Friday, August 3, 2012

How To Import a Car Into Sudan: 2

You need to read Part One to make sense of this post by the way.

Anyway. I don’t have much to say in this post. My dad did all the remaining procedures for me so I’m not sure exactly what steps were taken. I do know that the previously obtained documents were sent to the port by the authorities, based on which the car was let off the freight and parked. Usually it is given a number and a facilitator stands in line to start the process of getting it through customs, etc. This process usually takes a day or 2. If the system is down like it almost always does, it could take up to a week. It is no surprise that in my case it took longer. MUCH longer. 6 weeks to be exact. Because the day that car set down on port was the day the government decided to double the price of the customs dollar from 2.5 pounds to 4.8. This was another bogus decision included in the frigging ‘austerity package’; the government’s salvation plan for saving the country from impending bankruptcy secondary to its spending all the money the country had in the first place. Naturally, the boys at the port had a fit and their own mini-revolution for a few days. To which the government responded with: nothing, of course. Then they went on strike and refused to let any vehicle out of the port except those in transit going to Chad and Ethiopia (exempt from customs) for another couple of weeks, to which the government responded with: nothing, of course. Then they tried reasoning and meeting them halfway by reducing the price to at least 3.2 pounds, to which the government responded with: nothing, of course. Finally, everyone gave up, and all vehicles and imported merchandise in the port were released with the new customs dollar price. And, of course, the government decided to punish everyone for their audacity to dare stand up in the face of injustice, by banning any form of discount or allowing people to pay in instalments. Therefore, as part of the process of importing a car into Sudan, one must make sure that the country is not going through an austerity package or has effectively killed its currency. Once the car has been valued and ticketed, you have 3 days to pay the money in a certain bank, who will then contact the authorities and your car will be released. Of course, it’s not just customs you have to pay. There is over 2 million pounds (belgadeem) designated as ‘port fees’, as well as fees for the locality, taxes and a number of other random things. Also, if you’re not driving the car yourself (and even if you are), you need to pay for a carrier, and again a number of other random things, a total of almost 1.5 million (belgadeem). It is also preferable that you have someone who actually lives in Port Sudan to follow up the process of your vehicle extraction; otherwise pack your bags and go there yourself. The last and final step in importing your car is that you pray with all your heart that Albashir and his goons choke on their death beds on every single penny you paid wu yadkhol 3alehom belsa7ig walma7ig walbala almotla7ig, that and every single penny he has taken from every single person in and outside this country under whatever guise they claim is righteous and just.
In a nut shell, the amount of money we have paid the government of Sudan to allow us to import our used, half-dead car into the country for our personal use is more than 1.5 times the price of the actual car, and could easily have paid to build a large school, solve the capital’s eternal drainage problems, pay for an entire district hospital’s dialysis medications, or even provide the salaries for all the doctors in the country. And I am just one person in a sea of people trapped in the system with no other solution than to pay their way out. In any other country, this is exactly what all that money would be used for. But in Sudan, all that money goes into that bottomless pocket that never fills, simply because gurosh al7aram ma bitshabi3. At the end of the day I would like to advise people to refrain from attempting to import anything into this country, 3ashan mararatkom ma tifagi3 wu betkom ma yitkharib. I would also like to remind our government that no one is immortal and that the Day of Judgement is going to be a terrible, terrible day for you all, Inshallah.

يمهل و لا يهمل! و هو شديد العقاب