baggage employees. The airline knows there is a problem in this area but has as of yet been unable to fix.

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encourager89503
11/22/2018 12:53 EST

I flew American Airlines from Reno, NV to Iquique, CL April of 2017. Connections in DFW and Santiago, CL. Never has been a problem with my suitcases arriving thru the airlines as those items do not go thru customs inspectors. Do not ever have anything shipped from the US to Chile as all packages shipped go thru Chile Customs and everything I have ever had shipped that goes thru Chile customs office have never been received. Customs confiscated all my packages and took the contents for themselves to sell on the black market. Chile customs is a SCAM. Disgusting !

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quietbibleguy
11/22/2018 13:39 EST

Encourager, my friend in Valdivia CL writes: “It is true that at the customs they steal things, my dad bought things from China and Germany (for his bike shop), and at customs, in some way, they have opened the packages and they get less things than the ones he bought.” (So at least you are not alone.)

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quietbibleguy
11/22/2018 15:37 EST

I heard back from Ward Van Lines. I think I am definitely going to ask about 150% insurance! Because that way if they do steal it, I can afford to replace...

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FAIRCLOUGH
11/22/2018 16:31 EST

That is exactly the issue. List every single item and give it a price for customs and a price for insurance. Plan on replacing with local prices.

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FAIRCLOUGH
11/22/2018 16:31 EST

That is exactly the issue. List every single item and give it a price for customs and a price for insurance. Plan on replacing with local prices.

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FAIRCLOUGH
11/22/2018 16:31 EST

That is exactly the issue. List every single item and give it a price for customs and a price for insurance. Plan on replacing with local prices.

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FAIRCLOUGH
11/22/2018 16:31 EST

That is exactly the issue. List every single item and give it a price for customs and a price for insurance. Plan on replacing with local prices.

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quietbibleguy
11/22/2018 16:34 EST

Fairclough, thank you. Do you know about how much more computer and electronics parts cost in Chile?

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FAIRCLOUGH
11/22/2018 16:35 EST

If at all possible be there when they open the boxes in customs and definitely check the numbers on all the boxes twice against the list and unpack everything before they leave your home. You have 30 days to file for insurance.

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FAIRCLOUGH
11/22/2018 16:39 EST

They cannot use their own employees. The union requires they use locals.

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quietbibleguy
11/22/2018 17:20 EST

Oh I see. And this is how responsibility is evaded? The shipping company blames customs, and customs blames the shipping company? And for this, the solution is to be there in customs when the boxes are opened? And also to inventory at delivery?

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quietbibleguy
11/27/2018 00:05 EST

Fairclough, were you able to be there in customs during inspection? I am still waiting to hear back from Ward Van Lines, but one mover said outsiders are not allowed in customs. (So the only remedy is to max out the insurance on anything of value?)

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FAIRCLOUGH
11/27/2018 09:30 EST

I was not able to but the people who routinely import containers are able to be there to oversee the opening of the container if required. In many cases they dont bother. Keep bugging Ward. Tell them I recommended them. You will learn that in Chile you have to bug people several times so they can get your business. Request a response date.

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quietbibleguy
11/27/2018 21:24 EST

Fairclough, help me with this one. Ward did not want to talk with me, and you say they are worth calling and bugging? Are they that much better than the other companies who called me back right away?

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FAIRCLOUGH
11/28/2018 07:08 EST

If you have other companies eager to work with you, definitely go with them. Ward was the only one that wanted to work with me last year. I believe they were downsizing at the time. If you have good results with another door to door service, definitely post it here.

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quietbibleguy
11/28/2018 22:05 EST

Fairclough, I will try to do that. Encourager, earlier you suggested bringing all I need in the luggage. >> I would suggest that you either ship what you absolutely need with you airline luggage and pay the extra airline fee for being overweight (maximum extra baggage suitcases is 5 ) or sell everything and when you get to your destination in Chile, buy new in Chile. << That is sounding more and more like the plan. I am thinking to carry as much of the expensive items myself as I can. So rather than build one or two fast computers here and then insure them and ship them, is it legal to take the computer guts with me in a suitcase (at least the high value stuff) and then build it when I get to Chile? I am sure I can find the heavy stuff (computer cases and power supplies) if the ones I pack get stolen. Or would customs squawk at my luggage?

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encourager89503
11/28/2018 22:18 EST

quietbibleguy ~ Good idea ~
Should be no problem taking your critical parts with you in your luggage and then rebuild when you get to Chile.

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quietbibleguy
11/29/2018 01:25 EST

Encourager, you wrote >> (maximum extra baggage suitcases is 5 ) << . To clarify, is that a grand total of five bags? Or seven? And how do I move so many bags at the airport? Also, how can I find a taxi to take me and all my bags to the southern bus terminal?

