International Knife Shipping - a guide for USA sellers

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

  1. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Moderator of the Century Staff Member

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    I have been meaning to add my part in about shipping to Australia but time has been a bit short. There are some similarities to the Canadian info Bushy posted and some important differences.

    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.
     
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  2. Nether

    Nether Member

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    10 days is typical in my experience.
     
  3. 91bravo

    91bravo Guest

    I have a knife headed to Caleb Klyne and it should arrive there any day this week, I hope!
     
  4. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Moderator of the Century Staff Member

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    There is also a point about where in the US the package is posted. The way way I understand it, an article of mail needs to get to an international mail centre (Chicago is the largest I think as much of mine goes through there but also LA and somewhere in FL I think) before it joins the rest for the journey. The closer and more direct route that a package takes in the US to an international centre the quicker it makes it to the final destination. By way of example, Bravo and Chorpie both sent me packages recently (thanks again guys, on both counts it was a pleasure !!) both cost the EXACT same amount to ship by the EXACT same standard of shipping, BOTH arrived on the same day (as noted by the friendly staff at my small local PO who comments on "Andrew has been shopping AGAIN" when Mrs Andy collected them .... if she only knew ;) ;) ), however the package Bravo mailed in AL hit the post a full two weeks before the package Chorpie mailed in CA. I have seen this one a few different occasions but this one was the most recent.
     
  5. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Moderator of the Century Staff Member

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    Just to reiterate today's experience about where in the US an item enters the shipping flow..... I have a package coming to be direct from Busse in Ohio, it was collected by the USPS on 13 December and is travelling "Express International", one of the most expensive methods to ship here, it presently languishes in Chicago. On 16 Dec another package (also containing a Busse) got into the hands of the USPS in Huntington Beach CA. It is travelling via USPS First Class (Registered), traditionally one of the slowest options. It is now here in Sydney and should be on the way to my local delivery centre tomorrow or maybe Wednesday at the latest.
     
  6. UK Jackal

    UK Jackal Member

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    Would it be useful for me to put a UK equivalent post on here?

    I've had quite a few knives shipped from the US in the past but a lot of sellers seem concerned to ship outside CONUS!*

    *in my humble experience of course
     
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  7. Slade

    Slade Member

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    It would be welcome. Rules and regulations about what can come into the country and when duty fees would be assessed would also be good. I've had extremely fast shipping times between Ohio and the UK with nearly all arriving in 4 business days from pickup, over at least 50 packages, via USPS First Class (cheapest option.) That's literally as fast as inside the US sometimes.
     
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  8. Jeff Randall

    Jeff Randall ESEE Knives / Randall's Adventure & Training Staff Member

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    What would be nice if this whole thread (after it's run its course) be abbreviated down to the most important points then added to the original post. Nothing worse than finding a thread that answers your questions and then have to dig through 20 pages of posts to find your answer. 4WD forums are the absolute worst when it comes to this. I finally gave up looking though them to find answers to 4Runner questions and just started figuring it out on my own.
     
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  9. UK Jackal

    UK Jackal Member

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    Agreed
     
  10. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    yea ok, good point ......I'll update the main page.....

    @Simon Armstrong , PM me your final draft of regs and i'll put it on the main page first post.
     
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  11. UK Jackal

    UK Jackal Member

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    UNITED KINGDOM

    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.
     
  12. Slade

    Slade Member

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    I understand there have been some updates to what Canadian customs will allow into the country. I saw @CeeFried said a person can't even get a Delica over through CBSA these days. Is there enough clarity on these adjusted rules to clarify what we might expect to successfully ship over the border?

    What would happen if I were to ship a Delica in two packages? Say a blade in one package by itself and the rest in another package.
     
  13. Reno Lewis

    Reno Lewis Knot-A-Challenge Champion

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    It's still a risk.

    CBSA changed their own definition of what constitutes a "gravity" or "centrifugal force" knife, to include all one hand opening knives. Even though federal law hasn't changed, and regular, one hand opening folders are still completely legal.

    I've read a few posts on a Canadian knife group I'm a part of that folders shipped in pieces, and even things like balisong trainers, have been confiscated. So definitely a risk.
     
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  14. CWB

    CWB Member

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    Bushie, did you get that Glock 19 and switchblade I sent you?
     
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  15. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    Yes sir...and also the 30,000 lot of ak47 fully auto machine guns and the 5 super B trains lot of semtex plastique. Thanks for the 50,000 gallons of diesel and 400,000 lbs of bulk ammonium nitrate as well.

    :D
     
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  16. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    Knock at the door....
     
  17. CWB

    CWB Member

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    use it wisely and don't shoot your eye out
     

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