Up bright and early this morning to ship “Babycheeks” to the 2011 Rocky Mountain Horse Expo show “Equine Art In The Park”, March 11-13, Denver, CO.
We have it down to a science – clear U.S. Customs at the Pacific Highway crossing (aka “the truck crossing”), have breakfast at Big Al’s in Blaine, WA., then drop off the shipment at Security Mail for FedEx pickup.
The trick is to have the right U.S. documents completed – an Entry and Manifest of Merchandise Free of Duty, Carrier’s Certificate and Release (form 7523) and a North American Free Trade Agreement Certificate of Origin (form 434). I also give them copies of my acceptance letter and information about the art show and I print out a picture of the painting from my inventory diary. Sometimes Customs charges five dollars, sometimes not – I don’t know the reasoning either way but make sure you have U.S. funds on hand. They may or may not want to inspect your shipment so I never seal it up until we get to Security Mail.
It’s sort of fun to get in line behind the giant rigs. The Customs guy’s booth is really high up so he can deal with the truck drivers’ at their level but for us he has to look way down and we have to get out of the car and look way up.
My only fear is that the painting will arrive with the glass broken. This has happened to me twice. The painting is packed in a box, which is covered with 1/2 inch rigid pink insulation, then wrapped in a plastic bag. All of this then goes into a larger box which has 2 inch foam around the edges.