1 – The US Longshoreman’s union has agreed to a temporary extension of their contract. This averted a strike, which would have affected all East Coast US Ports (including the Gulf of Mexico). The extension is until 28 January, and the threat of a strike at that time still remains.
2 – Israeli Customs is now requiring a “Teken” (Approval from Ministry of Standards) or a “Ptor” (Exemption from the approval) for ALL gas grills (Bar-b-ques) imported, even as personal import. Any import shipment containing a gas grill will be pulled for inspection, and the grill will be held by customs until the approval or exemption is issued. Of course, charges for the inspection/ removal, and storage of the gas grill will be billed to the owner of the goods. We are working with other licensed customs clearers to get this rule revoked (even if only for Olim Hadashim and Toshvim Hozerim); however right now it is best to NOT import a gas bar-b-que.
3 – The Ashdod Customs House has decided to inspect any import shipment with a bicycle, to ensure that the bicycle is not motorized. Motorized bicycles require approval from Ministry of transportation. Charges for the inspection are billed to the owner of the goods. This only affects shipments arriving to Ashdod (for now). We are working with other licensed customs clearers to get this rule revoked (even if only for Olim Hadashim and Toshvim Hozerim); however right now it is best to NOT import a bicycle of any sort.