Remember how we were told to get certificates for the hand-made suzanis we had bought a few days ago?
Well, today we went and had them examined and certified, and because the road there wasn’t very easy I will try to share with you what I know:
- If you have bought hand-made articles like suzanis, carpets, ceramics or wood carvings in Uzbekistan and you want to take them abroad, you need to get certificates for them to prove that they are not valuable antiques.
- If you take those items with you in your carry-on via airplane, bus, train, or ship, chances are that nobody will ask you for a certificate. But if you get asked, you must have one, which will be hard to produce on the spot.
- Getting the certificate takes about a half-hour if you know where to go. The problem is: many Uzbeks have not even heard about the need for a certificate and are likely to point you in a wrong direction.
- If you are in Tashkent, ask a taxi driver to take you to the Latvian embassy. Get out of the car there and walk across the street. I have marked the office where you can get the certificate on the map.
- Go in, talk to the friendly ladies, show them your passports and the items you purchased, maybe chat with them for a while, and then you will get a certificate for a certain fee (we paid about 20 dollars, I think).
- Don’t lose the certificate!
Here’s what the certification bureau looks like from outside:
And this is the examination:
After we had gotten our certificates, we went directly to the Central Post Office of Tashkent:
There didn’t seem to be too many people there (which was good), but the process of mailing parcels abroad proved to be quite complicated, involving a few different forms that we had to fill out (which was bad):
But we prevailed eventually.
The ladies behind the counter sealed our package with what looked like chocolate (I was told that it was in fact NOT chocolate and that I wasn’t supposed to try and eat it):
And then our stuff was on its way home:
We felt as if we had just finished a good day’s work.