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encourager89503
11/29/2018 07:59 EST

It is a grand total of 5 suitcases. I bought 3 extra large suitcases to be able to take them with me on the plane (in the plane baggage storage area in the hold of the plane) and they were all tagged by the airlines to travel with me to my final destination: Iquique. I started my trip in Reno, NV and first went to DFW, Texas and then to Santiago, CL and finally to Iquique, CL..When I got to Iquique, I was able to take a standard, (4 passenger), taxi to my home in Iquique. Everything made it fine. It was relatively easy and convenient and safe as everything arrived intact and no problems. As it was all personal luggage and was traveling with me, there was no customs inspections and no extra shipping cost other than the extra baggage costs, (which I think were less than $100 total for everything).

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FAIRCLOUGH
11/29/2018 10:01 EST

That may have been some time ago.
United now charges up to $400 per extra suitcase over 40 lbs. Houston to Santiago. We had a container plus 10 bags. Since it was going to be a one way trip and United charges more for a one way than it does for round trip, we decided to take a Holland America cruise ship from San Diego to Santiago.( Valparaiso with bus trip included to immigration in SCL airport. ) for $1300 per person and enjoy the 18 day sailing with food, entertainment and excursions in every port. Bags were no problem for the ship. the extra bags were stored in the steward's area. We had a blast and never had a bag opened in customs. We had bought a 4Runner over the internet in Santiago so from there on we drove home to Pucon.

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FAIRCLOUGH
11/29/2018 10:06 EST

No shortage of taxis and shuttle vans at the airport. You also can push a cart out to the taxi / shuttle area. Plenty of help as you walk the gauntlet coming out of customs. you can get your shuttle or rental car before you exit customs. Porters offer help.

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encourager89503
11/29/2018 10:07 EST

I flew American Airlines in April 2017. I suggest you check with the airlines to see what the difference is now.

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encourager89503
11/29/2018 10:07 EST

I flew American Airlines in April 2017. I suggest you check with the airlines to see what the difference is now.

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JohnAkai
11/29/2018 12:11 EST

5 Bags+
After you clear immigration & customs, you will be mobbed by a gaggle of taxi drivers. Outside are the buses. At the platform, pay the ticket seller. The blue bus takes you downtown where you can connect with the metro. To ride the metro, you must first buy a BIP card and then load it with money. Since you have 5 bags +, beware Chile is not really ADA compliant. Cheers!

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quietbibleguy
11/29/2018 14:13 EST

John, good point. There will probably be lots of offers to help. How much is reasonable to pay porter help?

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quietbibleguy
11/29/2018 15:34 EST

I contacted Crown Relocations. They called me and also sent me things by email (so they want my business), but I am thinking I should get at least three bids, so I hope to contact Ward again next week. Crown confirms I need to make one price list for customs, and also a list for replacement costs in Chile. (So I have some research to do.) >> I also went to the United website. They say two free bags, and then +$150 for each extra normal sized, normal weighted 50 Lb. bag. Then I spoke with their booking agent, who said there is no limit, but when I asked her to verify she asked (sounding somewhat incredulous), "Do you want to ship more than 5???" So it sounds like you are right, 5 is probably a safe planning limit of some kind. So that is 3 x $150 = $450, plus three extra bags at $99 each on Amazon, so that is an extra $750 (total). >> I had not thought about a cruise. It seems like a great thought, not having to deal with customs or shipping. I made some calls. The last ship of the season leaves in about a week, and then they are moving the ship to another part of the world because of the season (i.e., market) changes. The next cruise isn't until March (when they change back) and I don't want to wait until March, so it looks like I will be spending $750 for three additional bags, taking the high value items, and shipping the rest. >> If I may ask, how was your experience with buying a car off of the internet? Was that a new car? Or did you buy it from someone that you know? Or how did that go?

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JohnAkai
11/29/2018 16:08 EST

quietbibleguy, 2,000CLP (~$4 US) should be more than enough for all five+ bags...I bank @ BofA and order foreign currency prior to departure... I would take a taxi to the bus station. Too much trouble on the bus/metro.

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JohnAkai
11/29/2018 16:08 EST

quietbibleguy, 2,000CLP (~$4 US) should be more than enough for all five+ bags...I bank @ BofA and order foreign currency prior to departure... I would take a taxi to the bus station. Too much trouble on the bus/metro.

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encourager89503
11/29/2018 16:40 EST

BofA is the ONLY U.S. bank that has a relationship with a Chilean bank which is Scotia Bank. Once you're a resident of Chile you can apply for an account at Scotia Bank. As a result, I am only able to get my monthly SSI and private company pension payments to me directly to my Debit Card account that I still have open as my transaction bank BofA in the US.. I can obtain access to those funds via any International ATM, but it costs about $15 for each transaction and the maximum withdrawal is only $300 US per transaction per day. It takes a permanent resident I.D. and number to open an account in Chile and Scotia Bank requires you to wait for two years before they will allow you to open an account with them. Other banks in Chile only require one year's residency to open an account with them, but it is of no use as I can't open an account that can accept any payments from BofA with any other bank but Scotia Bank. I hesitate to try to go around Scotia Bank and have my payments go to any other Chilean bank because I fear if I do that I may not be able to get my retirement funds for an unknown period of time. It is a tremendous hassle, but being here in Iquique is paradise compared to life in the USA. Too much violence back in the USA and was a main reason that I chose Chile to retire in peace. But beware, Santiago is just as bad, if not worse, than the violent life in USA. Many illegal immigrants and violent criminal gangs from all over the world live in Santiago. Also, Santiago is a very polluted city and the atmosphere is unhealthy to breathe. Beware!

