Yesterday evening I returned from a wonderful 8-day trip to Taiwan. I'm just now starting to sort through all of my new photos and I'm brainstorming many ideas for future blog posts.
Unfortunately the following is being held by US customs at Sea-Tac airport:
About 30 pounds of various high mountain oolong teas (which is actually a bit less than I carried home during my 2008 trip).
5 clay teapots.
30 small teacups.
12 tea towels.
12 misc. wooden tea utensils.
As with all of my previous trips, I noted that I was carrying items for resale and described them on the provided form. I also didn't have many receipts, because much of the stuff was purchased with cash at small businesses or tea farms.
In the past, the good folks at Sea-Tac airport's US customs have always just breezed me through, but this time they said I needed a broker to file a "formal entry registration" to import items for commercial purposes. That is all common knowledge to many of my importing friends and colleagues, but it kind of surprised me, because I was just expecting (read: "hoping for") another easy-breezy customs experience.
Oh well, I'm not going to get too hung up about all that. After I get my tea back I'll begin to post some reviews (read: "advertisements") on my blog and I'll let you know whether it will be for sale directly through me or at Teacup.
I'll tweet the results of this "customs caper" early next week and in the meantime I'll start to write some fun posts!
3 hours ago