International Knife Shipping - a guide for USA sellers

Discussion in 'For Sale / Trade' started by Bushman5, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    CANADA

    Rules for shipping knives to Canada from the USA

    -USPS is the number one choice. They integrate seamlessly into Canada Post mail network and can be tracked on either companies websites.

    - never, NEVER use UPS......the brown guys. They tack on a "service fee" of $40 and up at the Canadian end.

    - Push blades/daggers, automatic OUT THE FRONT blades, switchblades, Balisongs, some martial arts weapons, and knives with enclosed handles (trench knife) and gravity knives CANNOT be shipped to CANADA.

    Assisted openers and flippers are NOW illegal to Import.

    PLEASE NOTE THAT ANY FOLDER WITH A LOOSE PIVOT, OR ONE THAT CAN BE FLICKED OPEN, are classified as GRAVITY OR FLICK KNIVES , AND ARE PROHIBITED.

    Please tighten the PIVOT bolt before shipping.

    Tape the blade edge of all knives with heavy Tape and then tape the blade closed as well. CBSA OFFICIALS appreciate careful packaging of edged tools. Write "SHARP EDGED TOOL" on a piece of paper and tape it to the knife.

    - All parcels go thru CBSA (CUSTOMS) up here. Not all get inspected. But assume that they do.

    - declare the parcel contents as "edged camping tools" or "edged hunting tools"

    Parcels arrive at the border pretty fast from the USA. But then they often sit in CUSTOMS warehouse for some time. This is normal.....

    - CANADA POST INTERNATIONAL MONEY ORDERS in USD , can be cashed at your bank or at USPS post office. Treat them like cash. They will have your name on them, so please provide us buyers up here with your FULL LEGAL NAME. Otherwise the bank or USPS may not cash them .

    Hope this helps our USA neighbors when selling to CANADIANS.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    AUSTRALIA

    (Thanks to @Andy the Aussie )

    Lets do fixed blades first...

    There is no restriction on single edge fix blade knives. Daggers are importable but they require the importer to have a customs permit (federal) that is issued by their state police, not a big deal but worth considering and having a conversation about with the buyer if you intend to ship a dagger here. Saves aggravation when the package is held. Trench knives/blades with "knuckle duster" handles are a no no and will be seized.

    Folders...

    This is now (the import regulations were amended late last year for the better after several years of aggravating and inconsistent BS) pretty simple. All folders are OK for import EXCEPT for Assisted, BaliSongs and Autos. Till the change last year we had the gravity and assorted "flick" / centrifugal / flipper tests that appear to be in place for Canada but they are scrapped now. Occasionally a package still gets held by an overzealous/untrained inspector but these issues are cleared up very quickly and the blades delivered. Australian Boarder Force Notice 2015/40 detailed the amendments and has been made publicly available, some have gone so far as including a copy in the package shipped. Now the change has been in place for almost a year I am hearing of very few issues. All the horror stories about folders shipped to Aus and seized etc predate this change.

    On your package...

    I recommend USPS, choose your method based on the speed you need it to travel and the risk, USPS First Class is the slowest (but can amaze you as it has me this past month a few times) and Express International etc is safest and quickest - but also most expensive.

    On the customs declaration I always use "Fixed Blade Knife" or "Folding Pocket Knife" as the description, there is nothing to be gained by saying anything else as EVERY packaged inbound here passes through a scanner, "Camping Tool" as a description does not alter the view an inspector sees on screen. Just be honest.

    What you declare re $s. The laws in both jurisdictions require you to declare the full value of he contents no matter if it is a gift or not. I would never recommend you do otherwise. On receipt in Australia, Customs Duties and GST only apply if the value of the goods exceeds $1000 Aussie. A small trap here, the shipping cost is included in the assessed value of the goods so therefore if the declared value is $985 and the shipping was $20 then the assessed value is $1005 and you may* get a notice and be required to pay up (this hurts as it starts with a $45 processing fee, plus the applicable tariff and 10% GST).

    For my shipments from the US, with the exchange rate hovering around $1A = 0.75cUS I strive for all my packages to be valued at no more (including postage) than $700US.

    More than happy to try and answer any questions about this, I am not an "authority" but I have imported lots of knives and more than my share of firearm parts, so I have experience navigating the process and paperwork.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    UNITED KINGDOM

    (thanks to @Simon Armstrong )


    The main observation about shipping to the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and N Ireland) is that any additional cost will happen when the item reaches UK customs and there is NO SET GUIDANCE as to what/when/how much they charge.