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FAIRCLOUGH
11/29/2018 18:18 EST

I was able to get a commercial RUT as a retired investor and with that I was able to open a dollar and a peso account with BCI
I can deposit checks in dollars from my US banks.
I was able to transfer large ammounts from the US and buy a home. When I had the home and car purchased, I entered as a temporary resident and got my ID card as a temporary resident. But of course, I cannot get a cell phone contract unless I use someone else's ID. They are funny that way.

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Knowing567
11/29/2018 19:03 EST

Hi Fairclough,
I need to understand your last message correctly, because there is a lot of good info in it. But It is a bit confusing to me, so, I will try to write what I understand from it.
Here is your message and in capital letters my understanding:
"I was able to get a commercial RUT (IS COMMERCIAL RUT DIFFERENT FROM NORMAL RUT? as a retired investor (DO YOU HAVE TO BE A
RETIRED INVESTOR, SIMPLY RETIRED WILL NOT DO? ALSO WHERE WERE YOU WHEN YOU GOT THIS RUT, IN CHILE OR USA?) and with that I was able to open a dollar and a peso account with BCI (IS BCI A CHILEAN BANK? DID YOU TAKE A TRIP TO CHILE TO OPEN THIS ACCOUNT?) I can deposit checks in dollars from my US banks. I was able to transfer large ammounts from the US and buy a home. When I had the home and car purchased (DID YOU BUY THOSE FROM THE USA? WITHOUT BEING PRESENT IN CHILE?), I entered as a temporary resident and got my ID card as a temporary resident. (THIS IS A QUESTION I KEPT ASKING ON THE FORUM, WHICH WAY IS BETTER TO ENTER, BY DECLARING YOURSELF A TOURIST ALTHOUGH THE INTENTION IS TO BECOME A RESIDENT? YOU ARE SO ORGANISED, SO YOU CHOSE TO DECLARE YOYRSELF A TOURIST, THEN THAT MUST BE THE BETTER WAY)
GBut of course, I cannot get a cell phone contract unless I use someone else's ID. They are funny that way." (I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY YOU CANNOT USE YOUR COMMERCIAL RUT. ISN'T THAT AN ID?

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Becerra65
11/29/2018 19:46 EST

I recently moved to Chile and hope to eventually become a resident. Right now I am on a tourist visa. Problem is you can only get one extension. So there for 90 days pay $100 get an extension for another 90 days then I need to leave the country which I do to travel to the United States. Then when I go home the process starts over but it would mean I have to leave every six months. I am semi retired and work remotely. I'm wondering what the best and smoothest method is to apply for temporary residence. I live in San Vicente with my boyfriend who is a resident. Its my understanding that I need a work contract to get the temp resident visa? I'm hoping for advice before I run around endless from building to building waiting for hours to get something done that should not be so complicated. Extending my tourist visa I went to 3 different government offices that were jam packed with Haitians applying for work visas and no sense of order or organization of the process. I basically just needed a stamp in my passport but also had to leave to go to the bank pay the fee go back to the office wait again until it was finally done. Also, I drove 2 hours away to San Antonio as there office seemed to be the least amount of wait time. Anyone else applying for temp resident visa that has any pointers on the best process to get this done? Thanks!

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Becerra65
11/29/2018 19:51 EST

I recently moved to Chile from California. We did one 20 foot container in one shipment then 30 boxes on two pallets that were shrink wrapped in another shipment. Both very expensive. There were just some of my things that I just wanted. Especially moving to another country. It made it feel more like home. In retrospect there are a lot of things you really do not need. Anything that plugs in for one and furniture I would not spend the money to ship. All in all I'm very happy to call Chile my new home!

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encourager89503
11/29/2018 20:01 EST

Yes, Immigration is a total pain and a so disorganized mess. No one I know has ever had smooth sailing getting through the process and always have to go back many times to complete the process. Sorry, but join the club. It is frustrating for everyone I know who has gone through this process.

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encourager89503
11/29/2018 20:13 EST

I got my cell phone through Entel and before that through WOM without even having my RUT yet. I just used my U.S. driver's license for an official ID

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encourager89503
11/29/2018 20:15 EST

I got my RUT within 6 months of arriving in Chile. I don't know if there are many different types of RUT's. I think that they are all the same, but since I am not running or operating a business in Chile I have only been dealing with one type of RUT. BCI is a Chilean international bank (as different from a Chilean domestic bank). The ATM bank fees can be re-imbursed by your bank once you become an actual signed-up member of that bank. Until then, you will be charged the $15 USD each time you use it. If you declare yourself as a tourist, you have to show immigration your return ticket home. Always declare yourself accurately. You are only complicating things trying to beat the system by lying. If you plan on living for a significant amount of time (one year or more) in Chile, then you should apply for a residency visa. When you become an actual citizen of Chile you don't have to keep renewing your residency. Your residency usually has to be renewed every year if you do not become a citizen.

