Press Release Regarding the Container:
To our supporters, clients and hobbyists:
Many of you have had products on pre-order, including the NEW! Aqua Soil Amazonia and some other select popular items that are on our current container order from Japan. To those of you who have patiently waited for your orders, we sincerely thank you for the value of your understanding.
With that in mind, we would like to address openly and honestly the reasons for this unprecedented delay with the processing of the container.
Normal processing times, at least since we began to carry the Aqua Design Amano product line six years ago, for container orders and imports usually was on a 4-5 week timeline. From the time an order is placed, it takes about one week to a week and a half for the order to be finalized, processed and shipped from ADA Japan. From there it typically takes about 2-3 weeks to travel across the pacific and arrive at port in the United States. At that point, depending on the port of entry, it arrives at our door within 2 business days, and if customs reviews the container during inspection the process usually only takes about 4-5 days at most.
However, on this container shipment, within a few days of the original order being placed, the terrible tragedy of the earthquake in Japan occurred, causing delays with the original shipping, pushing back an original delivery date of April 9-10th to April 21st. Even given the incredible delay in all logistics in Japan, this was a very quick turn around under the circumstances.
Once the container arrived on April 21st, it underwent normal processing, until a few select, relatively new items, including the Red Bee Shrimp Food, were flagged for inspection as new line items. This required us to obtain the original manufacturer’s FDA registration number in order to begin processing of the item through inspections. On this basis alone the entire container was held in storage until the information could be gained that the federal government requested.
Upon receiving this news, we (ADG), immediately began to solicit this information from Aqua Design Amano, Japan, in order to pass our container through customs. However, because the FDA required the original manufacturer information, and not the Aqua Design Amano registered information, contact with the origin factory of the items was required.
At the time of our original request for the FDA registration number from the original manufacturer (i.e. the actual factory it was produced in), they had a national holiday which incurred a three day delay in the transmittance of the requested information.
However, once we obtained the information and passed it on to our customs broker, customs began to further review the other items in the container, and request specific information on origin manufacturers / factory plants even on items that we have been importing since day one of ADA operations at ADG and had long since had that information provided.
This caused significant delays, due to the time difference between the United States and Japan - since we would get a request for information at 8:30 am CST time (10:30pm Japan time), which could not get responses from Japan until 8:00 am (6 PM CST) their time (because there is a 14 hour difference between Houston and Niigata, this did not work in our favor for processing times).
So every single time customs would request information that required information from ADA specifically (which was provided as quickly as possible), it would at minimum cost another day in delay. The way customs and the FDA responded in this scenario was, rather than asking for all of the information they would need up front, it was processed on a piece-meal “one line item at a time,” basis, with another modification to request for information per day, which again, even with the fastest possible processing of this information time, meant another day in storage and processing for inspection.
At this point, we sit at an estimated delivery of midweek of the week between May 16th to May 20th for delivery and final shipping of all pre-orders, provided no further delays incurred.
Of course, once we receive the container in our possession all pre-orders will ship within 24-48 hours. We are committed to doing everything in our power to get your pre-orders to you as quickly as we possibly can, and we are doing everything we possibly can to avoid delay, processing and shipping times.
We would again, like to apologize for this completely unprecedented and abnormal delay in delivery, and apologize for any other delays that this has caused as far as communications and processing of other business activities. However, we are working as much as we can around the clock to deliver all pre-orders. Thank you for your patience, we sincerely appreciate it.
Aqua Design Amano USA // Aquarium Design Group