As Christmas approaches, many sponsors want to know why we discourage them from sending packages larger than 9- by 12-inches and more than an inch thick.
Here’s a real-life example why:
Santa Ana, El Salvador
The import office in Santa Ana recently notified Henry Flores, director of our communications center in El Salvador, that a package had arrived addressed to CFCA.
Normally the CFCA staff does not retrieve packages from the import office because the fees are too costly.
But Henry went this time because he was anticipating some camera equipment sent by our staff in our Kansas City headquarters.
When the package was opened, Henry was surprised to see it contained a fishing tackle box and fishing supplies.
The importing office gave Henry a receipt and told him it would cost CFCA-Santa Ana $75 in fees to claim the package, $50 for the importing office and $25 estimated taxes.
(Taxes are based on the total of the value of the contents, plus the U.S. postage amount and the customs cost stamped on the package. The sponsors also sent a fishing pole, but for some mysterious reason, it arrived at the projectís post office box and bypassed customs.)
The receipt shows the estimated value of the items at $10. The senders paid $40 in U.S. postage.
Add the cost of claiming the package, and you end up with $125 for $10 worth of fishing gear that will never reach the sponsored child.
Henry left the package at the customs office. It will eventually be auctioned off by customs along with other unclaimed items.