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Shipping to UK?


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I sent a knife to the UK (I'm in California) a while back, and after not showing up for a month or so at least they returned it. I believe I missed filling out a few things or checking boxes or something. What do I need to do to guarantee future blades make it there? Are there any new restrictions due to the ISIS attacks that I need to be aware of? What service should I use to ship?

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For international shipments, I would suggest either UPS or FEDEX. They have small local stores where you can go and have the employees make sure all of the paperwork is filled out correctly, heck they will even package it up for you (which is required if you want the damage protection, but not required for lost or destroyed protection). I don't know if ISIS has anything to do with it, but international shipments have always had their share of hoops and ladders. Someone (usually the shipper) has to pay duty fees and customs costs.

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I've shipped all over the world using USPS first class international. A hard copy customs form is attainable or downloadable from their website it will have a trackable number on it & It usually takes 5-10 days to reach the border. After it enters customs, it's up the the receiver to track it from there, sometimes a VAT is required. Check each country's regs first. Certain items are prohibited and for UK, knives may be prohibited from shipping.

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While not knifes, I frequently ship overseas. I use USPS Priority and do all my labeling and customs on-line. As I recall, to Britain, one is also able to track delivery.

 

Alan, if you think USPS is expensive, go ask UPS what their overseas rates are.

 

While not relevant to blades, my personal experience: If it will fit in a flat rate box, USPS is always the best deal. If odd sized and my experience is only inside the US, UPS has better rates and as been said, they pack. For the odd shape bit of iron art, they prefer to pack.

Edited by Gerald Boggs
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When shipping to the UK the import duty and any fees are paid by the person receiving the package before it is released by customs. There is a great deal of paranoia currently here regarding knives. The internal postal service frequently queries packages containing knives as they don't ship 'weapons', and however much you try to explain that knives are just tools and that knives don't kill people, people kill people, you might as well save your breath!

 

Recently, flippers have been seized by customs as they are believed to be 'gravity knives', as the bearings were considered to be too slick and allowed almost instant access to the blade!

 

Importing knives into the UK is a game of Russian roulette at the best of times and frequently depends of the mindset, or knowledge, of individual customs officers.

Edited by Juttle
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I have not had that experience at all, Juttle.

I've sent knives within the UK an abroad without problem. They are not a controlled or forbidden item to post, either overseas or domestically.

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No they're not controlled, but if you're unfortunate enough to have your local post offices seeing anybody with a knife, even in a well packed postage tube, as a rabid jihadist they can be a real pain. I've had packages refused shipping because some jobsworth couldn't differentiate between a 95mm hunter and an automatic assault rifle!

 

I've even unpacked knives to show how well they're packed only to be told it's a dangerous weapon and, as such, cannot be shipped by the Royal Mail!

 

Now, I use couriers exclusively!

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What kind of knives are you having problems with, Juttle? If they are "flippers" then you can't be too surprised, really.

What kind of knife was it you were trying to send, Caleb?

I've got one paring knife (8 inches long total) and one utility knife, (about 9 inches long), both single edged.

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Dan, I'm not making anything illegal, or unusual come to that, just the usual hunters, bowies, etc. The problem came about when the Royal Mail produced their restricted and illegal shipping poster. Under weapons was a silhouette of a ka-bar or something similar. Since then all my local post offices have taken that poster to heart and immediately think knife = weapon and no amount of quiet, reasonable, explanation will deter them from their crusade to rid the world of items sharper than a spoon!

 

I know their actions are wrong, and I'm aware that I can insist upon speaking to the manager of whichever office I've landed in and eventually my package will be accepted. The only problem is I carn't be arsed to go through all the hoops every time I sell something.

 

So, couriers it is!

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I've got one paring knife (8 inches long total) and one utility knife, (about 9 inches long), both single edged.

 

They should be fine, Caleb. I've sent numerous kitchen knives both within the UK and overseas without problem.

A reason they may have returned it is because they considered it to be an import on which they were unable to calculate duty. You are meant to affix an invoice to the outside of the packaging, or some such mummery?

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The USPS customs form asks for a description of the item (knife = garden tool or kitchen tool, do not give specifics), an insurance valuation (a low value helps your customer with duties, etc.), and whether it is a gift or a purchase. I always say it is a gift, also for import duty purposes.

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The USPS customs form asks for a description of the item (knife = garden tool or kitchen tool, do not give specifics), an insurance valuation (a low value helps your customer with duties, etc.), and whether it is a gift or a purchase. I always say it is a gift, also for import duty purposes.

Ok, thank you. I think that was the error I made last time, not describing correctly.

 

So the basics are to describe as either tool, table cutlery, and/or gift?

 

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Does listing the item as a gift affect insurance? I've heard issues in the UK having issues claiming insurance for lost knives from makers only being reimbursed with material costs by the post office. I regularly see posts on British blades on blades confiscated by customs as being illegal (assisted openers, gravity knives etc) though they are sold in the uk by larger shops.

Andrew

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