To summarise the Tacna Trauma:
Customs in Peru are a nightmare.
Everyone knows this – it's a bit of a joke in Peru. The customs official that we approached to clear us and our equipment through had never seen such a machine, and so he phoned everywhere about what to do. He wanted us to pay a deposit for duty on a temporary import permit, but we had heard from everyone that if you pay a deposit to the Peruvian Customs (Aduana), you will never see the money again, never ever, amen!
The interesting thing is that foreign registered
aircraft that have permission to fly through Peru are not subject to customs duties…. Well, it's supposed to be the law.
Anyway, after negotiating with a slightly more senior
person and faxes back and forward to Lima over a two day period, they eventually agreed that they would issue us a temporary import permit at no charge if we each got a letter from our embassies. The SA
embassy in Lima was very helpful… But only after they had received a great letter of recommendation from Arrie van der Plaats, at the CAA in Pretoria, SA. The Swiss embassy, on the other hand was reluctant to help
Olivier, and so he placed a call to the Swiss embassy in Santiago, who immediately did a letter. Through Huenu and Felipe Solsona, contact was made with Guido Fernandes, who sent a strongly worded letter from the
Peruvian CAA. All of this together, (and Olivier and I sitting in the office fighting with them for 3 days) added up to too much pressure for them - and the paperwork was done … after a $100 payment. We received the
last papers (a huge pack) at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. Minutes later and we would've been stuck there for the weekend.
A photo shows the customs document where our trikes
are valued at $6,700,000.00 each. Customs "deposit" (kiss your money goodbye) would've been 34% of that!!! EACH!