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Becerra65
11/29/2018 21:15 EST

Just did the move from California to Chile. Hard to leave with just a few suitcases. We did one 20 foot container (full of my husbands tools), If you have an excess of something like tools they question it because they want to charge you more import tax. If it looks new and in the original box they charge a higher tax. It has to be used household goods. We also shipped a used vehicle because my husband is a returning citizen and allowed that, and then a separate shipment of 30 boxes which is 2 7x7 pallets. Don't ship anything that plugs in. We did ship 3 Samsung tvs as they convert just with a power cord change to 220. Any shipping is very expensive and requires a lot of time and paperwork. It probably cost us close to $20,000 for both shipments with import taxes on used items. You don't realize what you can live without till you actually move. I wouldn't ship any furniture. It was nice to have my things like linens, kitchen ware, artwork and of course my wardrobe. Our container was stopped for a random search before it left the US. Completely out of our control and cost us an extra $3,000. Definitely not something I will do again.

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Becerra65
11/29/2018 21:30 EST

Do you know if the application for the temp residency is a mail in application? I moved there in June of this year. I had a round trip ticket and extended my tourist visa another 90 days. I'm now in the US and will head back in a few weeks. I know I need a round trip ticket if I'm not yet a resident. As much as I like to come back to the states and visit it is a lil pricey every 6 months. So I will be starting the temp residency when I get back there, It just so hard to find the right process or instructions in English on how to actually complete the process.

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badbanterer
11/30/2018 03:43 EST

Wait, what if it is in original boxes but clearly used tools?

I keep most of my boxes but it is obvious they are not new.

Also, are you saying.not to bring a flat screen tv? I bought a Samsung last year but of course it looks new and I still have my box!

Jorge

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Knowing567
11/30/2018 08:37 EST

Thank you Encourager for good info. It seems that BCI is the best bank to apply to. But, I guess, you have to be already in Chile and have a RUT.
Regarding the entry visa you suggested to declare at the airport, when you arrive, that you intend to live in Chile. Do they let you in? Is it possible that they can refuse your entrance?
Did anybody started the residency process while in the USA by contacting the Chilean Consulate?

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Becerra65
11/30/2018 12:53 EST

I brought 3 Samsung flat screen tv’s and changed the power cord to the 220 plug and they work fine. I contacted Samsung and they told me that they would be compatible.

I was told that if things were in their original boxes they could charge more in import taxes. What they sometimes do at Chile customs is scan the bar code on the box to check the price and then compare it to your inventory list where you declare the value of your item. Make sure your list is very detailed and list the model number of the item.

I think there is less scruntiny when you are sending boxes on a pallet rather then a container. When the pallets come from the US they are shrink wrapped with plastic. So when they do the inspection they will likely only look in one or two boxes. When it’s a container they take it to a wherehouse where they unpack and go through everything.

I did a container and 2 pallets. Nothing missing nothing broken but the container the boxes were clearly opened and shuffled trough. Glad to have all our things. Especially since the tools we brought were used to build a 1600 sq foot house. Wouldn’t ship again. To costly and a pain in the ass. Both situations took a week in running around doing paperwork in Chile. Customs clearance SAG clearance , bank to pay fees, inspections etc.

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quietbibleguy
11/30/2018 13:24 EST

Someone said USAA (serviceman's) bank and Schwab bank do not charge fees for ATM withdrawls. Can anyone confirm Schwab?

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encourager89503
12/1/2018 09:06 EST

YES! You can enter Chile and then go through the Immigration office in your community in Chile to start the process of becoming an official Resident of Chile. It takes many trips to the Immigration office to complete the process, but it is worth it to me because I feel much safer living here, Chile is one of the highest ranked Free Societies in the world, (ranked by Heritage Foundation), my city of Iquique has a year-around mild climate, The people that I have met here are amazingly helpful to answer all my questions about how to go through the processes of establishing Residency here, Fonasa is an amazing help because 3 months after coming here, I developed CKD which I evidently inherited from my mother who had the same problem. The cost of living here is less than half of what I had to pay for similar living conditions in Reno, Nevada, USA. To me, I couldn't be happier. I have 7 close friends who are bi-lingual (English & Spanish) and are helping me to get settled into my new life here. I feel completely safe here compared to my old life back in Reno, NV.

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Knowing567
12/1/2018 10:38 EST

"You can enter Chile" I know I can enter, but what do I say when they question me at the airport: 1. I am a tourist visiting, or 2. I came here to live for a few years (maybe forever).
This is my question. I know I have to do the right steps later, applying for residency, etc. But, I do not know why I am so concerned. I do not know if they even question you when you enter.
You seemed very happy in Iquique and I like that. But we need a big city, my daughter needs a job and the grandaughter a good school. We will try Santiago for a while, I think.

