Even though I’ve twice imported hops to Japan with no problem, my heart has been pounding the last two days when the tracking suddenly showed:

04/22/2014 09:10 Held by import Customs KAWASAKIHIGASHI KANAGAWA

 
And then was updated to:

04/22/2014 09:10 Held by import Customs KAWASAKIHIGASHI KANAGAWA
04/22/2014 16:50 Held by import Customs KAWASAKIHIGASHI KANAGAWA

 
I’ve never seen anything with “Held by import Customs” shown twice.

I know bringing dried hops into Japan is perfectly legal, but that didn’t stop my mind screaming maybe something was wrong – maybe now they’ve tightened up the laws on dried plant products; maybe they found a bit of soil in the hops (a big no-no); maybe they’ve gone for analysis; maybe they’ll be sent back or destroyed!

As the clock ticked 5pm on the 23rd and nothing was updated, I was really starting to suspect the worst. “You might need to call customs tomorrow,” I told the better half.

Imagine my surprise and delight then when I received a USPS update mail saying my order had delivery customs close to 7pm – woohoo! Totally unexpected as Import Customs close at 5pm.

I still don’t yet know whether I’ll be whopped with tax – but even if I am, at 4.3% for hops (assuming it hasn’t changed), it should only be 1000yen plus change. Far preferrable to a $235 delivery of hops being destroyed!

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