Thursday, September 17, 2009

Unreasonable Customs

For the past few years I have shopped over the Internet for items that are unavailable here. The Jordan government’s efforts to create and support the IT sector have made this possible. Shopping online is not usually cheaper than buying from the local market, but it is efficient, fast, and an option that I appreciative having. The Jordanian companies, who provide the services I need for payment by credit card and shipping, charge me, but I am able to estimate the costs before I place my order. Last week the Customs Department suddenly imposed an uncalculated expense when they charged me 60% on my package. There was no prior announcement about this, no reason given, and no data available about which particular items might be subject to customs. Where is the ‘transparency’ that is supposed to take place in Jordan? I will not be able to shop online anymore if 60% duty is added to the cost. I know that the loss of my business will hardly be noted, but if 60 % duty is added to all packages purchased online, I am sure it will make a difference to the Jordanian companies involved. I would like customs to inform the public what to expect when they shop over the Internet. I find a 60% duty on purchases arbitrary, punitive, and definitely excessive.



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