No more seeds
Over the almost nine years I have lived here I have imported small packages of seeds. Never an issue before. But, it apparently just became a problem.
I have always just had them mailed. More often than not the envelope/package said "seeds" on it but sometimes said "samples". This time, instead of seeds, I have four pages of government paperwork. They are:
- The typical Aduana Postal form with four signatures and two stamps saying what was in the package. You can never read this as it is copy three or four of the form.
- A "Bulletin de verification" that seems to be in French. The only thing on the front said is "USA" and "var a dorso". Section four on the back, Autres Irregularites, has information in English and Spanish about what was in the package and some other interesting stuff. My favorite is "please note to your administration to income from a small package USA in the office #129 JFK". The operative part, however was "Observation: The MAGFOR did total confiscation".
- The original and a copy of the "acta de decomiso/destruction" from MAGFOR. This is a whole page of hand filled out information including three reasons for "decomiso" and the law that was violated. It is supposed to have the place and date of destruction but only has the place. It does, however, have five signatures and five stamps.
While I would rather have my 0.04Kg (their number) of seeds, I did get a lot of work on the part of the government at no cost.
What's my problem with this? Change. If there was a practical way to import a few packages of seeds, great. But, to the best of my knowledge, there is not. If you want to import a tonalada or a container there are procedures that do make sense. But, as I understand it, one would need to follow the same procedures for 0.04Kg.
While seeds are the issue here, the same catch 22 exists for communications devices. Based on the law, if you bought a $10 FM broadcast receiver or a regular wired telephone you can import it but you need to get a permit from TELCOR. If you want to do this yourself you would need to go to Managua to pick up the paperwork from Aduanas, take it to TELCOR, fill out paperwork and pay for the permit and then take it back to Aduanas. If this is something you sent through postal mail then you then need to wait for correos to process this paperwork and deliver the package to you. For someone living no where near Managua nor a post office, allow at least a day of your time and a week of elapsed time to accomplish this.