Posted by: 1of10boyz | June 26, 2012

Importing HHG – It’s my stuff, it can’t be that hard

What a pain this whole importing of our household goods (HHG) has been. It seems like yesterday but we packed our stuff to come to China about 12 months ago. We are fortunate to have a benefits package that allowed for the packing and shipping of HHGs from our home of record in the US to China. It has made a huge difference in making our apartment here feel like home. The pictures of our family, the foods that we are accustomed to, our bed and the other mementos that prove that we are not from “here” are important to our mental health and they help us feel like we are not as far from home as we really are. (Really important for being able to get all of my “new” stuff back home. I can’t imagine living here without filling the container to overflowing on our way back home, making good progress towards that end.)

I mentioned in my blog post “Packing for China” the ordeal that we went through and what we might have done differently if we knew then what we know now. I am still a little frustrated at the challenges that we faced. I am certain that it doesn’t have to be as hard as it was for us to get information. I can’t be so difficult to do what we did; there are others that have done the same thing, for the same company, with the same supporting vendors, so there must be something wrong with this process.

We have yet to get everything out of Customs. We clearly knew what we were sending into the country was legal and could easily be taken into the country. We made a list and checked more than twice, so it is surprising that we are still dealing with import issues. Yet here we are over 6 months after the main shipment arrived into China and we are still dealing with Customs.

We had shipped several antlers from deer and elk (sheds we found while walking in the mountains over the years – FYI deer and elk “shed” their antlers each year in the late winter or early spring and grow a new larger set each summer. These sheds are used for many things and are often imported into China by “traditional medicine” practitioners to sell as additives in medical products to the Chinese). All of these items were held in Customs when we were inspected there. I was rather disappointed that these items were not processed through immediately. I had intended them for gifts to my colleagues and was hoping to find an artist that would create something unique for us.

We learned that the required testing for the antlers was now complete and that the import process would continue. It has been several months now and we still haven’t seen the antlers and haven’t actually seen anything official from the moving company to indicate when to expect their arrival. The test indicated that they were indeed from deer and elk, I am sure that the Wyoming Game and Fish are happy to know that these animals that look like deer and elk really are deer and elk from a genetic standpoint. I guess that knowledge is a wonderful thing for the people in Customs; I can’t wait for them to finally get here.

I now need to start working with the locals to find an artist that can do some carving (scrimshaw). I have several ideas in mind and finding an artist in either Haiyang, Weihai, or Yantai will now be the challenge.



  1. I got a surprise phone call, me antlers showed up today! 364 days in transit, now that is a slow boat to China.

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