The Custom's saga got another volume to it the following day. As we tried to raise any officer in charge, we did speak to a commander at the Calexico Port of Entry, but all he could do was referring us to another phone number and yet another officer. Unfortunately that one officer could not be reached, so the last attempt in Calexico found its natural end. So sad.
As I tried to help our friends to find a solution a CBP website showed a list of several customs brokers for the San Luis Port Of Entry in Arizona. San Luis is close to Yuma. The broker lady I ended up with told me they would not be able to process vehicles for import. Instead she gave me the phone number of the CBP-office at the Yuma International Airport.
I even tried to intervene her flow of speech, but she was adamant that it would be the right place to go to and we wouldn't need a broker for that. I was in disbelief, but being desperate now, I dialed the number - and got an officer on the phone. I briefly explained the case and he jumped right into it asking what time we would like to come see him!
I was blown away. This sounded almost too good to be true. An appointment was made right away for coming Monday and the owners would have to bring the filled out forms, which, of course, we already had at the ready.
Now, thinking over why in the world an airport customs office would be in charge, I came to the following, quite logical, explanation: Yuma,AZ is a place that is full of RVers. One could almost say, the town lives of that winter tourism of RVers coming there year after year to escape gruesome winter days in the north.
Now most of these RVers are in the upper end age group. There will always be some who suddenly find themselves in a more or less precarious situation with their health. And some of these want or need to sell their RV right there in Yuma. It follows that if they are from Canada, they need to import their vehicles before they can sell them. So right there we find the need for a suitable place to process paperwork and the necessary inspections. The local regular border crossings are too busy for that kind of work, and won't have appropriate parking for big RVs, but the not-so-busy Yuma airport has available capacity for both, processing of paperwork and lots of parking, even for RVs.
So, come Monday, hopefully we will have some real happy camper neighbours next door. Oh, and btw. they will also save $400 for the cost of using a broker,
Now, that I have learned so much about vehicle import I consider to set up a consulting business in Yuma.
(Just kidding of course.....)