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Old 26th August 2009, 03:47 AM   #1
celtan
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Default Sword Shipping

Hi Guys,

I have been discussing with other collectors the issue of shipping our "toys" internationally.

In general, I understand that Switzerland, Greece, Denmark, Brazil and Portugal do not allow the entrance of "weapons", ie. any blade.

Germany may also belong to that club. although I have shipped a couple Napoleonic blades over there sans problems.

Do these prohibitions include "antiques"?

Any definite data from those who have either lived there, or have sent swords over there?

Hard info is very welcomed.

Best

Manolo
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Old 26th August 2009, 06:34 PM   #2
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Australia can now be very problematic as well.
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Old 27th August 2009, 12:56 AM   #3
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Whenever I deal with the Commonwealth, I always send a letter to Customs stating the item is an antique, and the reasons supporting the claim. So far, no problems.

Has anyone sent anything to Israel or Poland? How are their mail systems? I have been told that Spain, Italy, Russia, Asia, Far and Near Orient, Africa, Central and South America, as well as Eastern Europe, including Greece and Turkey, are utterly irresponsible in they way they handle mail, and basically you can't trace anything.

How about Germany? I have also sent items to Spain sans problems. Have I been merely lucky?

Nando, what's your own take on Portugal?

Best

Manolo
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Old 15th September 2009, 04:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celtan
Whenever I deal with the Commonwealth, I always send a letter to Customs stating the item is an antique, and the reasons supporting the claim. So far, no problems.

Has anyone sent anything to Israel or Poland? How are their mail systems? I have been told that Spain, Italy, Russia, Asia, Far and Near Orient, Africa, Central and South America, as well as Eastern Europe, including Greece and Turkey, are utterly irresponsible in they way they handle mail, and basically you can't trace anything.

How about Germany? I have also sent items to Spain sans problems. Have I been merely lucky?

Nando, what's your own take on Portugal?



Manolo


I have had no problems shipping to Poland or receiving from Israel.

bbjw
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Old 15th September 2009, 05:24 PM   #5
fernando
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For European buyers,
Also important is to ascertain the place where the item is coming from.
It may happen that you are buying the piece from an European seller, setlle the respective payment with his European account, and then be told that the item is located outside Europe, whith its unexpected repercussion.
Instead of having your item coming through without any Customs harassment,
you end up having it inspected ... and seized; even though it may be an innocent harmless ethnographic piece ... which is something they expect you to prove ... with your sweat ... besides the heavy taxation.
I am narrating my experience.
Fernando
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Old 12th October 2009, 07:01 PM   #6
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Guys,

Just found out that China and Russia have problems allowing sword imports.

Best

M



Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
For European buyers,
Also important is to ascertain the place where the item is coming from.
It may happen that you are buying the piece from an European seller, setlle the respective payment with his European account, and then be told that the item is located outside Europe, whith its unexpected repercussion.
Instead of having your item coming through without any Customs harassment,
you end up having it inspected ... and seized; even though it may be an innocent harmless ethnographic piece ... which is something they expect you to prove ... with your sweat ... besides the heavy taxation.
I am narrating my experience.
Fernando
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Old 27th August 2009, 04:31 AM   #7
Gavin Nugent
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Default Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlantia
Australia can now be very problematic as well.


For me importing any edged weapon to Australia is not a problem as I know through experience gained that all you really have to do is dot your "I"s and cross your "T"s and know what you are importing and keep open lines of communications with the sender.
The hard ones are concealable edged weapons and double edged weapons under 40cms in length. This too can be overcome with experience.
Swords are not restricted at all, though I know some states do require licences for them.
I know from dealings with some European countries that they can be tough and even tougher with taxes.

Incidentally, can anyone in the USA help me with an issue I have, an auction house does not want to declare the amount I want them to on a high ticket item? I am looking for a shipping addy in the USA who can reship at a lower declared value so I am not getting shafted by the government on taxes, I feel it is nothing short of extortion taxing antiques...what gives them the rights....

Any way....if anyone needs help importing to Australia feel free to contact me.

