I left on Friday evening to Nairobi where I had to wait 8 hours for my flight to Pemba. The same morning Johannes left Beira by car and used a tracking system (APRS, https://aprsdroid.org/) which allowed me to follow him in real time. I could see his location, speed, direction and altitude. So now and then we exchanged messages and Johannes sent pictures of his road conditions and environment which could post on my web site (www.dx.to).
I had my flight to Pemba in the afternoon and Johannes was already at the airport at the time of my arrival. So far everything went smooth and my luggage appeared on the belt in good shape. Just 2 meters before the exit to the public area, I was stopped by customs and asked what I had in my boxes. Since it was equipment, they asked for the invoices. I was prepared for that and handed over the invoices for the K3 and Expert 1.3K FA plus some small equipment. The total value was estimate at USD 8000 and I had to pay temporary import duties. The duty was about 10% of the value so we were confronted with a cost of USD 800. I was told that I would get this back when leaving the country again. That sounds OK but I could imagine that when on my way back, I would experience that the right people would not be available, the money was not available, the procedure was changed, etc.
I was able to call Johannes to assist me in this situation. He explained he had imported several pieces of equipment already before and only paid small amounts of import duty. Finally, after some discussions, and negotiations, we had to pay USD 300 which would be refunded on my return.
One issue for us was also that it is difficult to withdraw foreign currency at a bank in Pemba and on Ibo Island you can’t get local or foreign currency and the only ATM on the island is out of order. Therefore, you need to bring your cash money with you. Obviously, paying USD 300 to customs would go out of the budget we had for payments on the island.
After the import duty formalities, we could leave the airport and went to our hotel Jardim dos Embondeiros. It is a fantastic hotel, and located directly on the sea, so we concluded already; a fantastic place for a radio operation, however, it’s not an island. That evening we went for dinner and early sleep.