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Shmuel Mantinband works with Unigroup UTS Sonigo, partners in the parent company of Mayflower and United Van Lines. He still remembers with great pain his lifts when he made aliya over 30 years ago.
Send us your questions for Shmuel and please leave your comments on the Q&A below.
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Volumes I - XX
Q: I have a couple of questions about our Aliyah shipping:
1. If we will be shipping a car in the container, can we put other things in the same container around the car, and pay for a container
as whole thus saving money?
2. The car we are planning to ship is Honda Civic 2001 - would you know if it can be shipped/imported?
A: While there will be unused space in a small container, it is probably less expensive to ship your car in a "consolidation" in which we would put goods and/or cars from two or more shippers.
Your personal goods will be considered a separate shipment by Israeli Customs and will require an additional Customs Clearance. This means all one time fees (for customs clearance, export documents, etc.) will be charged twice in any case. (Once for the car and once for the household goods)
It is also critical, household goods be securely strapped and professionally blocked in place as any movement will cause serious body damage to the car. Therefore, household goods should be crated and/or palletized before loading in the container.
Finally, only cars made in N. America (US, Canada or Mexico) can be imported from N. America. You should check where your Civic was made. The best way is to open the driver's door and look on the post. You should find a large sticker there with a number of bar codes including the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), Date of Manufacturer and most important, Country of Manufacturer. This will let you know if you can import the car to Israel.
You should also take a digital picture of the sticker as you will be required to show this to the Ministry of Transportation if you need an
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Q: Several friends' shipments were delayed and cost more than expected this past summer. Isn't the shipping company responsible to deliver the shipment on a timely basis and at the price quoted?
A: Thanks for writing and I am glad to try to explain this.
During the strike and port slowdown at the end of the summer, many vessels skipped Israel and offloaded their containers in nearby ports. This allowed them to maintain the integrity of their shipping schedules (or...get to the next port in time.) International maritime law allows them to do this.
What makes this really unfortunate is the shipping line's right to declare "End of Voyage" (EOV) in this circumstance. This declaration
means they have finished their obligation to ship your container. If you want to get your container from (for example) Cyprus, which you
obviously will want, you have to pay for another sailing - from Limassol, Cyprus to Israel.
Bottom line, you end up paying for another shipment and to rub salt in the proverbial wound - your shipment arrives much later than expected.
Shipping agents like myself, are in a bind when this happens. We are really very similar to travel agents in that we do not own or operate
vessels, but rather book passage on them. If the vessel is late or stops elsewhere, there is very little we can do about it.
It is a lousy situation and basically the owner of the goods is the one who has to pay for the extra costs.
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Q: Is there any way to manage a Small Claims Court case against a shipper? I have proof that I was deceived - I want to sue for NIS 8000.
A: Since I am not a lawyer or expert in the court system (thankfully, I have very little experience with them...) I am probably not the best person to answer this question.
I would expect you need to be present on the day your case is called. You will usually have several months' notice so you can plan a trip. If
your case is well based (which only the judge will decide), your trip will be paid for when you win.
When you put together your case in small claims court, you should clearly outline your claim with supporting documents. Put together a
folder of these documents and clearly label each one with a letter or number so you can easily refer to a particular document.
You should prepare 3 copies of this folder, one for you, the judge and your evil opponent.
I have served as a expert witness in court before and would be happy to review your case and supporting documents to see if I can help you.
Good luck and all the best.
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