Regards

Gav

Last edited by freebooter : 27th August 2009 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 27th August 2009, 05:03 AM   #8
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Smile NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand is no problem either BUT there are some conditions.
Swords: Are basicly free imports. You do not need any sort of permit to import.
Knives: SINGLE EDGED old/ethnographic/bayonets etc: No permit of any sort required BUT such things as Butterfly knives, flick knives, gravity knives etc are TOTALLY BANNED.
Daggers (double edged knives): Permit to Import required by buyer. It is totally the BUYERS responsibility to make sure that they have the right permit. There is NO responsibilty on the shippers part if the buyer does not have, or can not get the right permit. If the buyer has paid then its his problem if the item is siezed at the border, and he has NO COMEBACK on the seller.
MAKE SURE THAT THE ITEM IS DESCRIBED FOR WHAT IT IS!! Even if the buyer has a permit, if the Customs chose, they can sieze the item if it is not properly described. The word "antique" does not come into the equation. Even the word "old" is not necessary, but obviously if an item is old then describe as such.
Hope this helps.
Regards Stuart
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Old 27th August 2009, 01:03 PM   #9
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Hi Guys,

Stuart, if you use EBay and you can't prove the buyer received the item (Ie. Customs keeps it), PPal will reimburse the buyer's payment (charge-back), and the seller is left sans recourse and holding the bag.

Gav, I don't know if that would be a good idea. You'd have to pay shipping to two different locations, and taxes to the intermediate location too. For example, inter-state shipping also pays taxes, in PR's case they are about 8%. Although not all states do, yet I have no idea of which assess taxes and which don't. Second, if you misrepresent the value, and the item "gets lost", insurance will only cover the reported value. Sometimes Custom offices "dissappear" the item on purpose, and then leave you to deal with your insurance, knowing full-well it won't cover your loss. Custom's games..!

Best

Manolo



Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
New Zealand is no problem either BUT there are some conditions.
Swords: Are basicly free imports. You do not need any sort of permit to import.
Knives: SINGLE EDGED old/ethnographic/bayonets etc: No permit of any sort required BUT such things as Butterfly knives, flick knives, gravity knives etc are TOTALLY BANNED.
Daggers (double edged knives): Permit to Import required by buyer. It is totally the BUYERS responsibility to make sure that they have the right permit. There is NO responsibilty on the shippers part if the buyer does not have, or can not get the right permit. If the buyer has paid then its his problem if the item is siezed at the border, and he has NO COMEBACK on the seller.
MAKE SURE THAT THE ITEM IS DESCRIBED FOR WHAT IT IS!! Even if the buyer has a permit, if the Customs chose, they can sieze the item if it is not properly described. The word "antique" does not come into the equation. Even the word "old" is not necessary, but obviously if an item is old then describe as such.
Hope this helps.
Regards Stuart
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Old 27th August 2009, 02:57 PM   #10
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Hi Manolete,
Oh, i am so furious
Yesterday i thought i would coment on this thread. As this is no simple matter, i found myself writing a text of some thousand words or the like. Then suddenly, when i was almost finished, i pressed the wrong key (i am no natural left hander) and the whole text simply got deleted. I had no courage to restart and just gave up posting my coments.
Starting again, i would first remind the often wrong mixing, when dealing with goods transit facilities and goods legal possession.
As we all know, goods arriving here from European Union countries are not subject to Customs inspection; therefore the possibility that the contents of your parcel may be (a) totally illegal (b) subject to legalization or (c) subject to proof of legality, is a question that doesn't take place. Since this regulation was implemented, it has been paradise among European arms collectors.
On the other hand, parcels arriving from non European countries are practically all opened at Customs and, in a dramatic opposition to the European rule, weapons or 'would be' weapons are all simply detained by Customs at police disposal.
In case the item falls within the relative small number of legal allowances, is something you have to proof to the Police authorities, by means of all your imagination, together with well backed support like collectors associations, lots of red tape and lots of time.
Coming to this, the national definition of weapons is some sort of blind knot, specially concerning white (bladed) weapons.
Firearms are easily defined; you have military (or military caliber) weapons, which are simply forbidden, then you have sport and defence weapons, which demand for a permit ... reminding permits are deeply painful to obtain over here, and finally you have obsolete weapons, those produced before 1890, on which collecting should be wisely based, as such items are not passive of manifest, as they call it ... therefore not requiring any documentation. However, collecting of active firearms demands a permit so or even more complicated than a defence or hunting permit.
White arms are more problematic. The ancient notion of prohibition of knives that are longer than the width of your hand palm (4") is still alife and kicking. While a firearm (assumedly) becomes obsolete with time, a white arm is allways active ... being by legal definition any object with a blade or and a point (cutting-perfurating). There eventually are some perrogatives; specimens with a visible cultural/collecting/study interest, antiquities and similar. For these cases you are virtually allowed to have in your house one example of each.
But, as approached before, is not the Customs officer that judges whether your item is free to be released; they reactively dump it in their 'inbond' deposit and remind you that, if you want to have it cleared, you must require an 'in loco' survey from the Police experts, who will decide upon the subject and instruct Customs to release it ... or consider it lost in favour of the State, as they call it. Obviously if you are allowed to clear it, you still have to pay the usual taxation.
So in other words: in the present circumstances, you can mail me a bomb if you reside in a neighbour country, but you can't mail me a nail clipper if you send it from outside the community ... a large nail clipper, mind you
Did i miss anything?
Naturally this is a simplified (and subjective?) overview of the rather complex Portuguese arms law.
Saludos
Fernando

