A Letter To A Kuwaiti Customs Officer


“Show me the money and you can *maybe* get your films.”

Dear Kuwaiti Customs Officer,

Thank you for working diligently in helping ‘protect’ Kuwait.

Please give the incoming DVD shipments a break.

Give the customers a break. Don’t charge people 200% customs fees on a $30 DVD movie. All you are doing is indirectly impacting trade between the US/Europe and Kuwait and encouraging people to buy pirated copies of DVDs – available on every street corner in Hawally and beyond.

If someone has the decency to abide by copyright laws and purchase films through www.amazon.com or other outlets, you should encourage, not discourage that. This is the age of Torrent feeds, of online movie download services, of piracy, you cannot impose intellectual or creative control on Kuwaitis anymore, so might as well just go with the flow. Why store hundreds of DVD shipments in your warehouse? Do you fear that there may be a copy of DEBBIE DOES DALLAS VI in there?

Officer, on a concluding note, please focus your formidable skills on weapons and drug smuggling, money laundering, radioactive material entering Kuwait and working with the Ministry of Information in eradicating piracy, both film and software.

Thank you. If you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go watch my DVD of Cheech and Chong’s UP IN SMOKE.


21 thoughts on “A Letter To A Kuwaiti Customs Officer

  1. You just reminded me of the interview with Safaa Al-Hashem a month ago or so.. She was complaining on the complications she faced when she ordered a jacket and a couple of box. She had to get an import/export from the ministry of commerce in order to release her stuff!! That is weird under the Globalization era!!

  2. it’s because vergin megastore are “losing” the costumers……!!!
    see who is the Kuwaiti behind Vergin in Kuwait and you’ll understand better…..!!!

  3. It would be different of people were trying to bring in hundreds of DVDs to re-sell, but these are people bringing in one copy of each for PERSONAL use. What are they thinking??

  4. De Ja Vu!
    Another nice article but for some reason I felt like I read it as well as the comments!
    Your words are so true but that doesn’t only involve DVDs! A friend of mine had to wait a week before she got a pair of jeans she ordered!

  5. My son pre-ordered 2 x-box 360 games. He waited for 2 months for their release. They arrived 2 days apart through Aramex. The first one was delivered to my office as usual. The second is still at the customs, 3 weeks after!! Both games rated as for “all ages” so there is not fear of R or X rated material!
    I heared rumors that these delays and additional charges have something to do with a role the Public Warehousing Co, PWC has just been assiged. Is that true? How is that our problem?

  6. Am I the only one who found the Cheech and Chong bit hilarious.
    Looks to me like you guys need the authorities to get out of people’s lives. And yeah, amer, smuggling is a serious issue as it is here in UAE, that’s where the bloody twats should focus their energies.

  7. You guys are all correct, the customs delays are related to a myriad of products (books, video games, clothes etc) but I wanted to focus on one product that most youngsters or bloggers gravitated towards and that was the DVD.
    Some blame PWC (who supposedly took over the operation), some blame a Virgin conspiracy, some just blame good old-fashioned Kuwaiti bureacracy stemming from Ministry of Commerce.
    The post was written in a tongue of cheek manner and yes it has been a topical subject for weeks now but “Hilaliya” had to do its take on it.
    As for translating it, I doubt the Custom Officer would even know who Cheech and Chong were, so it’s futile 🙂
    I would like to ask you all though: “What is the reason behind these delays?” – what is your take guys?

  8. This is a problem that will continue forever.
    UNLESS…..you know somebody on the inside (costums)…!
    That is the reality brother.
    Dude, just get the copies from hawalli. you will save money. who cares if it is pirated or not. besides those motha fu*#* are charging way too much for a dvd!!!!

  9. Amer..
    I think it’s all back to our laid back system and personnel. People are too lazy to work especially in Ramadan and to be honest with you I never faced that problem with ARAMEX although I get my DVDs scratched sometimes!
    A friend of mine has a funny theory, she says never order something with a man’s name on it! They’ll double the trouble. Use your wife’s/Sis’s name instead that may ease the problem.

  10. Just order it using DHL. I’ve used them very often and only had my shipment delayed in MOC once. That time DHL kept following up with MOC and delivered it to my home 4 days late….better than never :-). Rest of the orders where extremily smooth, also find out who the rep of DHL is and you’ll know why. Makes the Virgin owners look like peasents .

  11. This is pissing me the hell off! I got my first bunch of stuff pretty quickly without any issue, but now I have some personel stuff coming in that seems to be on hold and its driving me nuts! Now we shall see what they will do! If they hold it then I will march down and give them a piece of my mind!

  12. I’m afraid so Marzouq – where there is smoke there is fire, the delays, bureacracy and charges – both for corporate and personal use – are bound to affect everyone eventually.

  13. Nice.. it went through smoothly without any problems.. hmmm.. I require more testing and this one is of a heavier kind! MORE DVDS! lets see what happens now!

  14. As someone who just decided to give up my “Dora the Explorer” children’s DVD’s instead of paying some 25 KD to clear the shipment, I know exactly what you mean.

  15. LOOOOL! Damn Amer! I never thought of you as a Cheech * Chong fan! MELLOW OUT MAAAAN!
    Kuwaiti customs are just pushing the limit. I mean, seriously, who wants to pay 20.950 KD to clear an ordinary music CD. Thats right, a music CD! Ever since this immensely stupid wave of actually taking their job seriously swept over the Kuwaiti Customs offices, I just gave up on ordering international movies. I prefer download or just buying the pirate copies from Bin Khaldoon St.
    The only way to get things done in Kuwait is to use to a mandoob to do it for you.

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