Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I have had some challenges this week shipping a sword to the UK (Wales) via USPS Express mail. Can anyone help provide the current, best process to use when shipping to the UK? Twice now the item has been returned after shipment. I am using the tariff code Tariff 9706.00.00.90 and indicating in the description (both the shipping label and a statement inside the package) that the item is an antique Japanese sword over 100 years old. Any assistance would be appreciated.

 

Best regards,

Ray

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was it returned by UK customs or by airlines?

If by airlines, unfortunately this is completely random in a sense that there are some international airlines that just don't carry any "weapons". Its not UK specific. One can mail a blade to a gun friendly country and still have it rejected because in between it was attempted to be loaded onto a plane which refuses weapons.

Fedex has its own planes, so it tends to work in such cases.

If by customs, this is something new, as before in my practice the UK customs were just contacting the recepient and informed them in serious voice that they need to talk.

 

Kirill R.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My experience a few months back went smoothly but probably because it was just a tanto.

I similarly used "9706.00.00" and stated "Japanese antique over 100 years old".

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In both cases, the sword never boarded a plane. It was return shipped the following day from a USPS facility before leaving the country.

 

 

IMG_20200925_125638.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, that's a "new one". In my opinion, I am afraid this is called "a specific postal employee following instructions". Something I very personally never encountered until last year. For a while I had difficulty sending anything large as books etc. because someone local kept rejecting them with a note that x-ray view was "obstructed". Fedex to Europe is expensive as hell, but they tend to be more predictable. Otherwise I would try to have a talk with a postmaster, maybe after asking someone in the UK for a one page summary of the laws and their applicability.

 

Kirill R.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It does seem to be random and based on an individuals interpretation of rules  BTW FedEx will not handle swords in the UK. Also parcelforce top service is subcontracted to FedEx locally people use parcel monkey but I have no direct experience.  Last sword I received came from Europe using DHL which was OK

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pm sent. Ray use CPC code 4000.200

Antique sword over 150 years old exempt from the offensive weapons act 2015 and legal to import and export from the UK. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No shinsakuto are legal within the 2015 revision to the offensive weapons act  they are traditionally made using the correct materials and by a registered artisan

The tariff code may be different 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, paulb said:

No shinsakuto are legal within the 2015 revision to the offensive weapons act  they are traditionally made using the correct materials and by a registered artisan

The tariff code may be different 

So if I use code 9705.00.00, according to the information from the post below, and declare the item to be a Japanese sword made with Tamahagane steel, an item with historical and ethnographic, UK customs will still let the Shinsaku-to pass, right?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Al,

I have copied below part of a letter I wrote to another collector shipping swords in to the UK in 2008. The offensive weapons act was further modified in 2015 but that defined a few additional limitations not related to Japanese swords. The comments listed below were confirmed as accurate at the time by the manager responsible for drawing up the amendments and the Home secretary of the day (now long gone).As far as I am aware this is unchanged.

Most of the shipping issues and problems are not related to changes in English law. They are based on Policies of the shipping companies or airlines who, as in the case of Fedex UK,  are concerned that if someone stole something which could be used as a weapon from their vans they may be sued. In other cases it is ignorance of or misinterpretation of the actual legal paper.

Extract:

"3. As well as the existing exemptions further defenses were added. Confirming it was permissible to own, buy, sell and import swords if they fell within the existing exemptions or provided they were made using traditional methods and materials.

 

The extension of the legislation was specifically aimed at preventing the sale of cheap replica weapons (often for as little as £10) in high street shops and via the internet. The government has specifically stated that it is not their intention to prevent the legal collection of antique weapons or the use of traditional made swords for martial arts or religious purposes."

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, paulb said:

Al,

I have copied below part of a letter I wrote to another collector shipping swords in to the UK in 2008. The offensive weapons act was further modified in 2015 but that defined a few additional limitations not related to Japanese swords. The comments listed below were confirmed as accurate at the time by the manager responsible for drawing up the amendments and the Home secretary of the day (now long gone).As far as I am aware this is unchanged.

Most of the shipping issues and problems are not related to changes in English law. They are based on Policies of the shipping companies or airlines who, as in the case of Fedex UK,  are concerned that if someone stole something which could be used as a weapon from their vans they may be sued. In other cases it is ignorance of or misinterpretation of the actual legal paper.

Extract:

"3. As well as the existing exemptions further defenses were added. Confirming it was permissible to own, buy, sell and import swords if they fell within the existing exemptions or provided they were made using traditional methods and materials.

 

The extension of the legislation was specifically aimed at preventing the sale of cheap replica weapons (often for as little as £10) in high street shops and via the internet. The government has specifically stated that it is not their intention to prevent the legal collection of antique weapons or the use of traditional made swords for martial arts or religious purposes."

 

 

Thank you very much for your information, Paul!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gentlemen, the harmonised code starting 97 is an identifier.

The Customs proceedure code 4000.200 related to antiques.

These are the codes that need to be on the parcel.

However I had already identified in another thread that certain companies within the UK will not handle swords regardless if age.

So if the company that you use uses Parcelforce to complete it's journey in the UK it will be down to the individual as to whether they permit it's progress or not . Most likely they will not.

You need to find a company partnered with either Royal mail,DHL or a company that handles the entire delivery door to door and accepts swords over 150 years old.

Note that I've stated over 150 years, not the 100 your all refering to, which is what the postal service advised me to do . So put CPC 4000.200= antiques.

Description "antique sword over 150 years old exempt from the offensive weapons act of 2015 and legal to import and export to the UK."

Put it anywhere on the parcel near the label as a statement. Check your courier accepts antique swords.

You should be fine.

You could also contract a UK based company to collect the sword from the USA thereby eliminating Amy possible rejection.

DHL accept swords and are also in the UK. 

Royal mail again probably can offer the service.

Don't try Parcelforce.DPD,UPS (unless exporting).

 

APC 
DHL Express
DPD
DX Group 
(including DX Freight)
FedEx UK
Interlink Express
Parcelforce Worldwide
Royal Mail
TNT Express
Tuffnells
UK Mail
Yodel
Royal Mail 
UPS Ltd 



 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...