Last edited by fernando : 27th August 2009 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 27th August 2009, 10:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celtan
Gav, I don't know if that would be a good idea. You'd have to pay shipping to two different locations, and taxes to the intermediate location too. For example, inter-state shipping also pays taxes, in PR's case they are about 8%. Although not all states do, yet I have no idea of which assess taxes and which don't. Second, if you misrepresent the value, and the item "gets lost", insurance will only cover the reported value. Sometimes Custom offices "dissappear" the item on purpose, and then leave you to deal with your insurance, knowing full-well it won't cover your loss. Custom's games..!

Best

Manolo


Believe me Manolo, it is a far cheaper option. by doing this I could potentally save $500+. Lose is never a concern for me, of the hundreds, maybe thousand plus deals I have done over the years, nothing has ever gone astray if it is sent with either registration or tracking, I rarely insure.
Others may have suffered loss but I do wonder the circumstances behind it.
I hear stories of customs officers taking stuff but never ever had is substantiated either.

Gav
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Old 28th August 2009, 05:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celtan
Hi Guys,

Stuart, if you use EBay and you can't prove the buyer received the item (Ie. Customs keeps it), PPal will reimburse the buyer's payment (charge-back), and the seller is left sans recourse and holding the bag.

Gav, I don't know if that would be a good idea. You'd have to pay shipping to two different locations, and taxes to the intermediate location too. For example, inter-state shipping also pays taxes, in PR's case they are about 8%. Although not all states do, yet I have no idea of which assess taxes and which don't. Second, if you misrepresent the value, and the item "gets lost", insurance will only cover the reported value. Sometimes Custom offices "dissappear" the item on purpose, and then leave you to deal with your insurance, knowing full-well it won't cover your loss. Custom's games..!

Best

Manolo

I do not plan to get into the subject of Ebay as it would take a thread of its own, and I expect a VERY long one. What I should have added is that the Customs would then return the item to the sender, PROVIDED there was no attempt to confuse by incorrect description. That would have been on the senders part and then he would deserve to be left in the lurch. In any international transaction there is always a degree of TRUST, and if a seller is not sure about his buyer, he need only look at previous feedback to establish the integrity or lack of. Also he is able to see what the buyer has been purchasing. Trust me, our Customs are NOT corrupt, and I believe that in NZ we are VERY lucky to have SENSIBLE laws regarding blades, and in fact weapons in general.
Regards Stuart

Last edited by kahnjar1 : 28th August 2009 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 28th August 2009, 05:18 PM   #13
Andrew
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Default Knock, knock...

Quote:
Originally Posted by freebooter
Incidentally, can anyone in the USA help me with an issue I have, an auction house does not want to declare the amount I want them to on a high ticket item? I am looking for a shipping addy in the USA who can reship at a lower declared value so I am not getting shafted by the government on taxes, I feel it is nothing short of extortion taxing antiques...what gives them the rights....


Let's not engage in this sort of thing, folks, lest this thread become locked or deleted. Thanks.

Here's the current applicable rule:

Quote:
7. LEGAL DISCUSSIONS

Discussion of laws, regulation and legal issues, such as those relating to the ownership of edged weapons, or their transportation, importation or exportation, on the open forum is fine (and very educational and helpful besides), so long as suggestions for ways to circumvent said laws or regulations, such as shipping and/or labeling strategies, are not brought into the discussion.

Discussions of your own experiences with customs, local possession laws, etc. is fine, again so long as you do not discuss "strategies" for circumventing or avoiding them (even if it is simply suggesting a careful choice of words that tends not to excite the attention of the authorities).

