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Veli

Recent shipping issues

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Dear friends,

 

There has been a lot of alarming news lately about problems with shipping swords via Fedex and EMS. Thus I propose this topic for sharing information about shipping failures as well as successful cases, but since this trouble seemed to escalate in late October 2014, let us discuss only recent issues, i.e. November 2014 and later. Real cases only, please, no hearsay...

 

 

My own case: I Bought a katana at DTI on November 1st. I told the dealer that I never had any issues with EMS shipments from Tokyo to Helsinki, so he tried to ship the blade via EMS. But they told him they cannot ship because there is no direct flight connection between Tokyo and Helsinki. First I thought this was just a mistake because both JAL and Finnair fly directly from Tokyo to Helsinki. But unfortunately EMS Japan has a contract with SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) only for shipments to Finland, and SAS flies via Stockholm. So EMS Japan cannot use JAL or Finnair on Helsinki route, although they have contracts with JAL on other routes. Then our backup plan, Fedex, backfired too because they categorically refuse to transport weapons... Luckily one of the Finnish collectors is in Japan and will bring the katana for me as checked luggage.

 

So, no nihonto shipping between Japan and Finland any more, except as checked luggage, which seems to work without problems on Finnair and JAL flights.

 

Veli

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Wow, sorry to hear. I just received last week a shinsakuto that I ordered from e-sword.jp and true to their word it took just less than 3 weeks to get the export permit but when sending it via Fedex they ran into a problem. I had requested Fedex as I've had items via EMS from Hong Kong either get lost or take months to reach me in the states. The issue e-sword claims was that Fedex said they will not take shipments of swords out of Japan, at least to the US, anymore. So they had to ship it via EMS. It took 6 days via EMS which I was shocked at but the unfortunate thing was the saya popped open a bit and my suspicion was that it was rough handling. The box was in good shape and the sword well wrapped, thankfully the blade was still firmly seated in the saya (it's in shira-saya) and was perfectly fine.

Has anyone else heard of Fedex not taking swords anymore for shipping out of Japan?

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Jeff

I doubt if it was ruff handling if that well packed, more on different air pressures and rapid changing humidity.

I have a sword coming back from polish soon well see how that goes.

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I have several blades in Japan at various stages of restoration. My last piece is stuck at Japan Post cause of no "receivers" name on the box. I've sent swords previous to Japan and they know the workshop, they know the sword is mine, but this time they will not release, even though it was addressed the same way as previous. Now I'm told I have no right to ask for them to ship it back.

Good ole pain in the ass shipping.

NihontoSeeker

Reuben.

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Dear All,

This is an area of collecting that is causing no end of headaches and in the future may well put a stop to collecting anything other than " Barbie Dolls ".

It was a MAJOR concern when I operated my Antique business and just one more hassle which led to my closing down my business. There are no end to items what you can ship and what you cannot ship depending on the country of export and country of import ( CUSTOMS ), .... plus the carriers whether they be Mail service or Courier. Among the worst in my experience has been : the UK, Italy, Australia, Japan, China and believe it or not the USA. For instance shipping a deactivated Maxim Machine Gun to Europe is fine so long as the aircraft does not land in the USA on the way over. In which case the US government will seize the shipment on the grounds it does not meet US deactivation standards which are brutal ( I guess the USA think they control everything ). The easiest countries I've dealt with are: Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and believe it or not RUSSIA !

... Ron Watson

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Could be worse. I have been following this saga, and get really angry when reading what they are putting him through:

http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread. ... EW-INFO%29

I (very hopefully) have a nice tanto on the way from the USA this week, having to use Fedex due to the postal situation here. Crazy shipping prices, but anyways...

Really holding thumbs all is ok and goes smoothly. Will update on the Fedex situation.

 

Brian

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Jeff

I doubt if it was ruff handling if that well packed, more on different air pressures and rapid changing humidity.

I have a sword coming back from polish soon well see how that goes.

 

Stephen, I feel the humidity is the more likely cause as well. Are they sending yours back via Fedex or EMS?

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Hi Gents, this write up is based on my personal experiences....appears Fedex (Japan division) has made it their policy now to no longer ship any swords. At first it was no antique swords/ blades, but now they seem to have adapted to every other possible wording, Replica sword, ornament sword, Large knife, etc. One or two items may have gone past in the beginning but as November nears the end of the month they seem to be aggressively enforcing this new policy. They are aware of the situation with people trying to play with words, and even if you manage to get it through them somehow with your creative wording you face the item arriving at your customs and having the possibility of being rejected for poor or inaccurate description. This is a big deal for the Japanese dealers because fedex was the trusted method for the higher end items, I doubt anyone feels comfortable sending a Juyo piece using EMS, EMS has technically banned shipping swords a while ago but items still manage to get through, and by using them you are faced with a service that has a poor tracking system and high percentage of lost / misplaced packages. This is a particular concern for myself because I have several blades in Japan not able to safely export. Brian and those of you using fedex outside of Japan worry not, fedex is having no issues sending these internationally as long as they are not exported from Japan, I've had no issues delivering items to my clients worldwide using Fedex.

