Today was just as mortifying as all previous journeys to the capital in my effort to obtain my export license. The only difference was that I fully expected road blocks at every turn, and I was not disappointed. Our first stop was the "Hacienda" (equivalent of the IRS) to get my EVA registration card so I can dutifully pay my share of taxes. We were told it was a simple process and should be in and out in ten minutes. We were handed a pre-printed form listing all the requirements which were impressive. Copies of phone, water, and electric bills, bank statements, my NIT (a simpler form of the DUI which I actually have), and the all elusive DUI. In the end, after consulting with three different associates, we were told that I would have to obtain a power-of-attorney from my mother in San Francisco stating she will authorize me to act as an exporter since I do not have my DUI.
We immediately phoned the Consulate General in San Francisco who was expecting her that morning to take care of her name issue (Concha vs. Concepcion) and politely asked him if he would also create this new document. He agreed.
Next, we drove to the coffee council and there waiting for us, was my temporary export license for Saturday's shipment of coffee to Chicago. A big victory, but the issue of the previous stop was weighing on our minds. The coffee council told us we should head over the Central Reserve Bank to pay the export duty of $19. They said this should only take a few minutes and I did not need a DUI.
The clerk was borderline unfriendly and right off the bat, told me that I had the wrong kind of NIT. I needed a NIT that had "Importer/Exporter" stamped on it. The NIT office was three blocks away. The NIT office was closed for lunch when we arrived and had to wait 45 minutes. That actually went quite smoothly, but the fee was $.46 and we would need to pay it at a bank and bring back the receipt first. Not again! My uncle pleaded, and the administrator took pity on us accepting my change.
We flew back to the Central Reserve Bank with my new NIT ready to pay the duty. The clerk then pulled out three forms. We made it through the first two and then came the next brick wall. Form three required me to have a bill of sale printed by a recognized registered printing company. I think it was at that moment, my uncle and I temporarily lost our momentum and simultaneously sagged in our chairs. Will this ever stop?
We picked up our new stack of forms and left in search of a printer. Fortunately, a friend knew just the person. For $20, he will print up 50 "Bill of Sale" forms in triplicate with his official registry number and have them ready Friday morning as soon as I have my EVA from the Hacienda. My uncle said we should head back the Hacienda to make sure we had everything covered. This time, we actually had a extremely helpful young lady take care of us, presenting us with yet another form and a addendum to the power-of-attorney. For once, the timing was on our side as just at that moment, my mother was sitting with the Consulate General in San Francisco. We made a quick call and he agreed to make the changes.
If anyone is confused, join the club. I was constantly asking my uncle where we were in the process as I had lost track early in the morning. Just like the day I went to the cargo terminal a few months ago to pick up a simple package that was mailed to me, I felt that zombie-like state coming on. Just spin me, point me in the right direction, and tell me where to sign.
We left the Hacienda, ran some errands and made the long drive back here to the finca. It's now 10pm. Tomorrow we are boxing up the coffee and driving it to the airport on Friday morning after we run around the capital to pick up the last of the documents. Evers is coming along to guard the coffee. I haven't told him yet and he is going to be thrilled. He has never seen the capital. I just hope he remembers to watch the coffee.