I almost had to change my pants after hearing that one.

I got an email from one of the suppliers in India that our shipment was already at port. I immediately talked to our freight forwarded (the guys who handle all the customs, bonds, shipping, etc.) who informed me that the US requires the buyer (Janum) to file a specific form 24 hours before departure, or there is a five thousand dollar fine.

You can only imagine my panic.

The next five hours were spent on the phone, on skype, sending emails, going to kinkos, and pouring scotch to try and relieve some of the anxiety. I essentially went through a crash course on importing at 11pm last night - let me tell you, there are a LOT of strange terms and forms - which is not exactly what you want to deal with when a huge fine is looming over you.

Indian business actually came to the rescue this time: no work for the next three days because of a Holiday.

Huge sigh of relief.

Fine avoided. Understanding of importing and regulations: never to be forgotten.