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Thread: Rant - current tariff situation

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    Rant - current tariff situation

    This could belong in workplace issues, but I thought I'd put it here, even though I explicitly said it was not political on FB.

    I’m a licensed customs broker, for those who don’t know what I do to pay for the diving obsession. I clear imported goods through Customs on behalf of importers. Third party, don’t work for Customs, just licensed by them.

    I swear the continuing tariff situation is making people stupid, inept, and incapable of doing the simplest math. I’m on the verge of going nuclear on someone. The new tariffs are an additional 25% on top of whatever the current duty is. So if your shipment of widgets from China has a declared value of $25,000 and standard duty is 3%, the additional duty is $25,000 x 3% + $25,000 x 25%. I can’t help if you’re incapable of using a calculator. We also cannot look up the tariff number a customer uses and tell them if it’s on the list or not, due to liability issues. We give them the link to the 200-something page list. They whine like little schoolgirls that it’s “too hard” and they can’t figure it out. If they can tell us what tariff number is used for their entries, then they can f’ing look it up on the damned list. I swear a lobotomy wouldn’t solve these people’s stupidity issues.

    And don’t even get me started on the one customer who was stupid enough to put in writing that they wanted us to help them find another tariff number so they could skirt having to pay the extra 25%. I shut that shit down right away. Told them it was illegal and that Customs takes a really dim view of people who try to get away with not paying duties. Called it what it is per the penalties part of the Customs regs - fraud. What an absolute idiot.

    I've had one customer who looked really closely at the classification on one of their items. They think they might have been using the incorrect classification for more than 10 years. They have a legitimate reason to switch classifications. I strongly suggested they consult their customs trade attorney. Said trade attorney said that even thought they *could* switch, it would look highly suspicious right now, as the new classification would not be subject to the additional 25% duty. A switch right now would bring Customs down on them like white on rice.
    Last edited by Tradd; 8-24-18 at 2:03pm.

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    My job has nothing to do with tariffs, but we do have many jurisdictions for sales tax. Some are complex like New York you have tax at the county level and sometimes an additional municipal or borough tax, plus different types of exemptions. So one day I asked our self-proclaimed tax expert, who has been doing this for over 30 years, if she thought a VAT tax would be easier. She did not know what VAT is.

    Hang in there Tradd. The world is filled with these people and unfortunately there is nothing you can do.

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    I have been following Brexit in the UK and thought of you. Customs there has zero idea what will happen or when either this year, next year, or in the future. Imagine if your whole book was trashed and Customs had to start over?

    Your rant sounds just like mine when I worked for the IRS. I wanted to say "just read the letter".

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    Reading comprehension is kind of like listening. People read/hear what they want to hear. Too many are delusional ehmholes and wastes of life.

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    Tradd,
    I had thought of you when this trade war stuff started. I imagine it's only going to get worse, not better. But you and your co-workers are definitely caught in the cross-fire.
    Is your dept. staffed adequately now? Are you bosses supportive of this additional work-related hassle? I'm sure this makes a stressful job even more stressful.

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    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lainey View Post
    Tradd,
    I had thought of you when this trade war stuff started. I imagine it's only going to get worse, not better. But you and your co-workers are definitely caught in the cross-fire.
    Is your dept. staffed adequately now? Are you bosses supportive of this additional work-related hassle? I'm sure this makes a stressful job even more stressful.
    Yes, we are decently staffed now, but crap keeps coming up. We have one overseas customer (English speaking country) who keeps asking for very complicated and detailed rate quotes. Have to add everything up for him. He constantly asks for quotes and hasn’t given us a shipment in more than a year. Yesterday I spent 3/4 of my day working on quotes for him.

    The problem is that a ton of other stuff had to get pushed to the side and I KNEW I was going to get a talking to for not being able to get through my emails and other stuff. Manager is on vacation so I’m dealing more with supervisor. She did some other stuff of mine and told the customer asking for these quotes to either “sh*t or get off the pot” (in more professional language -LOL. Guy was not happy. Haha.

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