Friday, August 5, 2011
To the Zoll!
While getting packages are nice, having to trek half way across town to the Zollamt (Customs) to pick it up, isn't. This is the second time in six months I've had a package redirected there instead of being sent to my mailbox. The whole trip there and back easily takes 3.5 - 4 hours with public transportation because its located near the harbor in an industrial area which isn't frequented often by buses.
Since its pretty well known that Germans pay lots of tax, I suppose the German government is hoping to keep Germans from ordering from abroad for lower prices, so to do that they add an additional tax to packages coming in from outside the EU. I don't know the exact amount, but the guy sitting next to me at the Zollamt had some 2,000+ Euros he had to pay in extra taxes for merchandise he shipped in from the US for his Hobby Store in Amberg. I don't know how they decide which boxes go through Zoll and which ones don't (when I was living in Lauf I never had issues receiving packages from the US), but in both cases that I did have to go to the Zollamt, it was an error on their part, as in the end my packages were duty free.
Usually receiving packages should be a nice thing, something you look forward to, but I have to say, if I'm going to have to go through this hassle every time it just may not be worth it. : /