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encourager89503
12/1/2018 12:34 EST

Iquique is not a small town. It is the largest city in all of northern Chile with over 200,000 people. About the same size as Reno, NV where I came from.. It is a very safe city to live with wonderful and caring people. You can't get those things in a "large" city such as Santiago. If you like living in a cesspool, of crime and polluted atmosphere then Santiago is a good choice. I would never live there, but everyone has their own individual desires.

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quietbibleguy
12/2/2018 00:28 EST

JohnAkai, that sounds like good advice.

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quietbibleguy
12/2/2018 00:36 EST

Becerra65, you said >> I think there is less scruntiny when you are sending boxes on a pallet rather then a container. When the pallets come from the US they are shrink wrapped with plastic. So when they do the inspection they will likely only look in one or two boxes. When it’s a container they take it to a wherehouse where they unpack and go through everything. << May I please ask, who did you use to ship your pallets? And did you have any theft? Also, did you have any option to insure?

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quietbibleguy
12/2/2018 00:43 EST

Becerra65, I hate to refer you to another URL, but I have not yet moved to Chile. There is another forum run by an expat immigration attorney called AllChile. I wonder if you might be able to find your answers there? Here is his "start here" page: https://www.allchile.net/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=2227 >> I hope that helps.

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quietbibleguy
12/2/2018 01:00 EST

Knowing, you said >> "You can enter Chile" I know I can enter, but what do I say when they question me at the airport: 1. I am a tourist visiting, or 2. I came here to live for a few years (maybe forever).
This is my question. I know I have to do the right steps later, applying for residency, etc. But, I do not know why I am so concerned. I do not know if they even question you when you enter. << My short answer would be, "Do you want to start a conversation, or save time?" The last couple of times I entered Chile they asked me "What is the purpose of your trip?" And I said "Tourism", because it was easier than saying, "I am thinking about moving here," because it might have started a conversation. I was tired and in Gringo Mode at that point, so I gave the easy answer ("Tourism.") Just as an anecdote, a security agent working the airline check-in counter asked me what the purpose of my trip was, and I told her, "I am thinking about moving here," to which she exclaimed, "What!?!?" I asked her if she was surprised, and she said, "I have never heard that!"

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quietbibleguy
12/2/2018 01:02 EST

So the moral to the story is, consider your audience?

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quietbibleguy
12/2/2018 01:39 EST

Knowing, you wrote: >> Did anybody started the residency process while in the USA by contacting the Chilean Consulate? << I don't know much about immigration paperwork. Most of what I think I might know comes from www.allchile.net. The forum owner is an immigration lawyer. He hosts that forum for his clients. I remember him saying that the consulates are different than the immigration you deal with when you get off the plane. He said that dealing with immigration in Chile was much easier.

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quietbibleguy
12/2/2018 01:56 EST

Becerra65, you wrote: >> I was told that if things were in their original boxes they could charge more in import taxes. What they sometimes do at Chile customs is scan the bar code on the box to check the price and then compare it to your inventory list where you declare the value of your item. Make sure your list is very detailed and list the model number of the item. << That sounds like a very good idea, but what might you recommend for a used computer built from individual component parts? Because computer parts are like buying parts from an auto dealership. For example, my motherboard (an Asus X79 Sabertooth) was maybe +/- $260 five years ago (because that is about what current mobos always cost). Yet that same part # today is on Amazon for $979.59, and used the best price is $479.99. But it would be ridiculous to price a replacement for the X79 in Chile, because the new $200-300 boards will always be so much better and faster. (Of course, that is probably a $300-450 board in Chile?) So what do I do? Get it appraised?

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Becerra65
12/2/2018 02:07 EST

Hi I used AlphaMarine US in Los Angeles. I did not experience any issues with theft with the container or pallets but did with our vehicle. We filed a claim but got no response. There was a speaker stolen from the car and some other damage. The insurance coverage is a useless scam. It’s my understanding that basically the coverage is in case your container or pallets fall off the ship. It’s not to cover theft or damages from them. Insurance is based on the value you give your things. We paid I think around $250 for insurance on the 2 pallets. You have to get the insurance even though it’s kinda useless. If you want to avoid high import taxes and they are used household goods you’ll want to go low on the value of your things. If it’s pallets and are valued under $1,500 you can avoid hiring a customs broker whick could cost an extra $600 and you can handle the paperwork yourself. You will also be able to be present when they inspect your things..

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Becerra65
12/2/2018 02:17 EST

Just guesstimate. I brought an Apple desktop and just listed the model number on my inventory list. If you are packing a box of parts don’t worry about it just list as computer components. Just remember though that you will be going from 110 to 220. We bought a couple transformers because we have tools and a couple other things that run on 110. If you can sell and buy new in Chile that would be better since the power and parts will be different then the US.