    Items marked knives or containing metal (show up on automated X-ray) are highly likely to be taxed but not always, it's very hit and miss. My experience says that in 60-75% of instances I've been taxed. This is usually 15-20% of the declared item value on the sticker. Usually people are honest, saying it's a $100 item and I get hit a further £20 (often lazily calculated) sterling this end. That's an import tax that the government charge as they haven't been able to apply VAT (20% standard) that we pay on items over here.

    The best bet is to mark it as TOOL or EQUIPMENT, state it's used second hand value. Make sure it's in a solid sheath or wrapped up so that it will DEFINITELY not pierce the package and you are good to go!

    The important thing to remember is that no US seller will pay this amount, nor will the item be returned if it's not paid here. To this end there is NO risk to the seller. Myself and EVERY UK BUYER I know accepts this risk and sees it as acceptable given the stark difference in prices in UK vs US. If you want to see for yourself just look at Knives on Heinnie Haynes (I know it's ridiculous) website or other big UK sites. My experience tells me that knives are often 30-40% cheaper in the US and as such there is a potential saving for UK customers between 10 and 40% AFTER SHIPPING!!!!

    Should it get taxed, it is held at a local post office here and aside of the small fee the only inconvenience is a quick trip to collect it! The UK postal service Royal Mail is shocking at the best of times and items are often too big for the letter box so a walk into town to collect items is a regular game!

    I highly recommend USPS tracked international, but I've had excellent service from other big US shipping companies. I'd always say go for fully tracked shipment then should you be selling to a UK buyer who's particularly high maintenance (we've all met that guy) then they can check themselves every 3 minutes rather than message you!

    Best advice I can give is be straight with the the UK buyer, say something like:

    "I accept no responsibility for any additional charges or delays you may experience when the item enters the UK. The price I quote is for the item shipped in the manner you agreed to, as such you must be aware that all liability sits with you. The onus is on you to fulfil any local or national taxes and comply with UK law throughout.

    That may sound like an unnecessary mouthful, and you may feel a twat for saying it but any clued up UK buyer will just say OK, I would!

    Please don't be put off shipping to the he UK! I've had items get from Texas to North Yorkshire in four days with USPS and I have NEVER EVER lost an item. That's in probably fifty or sixty instances of buying knives and kit from the US.

    As for the legal bit, the advice specific to ALL ESEE PRODUCTS is that they are ALL LEGAL in the UK, even the folders that lock. Carrying bladed articles in public in the UK is a separate argument but not one that precludes purchase! In essence, no ESEE item you post will commit any offences, should the buyer then act recklessly in public in the UK and find himself in trouble then that's hardly your fault. If I'm honest, you can be arrested for possessing a knitting needle or a disposable razor in the UK if the Police saw fit, it depends on the act they are undertaking.

    Pretty sure I've covered it all, feel free to send me a message or post if I can help any more.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  2. 91bravo

    91bravo Guest

    Thanks for this Bushy, I'm about to ship a blade to my buddy @Gallows sometime this week!

    Oh and another thing, I always list blades as "Camping Equipment" on the customs declaration form. Never had a problem!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2016
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  3. sneakypete

    sneakypete Member

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    Good write up. I was iffy on Canadian shipping at first from horror story reviews. I have since shipped multiple times to Canada as well as international. Just follow the above steps and you should never have a problem. I have tightened pivots, used tape and even zip ties. Package carefully and fill out the customs form properly "camping equipment" & "USA made cutlery" and it should be fine. Shipping is generally not that much more expensive just takes 2-3x longer.
     
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  4. Slade

    Slade Member

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    I've shipped up North a few times now and agree with everything that's been said so far. Painters tape is great for taping the edge of the knife and doesn't cause any damage to materials. Make sure you are following USPS rules about the type of packaging and it's required postage. They can be a bit tricky. So far I have shipped using first class mail international and first class international package service and have found they add about $3 to normal USA cost. Arrival has ranged from 6-9 days compared to the normal 2-3 day range inside our borders. Just shipped a medium fixed blade BHK reinforced with cardboard in a poly mailer up there for $4.79! USPS tracking only shows delivery once its over the border. Quick link for Canada Post Tracking (use the same tracking #):

    https://www.google.com/search?q=track+canada+post
     
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  5. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Moderator of the Century Staff Member

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    I can probably write up a very similar piece on shipping blades to Australia as well if anyone thinks it is useful.
     
