DHL isn’t charging 5% customs

Posted by Mark

Two weeks ago I posted a letter from Aramex Shop and Ship saying that due to customs regulations they will be charging 5% customs fee on all shipments not including a KD1 handling charge and a KD1 government stamp. From what I understood this was going to apply to all shipping companies but today I received a package via DHL Borderlinx and to my surprise there was no charge. According to the DHL employee they’re not charging 5% customs on shipments. But does that make DHL cheaper? I’m not sure.

The problem (the only problem actually) with DHL’s Borderlinx is they charge based on volumetric weight. What this means is if a small box weighs 1KG and a large box weighs 1KG, the large box is going to be more expensive than the small box even though they’re the same weight. In my case my package weighed around 2KG but the volumetric weight was around 5.35KG. If I had shipped it with Aramex they would have charged me for the 2KG but with DHL I had to pay more than double the actual weight. On the other hand unlike Aramex, with DHL you don’t pay the 8% New York State tax and you also don’t pay the 5% Kuwait customs tax so which comes out a better deal?

Item cost: $187 (KD51)
Actual Weight: 2.2KG
Volumetric Weight: 5.35KG

Aramex Shop and Ship
8% NY tax: $15 (KD4.1)
Shipping cost to Kuwait: KD13.75
Kuwait customs: KD6*
Approx time from US to Kuwait: 8 days**
Total shipping cost = KD23.85

DHL Borderlinx
No NY Tax
Shipping cost to Kuwait: $110.60 (KD30.8)
No Kuwait Customs
Time from US to Kuwait: 4 days
Total shipping cost = KD30.8

So even with the new 5% customs fee Aramex is charging and even with the NY State tax they still somehow end up cheaper than DHL. This mostly has to do with the fact that DHL charges on volumetric weight. If they charged on actual weight than they’d be considerably cheaper. On the other hand DHL is practically twice as fast as Aramex so that alone could be worth the extra cost for many people.

My conclusion
Large (not necessarily heavy) packages ship to Aramex
Small or regular sized packages ship to DHL

So basically I’m still going to be flip flopping between the two companies for now.

*Calculated using their customs calculator
**Based on a different shipment just received from Aramex


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New Lulu Hypermarket Location

Posted by Mark

Lulu are opening a new location in Dajeej Farwaniya right next to Sears. From the outside the location looks pretty huge although I’m not sure if it’s going to end up being their largest branch in Kuwait. What I like about the location though is that it’s closer to Salmiya than their Al Qurain branch which is currently my favorite. This would be their fourth location in Kuwait and according to a worker I spotted on site they should be opening right after Ramadan.


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Kuwait’s very own Costco?

Posted by Mark

Ama Traveller just posted pictures and information on a new place that opened up in Kuwait called “On Cost”. Judging by the pictures and her comments it looks very similar in style to the very popular large US retailer, Costco. Need to pass by and check it out myself but you can check out her post and pictures [Here]


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In Limra I Trust

Posted by Mark

Whenever I need anything computer related the first place I always visit is Limra Computer Center in Hawalli. It’s a small store (nothing close to being a “center”) located on the ground floor of Walla Complex. I used to be a Professional Computer fan (located one floor above) but somehow I started buying all my stuff from Limra a few years ago and since then I’ve been a regular. The place has character and the main guy (Shankar) is very knowledgable. Depending on when you pass by the place could be packed with people and you’ll have to wait outside the shop until there’s enough room for you to squeeze in. Check them out next time you’re in Hawalli looking for stuff, they’re very trustworthy. Their phone number is 22631043.


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Did Shop & Ship just get more expensive?

Posted by Mark

Over the weekend I got the following email from Aramex:

We would like to inform you of an important customs update for incoming shipments to Kuwait. As per Kuwait Customs regulations (Customs Authority 68, 2012), customs duties are calculated based on the weight, value and the customs estimated freight charges of the shipment (as per IATA published tariff).

The new customs calculation formula can be determined by using our new Customs Calculator. Please click here to access the calculator.

So after clicking on their link and downloading the excel file I plugged in the weight of the package as 1KG and the value as KD10 and it told me I would have to pay around KD4 as a customs fee. Previously any package under $100 you would only pay KD1 as a clearance charge. I have no idea if DHL have implemented this new system as well but I’ve got two packages that will be arriving sometime this week to both Aramex and DHL so I’ll post an update once I get them.


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Ralph Lauren Summer Sale

Posted by Mark

Two days back I found out Ralph Lauren had a summer sale (50% off) taking place so I passed by today and picked up a few shirts. To my surprise it turns out I now wear size “small”. Thank you Fahad for that. If you’re interested, sale is on till July 10th. The classic polo shirts are not included in the sale.

Update: Forgot to add they’re also opening up a huge flagship store in Avenues Phase III.


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Sultan Center Salwa shut down

Posted by Mark

I’ve seen shops and restaurants closed down by the Ministry before but never a whole supermarket.

Thanks Quintin


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Amazon Kindle Fire in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

While at the Avenues I spotted the Kindle Fire at Office Depot. They’re selling it for KD85 which is around KD25 more expensive than Amazon (without tax and shipping). They also had a few accessories for the Kindle Fire but didn’t spot any of the regular Kindle’s there.


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Lakeland Now Open

Posted by Mark

Lakeland, the UK kitchenware store is now open in Marina Mall. I haven’t passed by the shop yet but the blog 965 Malls did and they have a ton of pictures up of the place. Check out their post [Here]


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Roomba available in Kuwait?

Posted by Mark

Is there a place in Kuwait that sells Roomba vacuum cleaners? I used to have the original one back in 2003 and it had cost me over KD20 to ship it with Aramex back then. Today it would probably cost more than double that amount so I’d rather get it locally if available.


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