Beware Duty Taxes

A few weeks ago I recieved a lovely gift from a New Jersey pal.  It was an envelope with six artfully designed dish towels.  Scrawled across the envelope was €15.29.  Since I wasn’t home when the envelope came, the postman couldn’t collect the duty.  Actually, until my pal Nicola explained what the scrawl was I didn’t realize I owed the post office anything or that the number scratched was a tax. Yup, on an envelope with contents valued at $50 it was simply scrawled €15.29. The recipient would know through osmosis that it was a tax.  Note, I said the amount was scrawled across the envelope.  There was not an official stamp, not a receipt, not – well not a thing to indicate why I had to pay someone anything. 


A few weeks went by and I didn’t go to the post office.  I never got a formal notice of owing the duty tax.  I kind of just forgot about it.  Guess who didn’t forget about it?  Il postino, the postman.  Finally, one day I was home when he came. What I didn’t know was that when he got back to the post office from his route he had to pay the €15.29 in duty.  He delivered the envelope and he was responsible.  

Errrrrggggg, I felt like a real creep for not following up and paying.  When I paid him and asked if there was a receipt of any kind from the customs people he looked at me like I was crazy.

Welcome to Italia.  

Ci vediamo

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8 thoughts on “Beware Duty Taxes

  1. Oh my goodness! Sorry you were responsible for incurring the duty tax. Nothing was mentioned to me when I brought the package to the USPO. Well, thank you and hope everyone enjoyed the New Jersey dish towels.

  2. In NJ we would likely call that a scam but you’re in sunny Italy where no one is deceitful so good to know you paid. Hope all is well – it’s finally a beauteous day in H’boro, sun is out, low humidity, and possibly waiting for wet weather from Florida hurricaine. Who knows !?

  3. I reverted to Aerograme in Milan to save exorbitant postage charges when I was at LaScala. PO was a nightmare.

    Monthly Update: Making a Difference

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    Mark your calendar’s for a William Carlos Williams event In Rutherford, NJ on 9/17/16. WCW Poetry Symposium event celebrating WCW’s 133rd birthday on Sunday Sept 17 @ 1PM at the Meadowlands Museum. We staged Williams’ PATERSON (1996-2001) at my earlier Festival’s in Paterson, NJ.

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