  6. Slade

    Slade Member

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    As it's in your own best interest and any other current or future members from down under I think it would be great to incorporate it all under one sticky. Could probably get bushman5 to change the title so that it can all be in one place "Tips for international shipping". I know I've shipped to NT Tristan twice allready.
     
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  7. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    Absolutely I can change the title.

    We can have sections ie Canada , Australia, etc
     
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  8. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Moderator of the Century Staff Member

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    Done :D I will work on a piece to cover Aus.
     
  9. 91bravo

    91bravo Guest

    I just shipped a knife to @Gallows in Canada and it took 10 days to get there! That's got to be a record!
     
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  10. Slade

    Slade Member

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    That's on the long side. Priority or first class? Did it get hung up in Chicago? That seems to be where time has been lost on my shipments.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
  11. Gallows

    Gallows Member

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    And customs left it alone so no duty.
     
  12. 91bravo

    91bravo Guest

    10 days is the fastest for me. I've had some packages take 17 days to get to Canada. I always use first class when shipping international. Never had a problem with it....
     
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  13. 91bravo

    91bravo Guest

    Good to hear!
     
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  14. Slade

    Slade Member

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    I suppose that means I have been lucky so far. It always seems slow when I know the buyer is waiting eagerly for it. I'll share some of my tracking info to help give people a better idea what to expect for cost in both time and money. Everything here was picked up from my address by the postal service as First Class International Mail/Parcel, no priority.

    Picked up on the 16th and delivered on the 22nd to Canada. $4.79 for a fixed blade. 11 Oz 6 Days

    Picked up on the 8th and delivered on the 13th to Lithuania via Warsaw Poland for $6.04 for an Automatic Folder. 5 Oz 5 Days

    Picked up on the 30th and delivered in Australia on the 10th (losing a day to time zones) for $4.16 For a SS Izula in sheath. 3 Oz 9 Days

    Picked up on the 30th and delivered on the 12th to Australia. My slowest shipment. An Esee 4 plus goodies. $10.72. 12 Oz 12 Days

    Picked up on the 1st and attempted delivery on the 9th to Canada. $14.73 for a fixed blade. 24 Oz 8 Days

    Picked up on the 6th and delivered to Canada on the 14th. $4.79 for a fixed blade. 11 Oz 8 Days
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
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  15. vBlake

    vBlake Member

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    This is not an international sale question but the only place I saw fit to ask.

    I have a question regarding the sale of a switchblade knife here in the US. I have a Benchmade 9101 and was looking to try and sell it here on the forum.

    I got to reading the Federal Switchblade Act and got to thinking it was illegal. Can I post the switchblade and mail it to the guy that arm wrestles me out of it?

    Thanks for the help!
     
  16. Spey

    Spey Member

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    While I don't think this thread is the place for this question, I hope if question is moved that this reply goes with it.

    The law appears to be fairly clear. What part is confusing?

    The specific laws themselves are from Title 15, Chapter 29 of the United States Code(U.S.C.) and consist of five sections:

    I have copied below the section I believe related to your question.

    § 1242.
    "Whoever knowingly introduces, or manufactures for introduction, into interstate commerce, or transports or distributes in interstate commerce, any switchblade knife, shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both."

    Interpetation: Illegal if transaction crosses state or territorial lines, this includes border lines (i.e. any other country).

    The federal law to my knowledge does not address transportation and/or sale within state lines (selling local may be legal depending ...). State and/or regional laws (city & county municipality codes should be reviewed covering these specifically).

    Hopefully of some help to you.
     
  17. JAD

    JAD Member

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    I am awaiting a delivery from AUS. Tracking information shows it has been sitting in Chicago since Sat Nov 5th. Does that seem normal?

    Most of your posts pertain to shipping out of the country as opposed to coming into the country.
     
  18. Slade

    Slade Member

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    It's not unheard of. Chicago can be a bit of a black hole. I wouldn't worry too much about it yet.
     
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  19. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Moderator of the Century Staff Member

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    Yes EVERY package I have had sit motionless in the US (I have one just now as a matter of fact) has taken its little rest in Chicago, one for over two weeks. In that later case it seems it was sitting with US Customs for an outbound inspection. But 5 days motionless there is not unusual.
     
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  20. Spey

    Spey Member

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    Yes, not uncommon situ.

    I have had incoming packages sit in customs for a week, to then be shipped to alternate customs facility prior to release into USPO system for routing g delivery. When in customs possession, I have not found any option to speed things up :-(
     
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