About 2 weeks after we moved into our new apartment Madrid was hit with a cold front in mid-September. That caused me to slightly panic – not quite knowing what Madrid’s Fall weather was like, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be in the cold for the long haul. If this was perhaps the case it was not good news as our boxes had not yet arrived from the USA – in these boxes were ALL our winter clothing. Then a few days later we got the call we’d been waiting for …our things had arrived in Madrid.
I won’t bore you with the rip-your-hair-out details of first figuring out who called, why they called, what they wanted, what they needed (vs what they said they needed) and how/when we could get our things…no no, I’ll spare those gory details. I’ll simply tell you what we [over a very long period of time] figured out so that you might one day receive a package and have it in your home in lightning speed to enjoy.
Once your items arrive, you will be contacted and then provided a form from Aduanas (one per box) to fill out. The first order of business was to verify all the shipment information – receiver name, sender name, tracking number, contents…ah contents…we were told to list all the items in the boxes. Basically they had to determine if our items were being sent to us for resale here. While that may be seemingly clear – my advice is still to remove/have removed any new price tags on items and perhaps separate bulk items (once you see the costs of basics over here you may want items sent regularly). Once this information is gathered and filled out – fax it back to Aduanas (Fax: 91 747 10 83). Make sure you keep the form as you will also need to take it to Aduanas where they will hopefully have your goods and then hopefully hand them over. You will have to pay an import tax which for each of our [20 - 30 lb] boxes was about €4.
Much of the headache in obtaining our things was in simply reaching someone – anyone – to help find our things. Given their short office hours, inability to pick up a phone, or leave a message when phoning (with proper call back number) combined with basic disorganization meant once we discovered our items were in fact in Spain, it still took nearly 3 weeks to get them home.
In September of 2009 we dealt with Silvia (email@example.com) who could speak very basic English. She was very kind and patient with us. However, she was not easy to reach. If she is still working there – try to reach her.
The most difficult thing for us with Aduanas was figuring out their open hours and then locating them. So here you go – a walking map from Metro Alameda de Osuna (end of the 5 Line). Their hours are from 9-2pm, Monday – Thursday. Note that Aduanas is in a Correos building which you will instantly see once crossing the highway. And for all your mailing needs, The Spanish Post - Correos.
Aduanas in the office of Correos de Madrid Barajas, sita en la Calle Trespaderne s/n C.P. 28042 de Madrid. Information Tel: 91 833 10 00.
To this day I can not explain why 2 of our boxes were at Aduanas for declaring and pick up (at separate times) and the third was delivered right to our door. I suppose it will just be one of life’s little mysteries that I must simply live with.