Thursday, August 09, 2007

Marinha Mercante Catch 22

Anyone still out there. Hey if you think it is boring to read all this, try having to do it...
Another day another adventure. The morning today was spent trying to pay Marihna Mercante the duties they levied on my bike. And yes, you guessed it, it wasn't the 5% we thought last night. Rather, 25%, I hate it when I am right. At this point, it doesn't really matter anymore, there is simply no way around it so I have to pay it. But how? Allink spent the morning trying, but had some technical problems (computers/accounts) so they tried paying over some associates at another company. No luck. So close to lunchtime, we headed over to Marihana Mercante to discuss the this. Mr. Anderson Silva (Allink) spoke to the manager there, and it turns out that payment is only possible from an account at Banco Do Brasil, to their account at Banco Do Brasil. Say what?
Unfortunately, Allink has no account at Banco Do Brasil, as they do not do any business over it or with Marihna Mercante directly. So I accompanied Anderson over to Banco Do Brasil where we spoke to someone who seemed like he knew what he was talking about (he had a suit on!). It turns out that you cannot just show up with cash and have them pay it into the Mahrina Mercante account. As noted above, payment is only accepted from an account at Banco Do Brasil! Ok, so lets create an account for me. Not so fast grasshopper! According to this person, it is not possible for me to have an account as I am not a resident of Brasil! Everyone got that. I have to pay, but I can't!
Great, now we have to find someone who has an account at Banco Do Brasil and try and pay this over them. After some more conversations back and forth, and contacting some more associates we got the contact information for a Customs Broker. So later in the afternoon I head over there with Claudio who by now must be wondering if it simpler to shoot me or himself to get rid of this problem.
The customs broker was very friendly and helpful, and the story will continue tomorrow with them trying to sort this out. As they have more experience with issues of this type, both Claudio and I think that this will be the best solution. It will of course cost a little, but as the only thing they need to help with is getting Marihna Mercante off my back, it shouldn't be too bad.
One thing that really helped was the fact that they had helped a couple of British bikers who came through last year, so they seem to have experience with exactly my type of case. Can't wait to find out how the story turns out, how about you?

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