Boo—hiss—-! The Korean Customs Office is on my official hate list.
Why? Well, if you seen my post regarding our wedding rings, you know that they’re a bit unusual, and not something I was likely to find in Korea. So we ordered them online from the US-based company Titanium-Jewelry.com. They’ve been great to work with—I’ve been in contact with the same customer service guy since last October. I was really looking forward to having our rings in time for our Korean ceremony this Saturday (How time FLIES!!!). Even though there is no official ring exchange in a traditional Korean ceremony, Yoongu and I would have donned our rings before the ceremony.
Last week, we get a notice from the Korean customs office notifying us that the rings have arrived, but that they cannot release the rings for continued shipment to our home address because they have determined that taxes must be charged.
We were afraid of this. Many times, international packages can just go through. I’ve Internet-shopped before without problems….until now. That’s because the Korean government is thinking KA-CHING! since we bought the rings for a little over $3,000. Okay, we brace ourselves for the worse—maybe $300-400, i.e. about 10% of the rings value? The customs official says that he doesn’t have an exact number yet, but will call us as soon as he does. In the meantime, we keep reassuring him that the rings are just for personal use, and NOT for resale. We have no affiliation with the jewelry industry. Silly us for thinking that would help…because we got a call of DOOM the next day.
They did not ask for a number that was anywhere close to what we had expected. Those highway robbers wanted friggin’ close to $1300.00 in taxes! Yeah, you read that right, and the decimal is in the right place: OVER ONE GRAND! We’re thinking this is absolutely INSANE! 30% tax on a single package???!!!
Sigh, once we got over our shock, we realized that the only sensible thing to do is to NOT pay the tax, let the shipment be returned to the sender, and try to have Titanium-Jewelry.com mail it to us in the United States when we head there later this month for our US-based wedding reception. Truly a big disappointment, but the ring company has been very understanding since they’ve waived reshipping charges since this was out of our control. Sigh!
If you have a printer, feel free to do as I plan to and print the above logo and burn it! Grrr!