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eShop Boquete - Information About Inbound Freight Forwarding Shipments from the USA

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I just received the following email from Karinthia Lamastus, who is the manager of eShop Boquete. I am posting her email with her permission.

My interpretation of this message is that this action by Panamanian officials affected ALL carriers, such as eShop Boquete, MBE Boquete, Airbox Express, etc., etc., for the specified time frame.

 

Quote
Subject: UPDATE AND CLARIFICATION
Date: Thu, 14 Jul 2016 10:46:14 -0500
From: ESHOP BOQUETE <eshopboquete@gmail.com>
To: ESHOP BOQUETE <eshopboquete@gmail.com>

TO:  eShop Clients

FROM:  Karinthia Lamastus de Garcia, Manager

I am sending this email in order to clarify to all our clients the situation of a shipment that is being held at customs in Panama City since June 21. I will also address some concerns and rumors that have appeared on some Internet websites recently.

On the week of June 20th to the 24th, every single shipment that was forwarded into the country got held by the Panamanian authorities -- not just eShop Boquete packages -- but everyone, including big companies like FedEx and UPS and the forwarding companies that serve Boquete. The reason for their action is they found cash, arms, drugs and ivory in another company’s shipment. As a result, the customs authorities gave an order to have all incoming shipments held for inspection.

Unfortunately, this is a situation that is out of our hands but of course it directly affects us. I went personally to Panama City this past Wednesday to talk with the authorities to see exactly what they were doing and how long it will take for us to have our packages released. We were told that all shipments were inspected and that the Director will sign the release form between today and tomorrow. Once this is done, we pay our taxes and are good to go. Even knowing that we are dealing with the government, I hope the shipments will be here not later than next Wednesday. If that is not the case, I will provide a further update on the situation. For those of you who have packages caught in this “hold”, we thank you for your patience and understanding.

The last few days I've been hearing about and reading concerns, rumors and some untruths posted locally about the situation I just described and the eShop service. A number of these were posted by persons who do not even use our service or whose identities are unknown to me. I would like to ask to all of our clients to not believe everything you read or hear. As always, if you have questions or concerns about our business or the service we provide, I encourage you to contact me personally. I will not respond on open internet forums.

For now, I can only answer with the following facts:

  1. eShop Boquete is NOT going out of business.
  2. eShop Boquete does NOT hold packages
  3. eShop Boquete has NOT increased rates since it opened in 2013
  4. eShop Boquete does NOT hide their prices -- a price list is available on request.
  5. eShop Boquete does NOT make up excuses or give false information about the service it provides.
  6. eShop Boquete WILL notify its clients as quickly as possible of any substantive changes to the business or the service.

Thanks to all of our clients who keep trusting in us, who believe in us and speak up in favor of us. We do know your names, and if I can’t remember your name, I do remember your face. None of you are just a number at our office -- you are part of our eShop. If you ever have any questions about us or our service, please do not hesitate to email, phone, or visit in person. We are here to help you and we value your input and time. 

Best regards,
Karinthia Lamastus de Garcia
eShop Boquete
MGR
Tel.: 730-9545
WhatsApp.: 6496-4596
www.eshopboquete.com

Thank you for trusting us for your freight forwarding needs.

 

Edited by Admin_01
clarify the title a bit
  • Upvote 3

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Apparently some people on Ning don't understand that only  the packages that came in during the week of June 20 were held by customs.  Packages forwarded before or after that week were not affected.  They seem to be negatively singling out eShop as the problem.  It was, as Karinthia's message clearly spells out, every forwarders problem for that week only.  The issue now is getting all those packages (bet there were over a thousand) now released from Panama Aduana to their home locations.  

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Apparently the dark cloud of negativity and unhappiness is still rampant on another website.

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That is an extremely well written message.  Those of us who rely on freight forwarders are really lucky to have several excellent choices in Boquete.

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12 hours ago, Woody said:

That is an extremely well written message.  Those of us who rely on freight forwarders are really lucky to have several excellent choices in Boquete.

Totally concur with you. We stopped by eShop yesterday afternoon to tell them exactly what you said, but in person. They are nice people.

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Smuggling drugs into Panama??  That seems unnecessary.  

In any event, the attacks on e-shop were unwarranted.  I have had everything from a small envelope to a large rug shipped through them without a hitch. 

 

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Bad stuff happens.  E-shop is my go-to place for bringing stuff in.  Never had a problem there and they have a ton of my money!

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To:           eShop Clients

Date:       29 July 2016

Subject:   Update #2 and Information

From:      Karinthia Lamastus de Garcia, Manager

This is written to inform our clients of the status of the Panamanian Customs package interception operation of the week of June 20-24. 

As you know, ALL packages coming into the country during that time period were held and detained by Customs (ANA).  This affected all forwarding services in the nation, including all of those in Boquete.  Despite what you may have heard, all services were impacted, some more than others because of the volume of shipments that were held (eShop because of its large client base had more than many here). Another government agency which is responsible for fiscal audit (DPFA) also became involved.  As a result, between the two agencies, the requirements to release packages have become many.

As outlined in my last update, we were hoping the packages to be released for distribution on the week of July 18.  However, we were advised of new audit and documentation requirements for those on “hold”.  We complied with those requests to meet the deadline of July 25.  We had hoped that would be the final step toward release of the packages.  However, as always when dealing with government agencies, we have now been asked to provide additional information.  They are requiring us to provide the invoices and tracking numbers for those packages being held. 