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Becerra65
12/2/2018 02:25 EST

Don’t make things complicated. Basically you are coming in as a tourist. I moved there in June. You have 90 days as a tourist with a visa. You can extend that one time for another 90 days which I did. Went to 3 different government offices before I got it done. $100. Then I came back to the US to see my family. Now when I go home the process starts again as a tourtist with a 90 day visa. Since it’s not affordable to fly to the US every 6 months I’m going to start my temp residency application when I return. I’ve heard you can also leave to one of the neighboring countries by bus for $60 and that will do the trick to.

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FAIRCLOUGH
12/2/2018 08:22 EST

We did just that. We dealed with the Chilean consulate in Houston and got our $470 visas before entering Chile. Our problem will be next year because we have been spending summers in chile and not residing here all year. When we apply for permanent residence they will check our passport records and see we have not been here all the time. We will cross that bridge when the day comes.

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FAIRCLOUGH
12/2/2018 08:24 EST

Just make sure everything looks used and dirty and packed in boxes that are not the original boxes.

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FAIRCLOUGH
12/2/2018 08:29 EST

I insured for $700 and when I submitted my claim for $980 in damages they paid the very next day, no questions asked.
It combined stolen and damaged items.

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Knowing567
12/2/2018 08:30 EST

Good morning Fairclough,
That sounds like a much simpler approach than what people describe as the process in Chile. We will have probably one month and a half before going to Chile, once we made the decision. Do you think that is enough for the process of obtaining residency through a consulate?

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encourager89503
12/2/2018 10:14 EST

Yes, all that you are planning to do about your visa problem is the right direction for you. The sooner you get started with the permanent residency application, the better. It usually takes about 2 years to get everything done and then it is smooth sailing from then on.

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encourager89503
12/2/2018 10:25 EST

So much turmoil about immigration. Chile immigration is not the same as American immigration. Chile immigration is much less demanding, yet everything that is done the right way takes time. Plan on it being a 2 year process with less stress than the American immigration system. And NO FAKE / ILLEGAL Caravans where you have to memorize your answers in the most acceptable terms for the immigration officers. Relax. All will work out and don't expect it to be an easy/quick process.

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quietbibleguy
12/2/2018 11:42 EST

Fairclough, you wrote: >> I insured for $700 and when I submitted my claim for $980 in damages they paid the very next day, no questions asked. It combined stolen and damaged items. << That sounds worth it.

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FAIRCLOUGH
12/3/2018 09:32 EST

I prepared a Excel spreadsheet listing every item with a number, a reference to which box it was in, my cost, year when it was purchased, current value, replacement value in Chile and insurance declared replacement cost.
I was able to sort and print separate spreadsheets for customs and for insurance purposes. As I had a lot of tools, they opened the container and the boxes with the power tools and only charged duty on the tools. No duty on the household items.

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Becerra65
12/3/2018 12:03 EST

Sounds about right. We had more tools then HHG. Almost too many tools. Then they question if you are a business and want to charge more. My husband was a returning citizen so they give him a lil bit of a break.

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Becerra65
12/3/2018 12:03 EST

Sounds about right. We had more tools then HHG. Almost too many tools. Then they question if you are a business and want to charge more. My husband was a returning citizen so they give him a lil bit of a break.

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FAIRCLOUGH
12/3/2018 18:35 EST

Yes, definitely. It takes about three weeks. let them know when you travel, they can accommodate your needs. What does take a long time is the FBI criminal record check. That can be slow unless you use an expedited service.

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FAIRCLOUGH
12/5/2018 13:44 EST

Temoorary residency can be requested online. download the forms, fill them in, attach photos, te required documents, usually a medical letter stating you are healthy enough to travel to and reside in Chile, Proof of income such as social security of $1200/month US or more, and a certificate from the FBI stating you have no criminal record. This last one requires fingerprint cards that your local police can provide. The FBI form is also online and can take up to a month to process.
Yes, you can enter Chile on a tourist visa even if toy mention you would love to live here one day. They welcome foreigners. This country needs foreigners seeking a better life and willing to be productive in any way. For that matter so does the US need immigrants willing to become citizens, work and pay into the social security system.

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quietbibleguy
12/5/2018 23:52 EST

Fairclough, you wrote: >> I prepared a Excel spreadsheet listing every item with a number, a reference to which box it was in, my cost, year when it was purchased, current value, replacement value in Chile and insurance declared replacement cost. << You sound very organized. How did you find replacement values for everything in Chile? (Or did you estimate?)

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FAIRCLOUGH
12/6/2018 15:39 EST

some replacement costs were estimated, some researched online,some I asked locals.

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quietbibleguy
12/26/2018 01:15 EST

Encourager, you wrote: >> Even items that I have bought online through both Amazon and eBay since my initial move to Chile have never made it through Chile customs. << Did Amazon refund or replace the items? And how long ago was the last time you lost a shipment with Amazon? Thanks.

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encourager89503
12/26/2018 07:25 EST

I haven't used Amazon for items coming to Chile from the U.S. I never got any refund either because Amazon said that the "Chilean customs department" stole the package. Not Amazon's "fault". Disgusting!