 

For those of you trying to get pieces out of Japan I wish you good luck and hope they get to you safely.

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Gentlemen,

 

Sorry for going off topic, but all of this discussion begs the question: "How are we going submit swords to NBTHK shinsa?" It this the beginning of the end? I have one sword I was going to submit to NBTHK shinsa after it comes back from John Tirado in January 2015 with new shirasaya, but I am not so sure now...

 

Regards,

Hoanh

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Nick, your experience matches mine, I was told that as of November this year FedEx was no longer accepting swords for shipping out of Japan period!

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I never had any issues with EMS either, though it seems that now they will only accept swords for shipment out of Japan of the flight is direct...

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I got one from Japan To USA via Fedex this week so appear to have been very lucky. I have 3 others that are in transit although not sure what service they are being shipped with at present.

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My 3 others arrived today via EMS. interesting new sticker on label on them though about them containing dangerous weapons. Seriously.

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I had the same sticker on my last EMS package :)

 

3 years ago a new regulation was issued, all nihonto worth more than 300 000¥ needed special paperwork if sent by EMS and benefit from this sticker

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You can not ship anything out of the UK anymore.

 

EMS is Royal Mail/Parcelforce, as soon as they pick it up on xray that it is a sword then all hell let's loose.

 

I tried to send an 18th Century flintlock to Canada the other month, Fed Ex picked it up, I tracked it to Canada, where customs then said unless I had paperwork from the maker, I could not prove it's age???

 

Fed Ex then on returning it, stated that they do not carry any item, antique or otherwise which is a firearm.

 

I think it is time to start stamp collecting.............

 

David

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I sent a sword out to Japan from the UK in September via Parcelforce and had no problems getting it there. I'm starting to become concerned that getting it back might be an issue though.

 

Kind regards,

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I sent a sword out to Japan from the UK in September via Parcelforce and had no problems getting it there. I'm starting to become concerned that getting it back might be an issue though.

 

If your in the UK and sending swords to Japan you are best using Paul Martin's service. He will take them to Japan and return them using checked luggage. He comes to the UK regularly and this bypasses all problems with shipping.

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I agree with Peter there seem few other options at present. I spoke this morning with FeDex to see if I could clarify the situation. Basically they said they cannot ship weapons (guns, swords et al) even with suitable paperwork showing the item to be antique, on their standard services. They suggested it might be possible with their heavy freight dept but that may require additional licencing, permits etc.

All in all it is becoming increasingly difficult to send legitimate items around the world and in the case of the UK internally.

The last one I had was the post offcie refusing to ship a pc to germany for repair because it contained a battery.

I amnot sure where this will end up but if the restrictions in Japan continue it will have amajor impact on their international sales.

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I agree that the shipping issue is a serious and major threat to all those who buy and sell from Japan, or need restoration services, kantei services, etc.

 

I wonder if sending a letter to as many Japanese online dealers as possible, the NBTHK, togi-shi, etc., alerting them that they need to start petitioning their contacts in government to address this issue before they see their business impacted in a serious way would do any good?

 

Many of these businesses/people have contacts high up in the government; I see no other way to instigate some sort of change.

 

Comments?

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I presently have three swords in Japan for restoration. They are in transit right now. I will keep you posted how things go.

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I am intending to send a few swords to Japan in the next month or two so this is quite alarming. The last one I sent to the US went fine via parcelforce but that was only cheap and I wouldn't use them for anything of significant value.

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I sent a sword out to Japan from the UK in September via Parcelforce and had no problems getting it there. I'm starting to become concerned that getting it back might be an issue though.

 

If your in the UK and sending swords to Japan you are best using Paul Martin's service. He will take them to Japan and return them using checked luggage. He comes to the UK regularly and this bypasses all problems with shipping.

 

Thanks for that idea. I can maybe get the sword shipped to him for him to bring back when the time comes.

 

Best,

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Hi all,

 

Received wakizashi to Norway from Tokyo via fedex around nov 15 this year.

 

Note that fedex asked on import what the package contained for correct customs clearance. so they might not have realized it was a sword on export, although I find that a bit unlikely. More probably the local fedex people could not read the package-documents correctly.

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