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Loves live concerts and likes to be creative from time to time (e.g. crochet amigurumis).

What a plan it would be if it worked …

After Gernot & Gisi made their way from Darmstadt via Hamburg and Amsterdam to Washington D.C., we had one more week to relax and spend time with our families.

At least that’s what we thought …

When we have received 3 days before our departure still no feedback from the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), the American environmental authority, to import our bikes, we asked but times. The answer came promptly: allegedly no application had been received to date. 😳

Unfortunately, that doesn’t help us. What now? Standing at the airport in Washington D.C. and not being able to receive the motorcycles… Would they be kept in customs for that long? Or would they be sent back at our expense? So we first asked in a friendly way if it would not be possible to get the release until in 3 days (attached our mail from April 12th): “The processing of exemptions can take 14-21 working days.” – short and sweet was the answer; without salutation, sympathetic words or greeting… What now? Suddenly our entire trip was in question. 🥺

After a phone call with our forwarder we learned that Gernot & Gisi are (fortunately) still in Hamburg and the transport can be stopped. But how should it go on now? As we were told, there is only one officer at the EPA who handles all import applications – and he sometimes gets off on the wrong foot, if you know what I mean… We must have caught such a day, because we didn’t get any other feedback when we or our forwarder can expect an info to organize a new transport. Let alone that Gernot’s & Gisi’s storage until a new transport date costs money and has to be organized as well. And theoretically there is always the possibility not to get a release…

So what were our options?

(1) Cancel the trip and give up on our dream.

(2) Postpone our flight at short notice by 4 weeks and hope to get clearance by then. If not, we could still cancel everything.

(3) Fly and cover the first part of our trip not on two wheels, but on four (with a rented motorhome or car).

Option 1 was out of question for us – although to be honest it was quite frustrating that everything could fail on a piece of paper. Option 2 would be very close to option 1, except that we would have to shell out quite a bit of money for the last-minute flight change and storage of our bikes, and that the whole thing, if approved, would set us back about 4-6 weeks in our schedule. That may not seem like much at first glance, but the weather in the USA & Canada is certainly not to be trifled with.

After the first frustration was overcome, we finally decided for option 3: Although still with the uncertainty to actually get the clearance within the next 3 weeks; but at least with the possibility that Gernot & Gisi join us in Boston and we can continue our trip as a foursome. And so we booked ourselves a rental car (RVs are just not affordable on short notice 😔).

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our forwarding agent In Time Forwarding & Courier from Hamburg for their flexibility and especially our contact person Mr. Kleinknecht, who is always available to help us with words and deeds by phone!