Fethiye Times reader Donna Schwarz-Nielsen recently imported her possessions into Turkey and on to Fethiye and concludes, after a gruelling experience, that it would have been better to have emigrated naked.

Importing your personal possessions to Turkey has caused headaches for many an expat relocating.

Readers have reported of a complicated process run by belligerent customs officials who require endless form filling and a constant stream of payments that eventually leads to the delivery of their consignment that is damaged and pilfered too.

We have published accounts of peoples experiences of importing their goods as far back as 2005. In nearly all cases the readers concluded that, after their experience, it wasn’t worth the cost and effort and it was better to just “buy when you arrive”.

So has the process and experience improved now we are in 2011? Does using an agent smooth the way?

No, according to Fethiye Times reader Donna Schwarz-Neisen who, with her husband, has relocated to Fethiye from Romania.

Donna said:

“The whole process of importing our things was like having your loved ones held for ransom with extra steps, hurdles and twists to extract the maximum amount of cash from you.”

She continued:

“Having read the horror stories concerning foreigners trying to import their possessions into Turkey I decided I was not going to be one of those poor souls and I would use an agent. I had done some research and came upon a company that claimed it could import our personal possessions with minimal fuss as it was expert in customs clearance.

I began the process on the 15th of June 2011 and two months later on 15th August my possessions were finally delivered.

Two months in which my agent asked me for information that wasn’t required, to supply documentation that I had already supplied and of payments that I would have to make, but then was later informed were no longer required.

The delays ended up costing me an extra €700 in customs storage fees because the import paper work couldn’t be completed on time.

All of this from a ‘professional, experienced import broker’ who has now informed me that he cannot give me an original receipt from the Customs because the payment for the € 700 was in cash and so I received a discount.

When the consignment was finally delivered it arrived in a distressed state with half the boxes being either ripped open or crushed. Inside the results of the handling were apparent with a broken mirror & other knick-knacks damaged.”

So would you import your possessions again knowing what you know now?

“No” was the answer.

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