SKT Delivery Update and New Lessons Learned Re: Import-Export

Incorrect Bill of Lading. Sigh.

In my last SKT update sharing the Bill of Lading, I shared the version with the ship my decks were supposed to be on. But something happened with the manufacturer, they didn’t get the boxes on board in time, so it was delayed. It had to wait for another vessel, and the manufacturer simply didn’t think to update me until I proactively reached out and asked.

Here’s the actual Bill of Lading:

Correct, updated Bill of Lading.

I was tracking the vessel named “EVER FEAT” thinking that was the boat my decks were on.

But no.

My decks never made it on to EVER FEAT due to delays.

Instead, it’s on CMA CGM LOIRE (click on the hyperlink to track the ship).

For anyone who has been tracking EVER FEAT like me, tracking info said it landed, which is why I reached out to my manufacturer in China.

And that’s when it was confirmed to me that no, nope, my decks aren’t on that ship; they’re on CMA CGM LOIRE.

CMA CGM LOIRE is currently still in the South China Seas, estimated to arrive in the Port of Oakland on September 12, 9 am local time (Pacific).

The ship is flying the flag of Malta. The ship’s home port is the Port of Valletta, or Grand Harbour on the island of Malta.

Tracking its location right now and taking a screen shot at the time this update is posted, here’s the location of my decks:

I’m still working with my manufacturer to understand why this one-month delay happened, letting me track a ship that my decks weren’t even on, without them correcting me and giving me an accurate update.

CMA CGM Loire location on Aug. 30, 2021

Something funny did happen to me about a week and a half ago, though. A fellow called my cell sounding super urgent (already a red flag, to me) talking about my shipment and how I needed to sign power of attorney over to him for him to receive shipment, a photocopy of my driver’s license, and a photocopy of my social security card. Um… what??!!

Of course I thought it was suss. So I wasn’t going to do anything until I checked in with my manufacturer to make sure that this dude was legit. Like the way he talked, how he was all rushy-rushy and urgent, and telling me I had to be rushy-rushy or else my decks won’t ship in time and won’t board the vessel…

One little thing that had kinda bothered me was how he kept asking for James rather than wanting to talk to me. He made comments like, “You know what, let me talk to your husband instead. I think he and I will be able to clear this up better than you and I can.” Um. What the hell is that supposed to mean? No. You talk to me. My cards. My shipment. My business.

Anyway, the confusion took several days to clear. It turns out he was legit. He was a broker that my manufacturer in China had hired on my behalf, located in San Francisco, to oversee the import. The power of attorney was to authorize him to receive the shipment at docks on my behalf, and then arrange for the decks to be transported from the port to my house, my front doorsteps. Hence, door to door service, which was the shipping option I had ordered.

I think that hold-up contributed to the decks not making it onto EVER FEAT and having to board the subsequent vessel, I don’t know. But that’s my best guess.

In retrospect, in the future, because I live so close to the Port of Oakland, if I ever were to do this again, I would skip the step of hiring a broker and do it all myself, which apparently you can! The CBP allows for it. You aren’t required to have a broker.

And it’s not rocket science. There’s this ISF (Importer Security Filing) form, known as a 10+2, that you have to fill out and submit to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. You just need to accurately report the goods for the Commodity Harmonized Tariff Schedule, which for us is this:

Tarot Cards
Harmonized Tariff Schedule: Chapter 95 – Toys, Games
Heading/Subheading: 9504.40.00
Article Description: Playing Cards

Then there’s a CBP Form 7501: Entry Summary that you fill in, reporting the valuation of the stuff you’re importing, declaring the commodities, declaring who you are, etc. And if you don’t even import all that much each year, you don’t have to get a bond. The filing fees you pay out of pocket are nominal compared to the hiked up price schedule for the “door to door service” a manufacturer would hire on your behalf to do all this.

So that’s the latest update on the whereabouts of the SKT decks. Correction on previously reported info: The decks are on the vessel CMA CGM LOIRE with estimated arrival time in the Port of Oakland September 12. At that time it’ll need to go through customs check, and I will continue to keep you posted as best as I can.

20 thoughts on “SKT Delivery Update and New Lessons Learned Re: Import-Export

  1. Semaj

    Goodness, communication seems a bit off. I have to wonder, is it an “In the STARS” thing?
    I can only imagine the frustration. I have to laugh at the expression on your face as he was wanting to reach out to James…I can only imagine all the contortions and bewilderment that your face encountered. I am very happy to know you let him know who the “BOSS” of the operation is.
    Thanks for the update Bell!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. blewisarts

    I’m really enjoying reading about this! It gives some good insights into what to expect when working with manufacturers in China. Thanks so much for sharing this!! It’s ridiculously helpful for a 1st timer.


  3. Terri

    Thanks for the update. I feel your frustration. I’ve had experience with importing arts works for exhibitions shipped by boat. Always something and some form to fill out. Good Luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the update. This stuff scares me when it comes time for the distribution of decks I’m creating. Overseas shipping is no joke. I know everything will work out eventually though and everyone will be happy when they have this beauty in their hands. You’re doing a great job. Hang in there. ❤️


  5. Lee

    When stuff this convoluted and just ‘odd’ happens to me, in variably I discover I had been saved from something worse. However, it is horribly frustrating. I wonder if last minute hurry up and ‘do this!’ is just the way business is done. I will say that I am certain that you handled the situation with grace and poise. I prefer to yell at people! In any case, the majority of people who have followed the journey of the Revelation Deck are sold on you and your talent. Of course we are anxious to get our new decks, but we are also comfortable waiting for everything to be done in it’s due time. Thank you so very much for the info and I am sorry you are having this level of frustration.


  6. Emme

    It sucks that you guys are dealing with this, Bell. Thanks for keeping us informed, as you always do.
    But I question why they need your soc sec… 🧐

    Much love to you,


  7. Serastar Moon

    1. I had no idea I could track ships! What! 🤯
    2. You might be the most transparent business person/artist/creator I’ve ever encountered. Can you please run for President.
    3. I feel like the story of this deck is adding so much to the Magick and it’s significance in my life that I am—for the first time in my life I believe—experiencing excitement for the story that far surpasses any disappointment over waits. The deck itself is on the Hero’s Journey. I. Am. Here. For. It.
    4. Thank you. I have. You are to tarot what Stephen King is to horror. I am so grateful I landed in this timeline for your Opus. 🖤


  8. Pingback: Importing the SKT Decks: CBP Form 7501 Entry Summary – benebell wen

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