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liewald
12/26/2018 08:02 EST

I have been advising clients relocating to Chile for 6 years and none have had stolen or missing items.
Several received full containers with their households.

I just received 3 Amazon purchases including a Polar watch, a desirable item.
I had an issue with delivery and had to pick it up at the post office but nothing lost.
Best
Walter

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encourager89503
12/26/2018 09:08 EST

Please explain how you got these items from Amazon without having to go through Chile Customs. I've NEVER been able to avoid having to go through Chile Customs. That is the problem. It isn't Amazon nor the post office. It is corrupt Chile customs agents who steal my packages.

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quietbibleguy
12/26/2018 14:17 EST

Walter, thank you for that report. Encourager, what I don’t understand is why Amazon did not either work it out with customs, or else refund your order. They contracted with you to deliver an item you had paid for. They are the big operator, and they work with Chilean customs every day. So if you do not get your item, it would seem like they are responsible either to get you your item, or refund your money. And if customs takes it, that does not relieve them of this responsibility (I.e., it does not get them off the hook). Or am I missing something?

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encourager89503
12/26/2018 17:54 EST

Your logic makes perfect sense to me, but NOT to Amazon. They take no responsibility for Chile customs.

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encourager89503
12/26/2018 17:54 EST

Your logic makes perfect sense to me, but NOT to Amazon. They take no responsibility for Chile customs.

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quietbibleguy
12/27/2018 05:11 EST

Fairclough, you wrote: >> I prepared a Excel spreadsheet listing every item with a number, a reference to which box it was in, my cost, year when it was purchased, current value, replacement value in Chile and insurance declared replacement cost. << If they decide it is not household goods and they tax you (29%?), do they tax you at the current value (used)--unless it is in the original box, and it looks good, and they think it is worth more than that? . . The reason I ask is that I have three old video cameras plus accessories, cables, etc., that I use to make videos. They are my backup cameras and I don't really need them at this point, but I would like to keep them if I can. Did you say earlier that video cameras would qualify as household goods? Or will they tax them as "business" (i.e., church) equipment? Too bad about the boxes, because I have been careful to keep them.

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FAIRCLOUGH
12/30/2018 19:11 EST

I have no idea what customs may think of video cameras. Declare them as antique collectors items would be my best suggestion.

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quietbibleguy
12/30/2018 23:02 EST

Hmm. Well, OK, can you please let me know if I understand correctly? Do I need to make a list of every single last thing I am bringing, preferably tagged by box numbers, etc., with what I paid new, and what it is worth now (used)? And customs will tax me on @30% of what it is worth now used (unless they think it is worth more than that, in which case they will charge me more)? And I also need to make a price for insurance, which is what it would cost to replace in Chile (which may be around +/- 150% of new, depending)? Or do I misunderstand?

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quietbibleguy
3/6/2019 16:49 EST

I hesitate to ask this. My plan is to bring 5 suitcases and 2 carry-ons with the most expensive electronics and video gear (so as to avoid theft in customs, and to pay less in taxes). However, I am choking on the thought of throwing away the shipping boxes and foam, because they always say to keep them (ironically, to protect them during shipment). So, I got some pallets and tubs, and am starting to pack. What if I end up with 1-3/4 pallets? Do I just put the empty boxes and foam on top of the 3/4 full pallet? Will customs look at me funny and say, "No charge for an empty box." ?? Or will they ask where the items are, and when I say I hand carried them, will they try to charge me full price because I brought the boxes and foam? I can't imagine how they could do that legally, but then again it is not the EEUU, so any insight would be appreciated.

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Encourager
3/6/2019 17:25 EST

Looks like a good plan to me. I actually don't keep the original product boxes because I pack most items in with my clothing for protection of the items that are being checked-in.

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quietbibleguy
3/24/2019 02:37 EST

I am packing now. This may seem like a dumb question, but does clothing ever get stolen in customs? Or is it mostly just things with easy resale value (like electronics)? And if there is no box, does that make an item less attractive to thieves?

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quietbibleguy
3/24/2019 13:48 EST

I guess what I am really asking is, is there any way to make items look less attractive to thieves in customs, apart from tossing the boxes?

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Encourager
3/24/2019 17:08 EST

Nope, apparently NOT

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Encourager
3/24/2019 17:08 EST

Nope, apparently NOT

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Knowing567
4/17/2019 08:15 EST

"Your item departed a transfer airport in ARTURO MERINO BENITEZ, SANTIAGO, CHILE on April 13, 2019 at 9:33 am. The item is currently in transit to the destination."
Does this mean the package from the USA is out of the Customs, or it is in Customs or took other avenues?

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Encourager
4/17/2019 09:23 EST

It doesn't matter where it is now as it is still on its' way to your final destination. This is just a bit of tracking information for you. RELAX !

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Knowing567
4/17/2019 15:07 EST

The package made three days from the USA to Santiago Airport.
There are already four days now, since the USPS tracking indicates:
"Your item departed a transfer airport in ARTURO MERINO BENITEZ, SANTIAGO, CHILE on April 13, 2019 at 9:33 am. The item is currently in transit to the destination."