If there is interest in exchanging such "strategic" information, please use private e-mails.
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Old 28th August 2009, 06:35 PM   #14
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Sorry! My apologies.

Best

M

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew
Let's not engage in this sort of thing, folks, lest this thread become locked or deleted. Thanks.

Here's the current applicable rule:
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Old 29th August 2009, 01:15 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew
Let's not engage in this sort of thing, folks, lest this thread become locked or deleted. Thanks.

Here's the current applicable rule:


Noted thank you Andrew.

Gav
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Old 29th August 2009, 02:12 PM   #16
fernando
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A pity that couriers like UPS are a zillion times more expensive than USPS.
USPS delivers the parcel to local mail services in the capital (Lisbon) for later forwarding. It's the late that submits the parcel to Customs, still in Lisbon. This becomes an impersonal routine (besides being far away from my hometown); the parcel is let alone with itself, subject to all procedure fragilities.
However UPS submits the parcel to Customs (eventually) in my neighbourhood and do the clearance themselves, as they deliver the goods to (my) final destination.
This represents a great difference; Customs procedure is more humanized, the parcel is more cared for. One day they (UPS guys) even called me by phone to tune up the description of the parcel (some apparel) they should declare to Customs, for a good ending.
Fernando

Last edited by fernando : 29th August 2009 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 4th November 2009, 07:28 AM   #17
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I do quite frequently import old/antique kerises from Indonesia to Switzerland. So far, I never had any problem with it. By the way, I am a collector, not a dealer.

Regards,

Heinz
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Old 4th November 2009, 11:10 AM   #18
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I don't understand all those excluded countries on that post either, but I have set limits in the past selling the odd item on Auction sites, as I only sell within Australia. If someone from another country shows genuine interest, and they sound trustworthy, I'd run a listing excluding everywhere but that country, and arrange a time via email for that person to purchase the item. As a seller, you want to be paid for your swords, not mucked around and in this day and age, there are many dreamers, scammers and those who just don't pay. I'm suprised this particular exclusion dismisses the entire african continent! I've sold items to S.A. no problems.
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Old 7th November 2009, 10:28 AM   #19
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Hear, hear !

That's exactly my worry. Also, I don't want any of my "babies" to fall into uncaring hands.

I'm following your advice, and also have included SA within my allowed countries list.

Best

M

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan.H
I don't understand all those excluded countries on that post either, but I have set limits in the past selling the odd item on Auction sites, as I only sell within Australia. If someone from another country shows genuine interest, and they sound trustworthy, I'd run a listing excluding everywhere but that country, and arrange a time via email for that person to purchase the item. As a seller, you want to be paid for your swords, not mucked around and in this day and age, there are many dreamers, scammers and those who just don't pay. I'm suprised this particular exclusion dismisses the entire african continent! I've sold items to S.A. no problems.
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Old 7th November 2009, 04:02 PM   #20
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Hello Heinz,

The trick is to avoid Germany, at any cost. I have had swords sent from England by FedEx; they fly to Paris, and from Paris to Basel, and I have never had any problems. So what you have to do, is to check the transport routes very carefully.

Jens

PS. I am not sure, but I think that most post routes from the US and the northern part of Europe goes over Germany - and land there!
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Old 7th November 2009, 05:53 PM   #21
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Celtan, yes, I can import lagally antique swords into Israel. It may take a little beaurocracy but our society members do so on a regular basis. Some of us are recognized by the customs officials...
The Israeli postal system is not perfect but quite ok. Within all the hundreds of overseas transaction I lost only one parcel that was sent to me, and two items I sent (to Italy, by registerted mail ). When I send primium items abroad I always use our postal currier service (EMS) which never failed me.
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Old 4th November 2009, 11:15 AM   #22
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Hi Heinz, I'm a collector too, although I have started to unload some of my items. Too much stuff to care for.

I'm told that Switzerland is particularly problematic regarding the import of swords. Have you ever imported one?

Any first hand remarks or advice? I have had to refuse some offers from your corner of the world in the past, thus my interest.

Best

M


Quote:
Originally Posted by Greybeard
I do quite frequently import old/antique kerises from Indonesia to Switzerland. So far, I never had any problem with it. By the way, I am a collector, not a dealer.

Regards,

Heinz
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