Re: Mamas in Germany, importing baby items and the zoll, help :)
Ugh that stinks. The Zollamt randomly lets boxes pass and some they hold back. Last year I sent my dad a kite, he wanted a space shuttle kite for my nephews. The darn ding cost me $20. Shipping was $38. I sent it since I couldn't take it with me on the plane. I said gift, $20 worth, and sent it on its way. It was held back by the Zollamt. As it so happened, my parents got the note the day I arrived, so I went along. The guy there was so unpleasant. I said I sent it, so he assumed I bought it while on vacation and sent it over. Then apparently taxes apply (wtf, sorry). He said you have to proof to me it is worth less than 30 euros or taxes apply, and without receipt I have to hold this package unless you can prove me how much it is worth. Luckily I bought it online so he let me use his computer to show him the website. The kite had risen to $28 and he said now he has to charge taxes (makes no sense) because this is not a gift as I do not live in the US (huh? really obscure tactics here). I then said uh no I do live in the US, here's my passport, see, issued in San Francisco. He then gritted his teeth and FINALLY gave us our kite. It is a HUGE pain.
I just kicked my behind as I sent my sister my maternity clothes, some are hers I'm returning since she's due in June. I totally wasn't thinking, put other instead of gift and wrote "borrowed clothing" and $50. Sheesh I shoulda put $20 or less. I hope it won't be stuck. I didn't add a note, but this time as sender address hyphenated my last name with my maiden name so it matches my parent's name (I sent it there since my sis lives in China and will be visiting over xmas). I'm praying they won't make trouble. I already have planned to send my parents a letter of explanation, signed and notarized, with a copy of my passport and utility bill proving where I live that I am returning clothes to their rightful owner so they won't freaking charge VAT on those.