I have read of other situations with the same tracking messages. People did not receive the packages, or mail, in 20 days, a month. Some say that the packages may be in customs waiting for you to pay a fee. Do I have to contact somebody? Where? Whom?

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Encourager
4/17/2019 16:54 EST

Patience is a Virtue . . . there is no one who can give you any more information.

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quietbibleguy
4/17/2019 21:18 EST

Knowing, what happens when you try to contact customs?

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quietbibleguy
4/17/2019 22:05 EST

Knowing's original question was about finding a good shipping company. Long story short, I started working with Transparent, However, now Grace Relocations has answered my earlier email, and they are less money, less stress, and it seems like much better service so far. The only thing is that the papers from Grace say something the other company's papers did not say (quoting verbatim, with typos):

>> "...household goods are generally assessed 6% duty over cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) value, plus a surcharge of 50% on used goods. There is also a VAT of 19% over cost, insurance, and freight (CIF)." <<

So I don't know how much that would come to, but the next quotation caught my eye:

>> "Non-citizens with a temporary residence visa (or visa subject to employment for at least 1 year) and may import up to 5,000 FOB of used household goods and personal effects without paying duties, only a nominal tax of 1% over cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) value." <<

So, the only thing is, I read somewhere that it was easier to move to Chile first, and then apply through the Extranjeria, than it was to go through the Consulate system. (I don't remember the reasons why, and at this point I am not 100% sure if it is true, But somehow my plan became to move to Chile first, and then apply through the Extranjeria.)

So, Grace wrote some agents (I have no idea who), and he heard back from one of them, and said he is waiting for others to verify. I am not 100% sure what he says.

[BEGIN QUOTE]: If your client is a foreign citizen, he can process his temporary visa in Chile, but this proceess take 2 months or more. Maybe he can get the support from Chilean Ministery in 45 days estimated, with these support he can import his belong free of duties. With support from his shipment can be procee at chilean customs. Without support customs will request duties and taxes payment. If he is a chilean returning, temporary visa is not neccesary. [END QUOTE]

By "temporary visa" does he mean temporary residency? And who does he probably mean by "the Chilean Ministery." Does he probably mean the Chilean Consulate, or the Extranjeria, or someone else? I am not sure. However, if I bring my nice freshly apostilled papers in English (no translations), how long will it take to get my temporary residency? And has anyone else shipped goods this way? And how did it go?

I am glad Grace is bringing this up. I wonder what it might cost in case they end up having to store my things for a couple of weeks, if my things get to Chile before I get my temporary residency back.

And finally, does anyone have an idea about how much I would be saving with the 1% discount, if I am ditching all of my boxes, and making an Excel spreadsheet of each and every item, like Liewald said?

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Knowing567
4/18/2019 08:30 EST

Becerra,
You said (Extending my tourist visa I went to 3 different government offices that were jam packed with Haitians applying for work visas and no sense of order or organization of the process. I basically just needed a stamp in my passport but also had to leave to go to the bank pay the fee go back to the office wait again until it was finally done. )
Do I understand correctly that you did everything in one day? No matter the lines and delays and going back and forth, the process took no more than one day? And another question: how long before the first 90 days expire do you have to request this extention?
Thank you for kindly answering.

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Knowing567
4/18/2019 08:42 EST

Hi Encourager,
Thank you for telling me to have patience. Is this because since you have wrote: " I truly believe that it is a racket that Chile customs has decided to confiscate all shipments from the U.S. and either keep for themselves or sell in Chile and pocket the proceeds for themselves. " you changed your opinion. Did you received packages meanwhile without problem?

My package went from the USA to Santiago Airport in three days and it did not arrived yet to my Santiago address in five days.

I hoped that you will give me some phone numbers or address where I can search for the fate of my package

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Knowing567
4/18/2019 08:42 EST

Hi Encourager,
Thank you for telling me to have patience. Is this because since you have wrote: " I truly believe that it is a racket that Chile customs has decided to confiscate all shipments from the U.S. and either keep for themselves or sell in Chile and pocket the proceeds for themselves. " you changed your opinion. Did you received packages meanwhile without problem?

My package went from the USA to Santiago Airport in three days and it did not arrived yet to my Santiago address in five days.

I hoped that you will give me some phone numbers or address where I can search for the fate of my package

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Knowing567
4/18/2019 08:49 EST

Hi Quiet,
No, I do not know yet whom to call about my parcel that did not arrive yet.
I have not checked my local post office yet nor the customs at the airport. I just collected phone numbers I found on the web.

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Encourager
4/18/2019 08:50 EST

Nothing more that anyone can do but to wait.

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Encourager
4/18/2019 08:50 EST

Nothing more that anyone can do but to wait.

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mustachemike
9/6/2019 19:16 EST

Please let me have Ward Van Lines phone number I am in Florida so the American side number if you don't mind. Also do you just ship a few pallets or a 20-foot container

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