URGENT:  We are asking all clients who have not yet received a package detained during the June 20-24 period to provide us with that information as soon as possible.  We will need you to email or bring in person any information you have about the package you have not received:  invoice, order form and acknowledgement from sender/vendor, contents list, tracking number and shipper, dates of shipment, etc.  --  any information that will identify your package for audit and inspection purposes.

I will be traveling again to Panama City this coming week to meet with officials of both agencies to attempt once again to expedite this unfortunate situation.  I regret this has taken so long to resolve, but the control is not in our hands and, in fact, we have complied with every request, met every deadline, and done everything that is legally in our control to end this.  eShop is not alone.  Others in the Boquete area and in the country have followed the same course and are still suffering from having to once again tell clients to be patient and that the government involvement will run its course and the packages will be released or notification will be officially made as to why they are not.  We will be sending an email with the new regulations from Customs and AUPSA in the next 48 hours.

In the meantime, I want to reiterate that our service is back to normal and that we continue to strive to provide you with regular and continuous forwarding of your packages and mail.  That is our business and we take great pride in what we do…professionally, legally, responsibly, personally.  Your faith in us is greatly appreciated and deserves the best possible effort from us in return.  We intend to give you that effort.

Kind regards,

Karinthia Lamastus de Garcia
eShop Boquete
MGR
Tel.: 730-9545
WhatsApp.: 6496-4596

www.eshopboquete.com

 

Thank you for trusting us for your freight forwarding needs.

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I had one of the detained packages.  It was delivered Monday.  Intact.  eShop staff were nothing but sympathetic, courteous and professional in their responses to my inquiries.  Kudos to them for being calm and patient and informative throughout what must be an ongoing nightmare.

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I thought all incoming packages were opened and inspected as a matter of course. Every package I've ever received (via another forwarding service) shows signs of having been opened and resealed. Could this inspection I have experienced be for tax purposes only and the type of inspection that is the topic of this thread be something additional? I'm confused.

Edited by Bonnie

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That was the case with the other local forwarders I've used.  But that has not been the case with eShop.  

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11 hours ago, Pederhaney said:

I had one of the detained packages.  It was delivered Monday.  Intact.  eShop staff were nothing but sympathetic, courteous and professional in their responses to my inquiries.  Kudos to them for being calm and patient and informative throughout what must be an ongoing nightmare.

I have two packages that were part of the detained shipment and have recently given Karinthia the purchase receipts and tracking numbers.  She plans to take this information with her to Panama next week and I am hopeful I, too, will receive my packages soon.  Fortunately, these were not some of the many packages I require for my business.  Although I have yet to receive my packages, I have found Karinthia and Kent to be very understanding, very communicative and very professional.  Karinthia has made a few trips to Panama City to deal with the problem and plans to continue to do so until all legal packages have been released.  I can't imagine that her usual profit comes anywhere close to meeting her expenses (including travel, lawyer's fees, etc.).  I agree with Pederhaney, that despite the nightmare this must be for her, Karinthia remains patient, informative and courteous.

  • Upvote 1

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Hi People:

 

I dont know the people of EShop and I dont have any interest on them or doing any harm to their business.  

 

What I am going to tell you is based on my facts and experience as a still working person doing business in Panama.  I do order personal stuff of different products from tools, equipments, clothing, apparel, even vitamin supplements and other stuff I can't remember while writting this on a not so very popular forwarding service for some expats.   On the commercial side I do receive by any means:  DHL, Fedex. UPS, any courier company and even the forwarding service a lots of things and products.  I do receive a lot of stuff from the companies I work with in the US from: brochures, literature, tools, samples, marketing items, liquid and powdered product samples, etc.   In the last 6 years I have never had a problem with my packages.  I have received most of them on time, just only little delays for any unimportant reason.  I have never had any problem of missing products or packages.  I have never had any problem with customs.  No one of my packages have been detained by customs.  Of course that I did provide all the invoices required and all information requested.

A couple of years ago I did have some kind of problems or delay in the delivery of one big package.  The problems was that I didn't know that WOOD materials required a permit from the Fitosanitary authorities.  It is because wooden products need to be treated to avoid that any bug, bacteria or fungus comes in the wood and could affect the health of the flora in Panama.  It was a baby craddle for my Grandkid.  I cost me some extra dollars because I did have to pay a fine and other fees to treat the wood before releasing the craddle and take it home.

It is very strange and rare what is happening to this business.  

  

 

 

Edited by Roger B

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You put a baby in a cradle that had the wood treated?  That treatment is toxic.

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9 hours ago, JudyS said:

You put a baby in a cradle that had the wood treated?  That treatment is toxic.

Judy.

You rise me that concern and I investigate with the agency and they told me that they were asking for some certification of the manufacturer that the wood did not contain any bug.  I guess they called it heat treated wood.  I have to admit that I dont know much about that but because it is a kind of furniture for human use the treatment done should be something that do not use any harmful chemical.  Anyways, even that no chemical was used in the craddle we cleaned it very well before putting the baby inside.  

 

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Judy, you are partially right.  Older chemical wood treatments contained arsenic, that was the active ingredient that killed bugs.  Also dangerous to humans.  Newer wood treatements are much more benign, although I still would not use them near a newborn.  Heat treating is usually accepted as being kiln drying. I do not know how effective that process is in killing bugs as the heat levels are not really high enough to do the job.  When I was importing stuff in crates from India to Canada, they came with a certification of chemical treatment and they stunk to high heaven.  I wouldnt even use the wood (an Indian hardwood) for frames, just burned it.

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