Finally packed and ready for its journey to Vancouver
Luckily, I realized while spending 10 days in the States before entering Canada that I needed to declare all the contents I was bringing with me when I crossed the border into Canada to not pay import fees. Went with my list of boxes/grouped items (176 items in total) to the Nelway border crossing and declared everything. Then we booked a U-Haul and waited for the ship to arrive.
Following that ship was mega confusing. The container left our old place on February 25th, we followed it on the truck to Basel, on the train to Rotterdam, on the ship to Oakland, and at one point, the ship started from Oakland on its way to Japan! Many confusing calls later, we were told the container was unloaded in Oakland and put on another ship bound for Vancouver. We were then send a bill for 2’700 CHF for the dock fees in Oakland. We had already paid 80 CHF for dock fees in Rotterdam but 2’700 CHF was insane. After contesting it, the moving company accepted to pay.
Once the container arrived in Vancouver, we called the docks to know when we could pick up the contents with our U-Haul. It was only then that we came to understand that you are not allowed to enter the docks to pick up contents! We had to hire a company to collect the container. I phoned and wrote to at least 6 companies but only one answered. She quoted $610 to drop the container, plus 1 hour to unload, at my parent’s house, or $2’950 to deliver right to our door in Winlaw.
We calculated the difference, between the $1400 for the U-Haul, the $610 for delivery to my parents, the gas to drive our car to Vancouver and both back, the cost of hiring someone to help us unload in Vancouver (during the week and with my 8 months pregnant, we needed help), and the cost of the dogs in a kennel – plus having to ask my sister to take Klara overnight, it was just worth it to get the container delivered.
Now came customs in Vancouver. Thank goodness they let my parents go on my behalf, but my mom had to go twice to customs downtown because they were required a form that the moving company had apparently never been asked for and thought the shipping company would refuse to give us.