Originally Posted by Ian
This information is very helpful too for those who have encountered difficulties shipping weapons in general internationally in recent years. [/i]?
Yes, Ian, it is a problem but so far fairly easy to get around with describing the item in the right way. These outfits process a gazillion parcels daily, so if you do a reasonable job in keeping "red flags" to a minimum you should do OK.
Of course it helps to remember that some Asian countries like Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan can be really strict about edged weapons so if you are shipping to buyers there, it helps to allow them to make the necessary import formalities on their end in advance. If you cover the bases and mind the p's and q's, it should go smoothly.
The one thing you can't fudge on these days is CITES! I keep hearing horror stories from colleagues who have had trouble with inspectors because either they weren't paying attention, they assumed too much, or had not kept up with ever-changing rules. What was OK a year or two ago may not be allowed now. Just as an example, a dealer in the US had his stock seized by Customs on return from a show in Europe, on the grounds that American law now regulates import of any object made from a WILD ANIMAL, even if not endangered nor on the CITES list. A customer in the UK who wants to send me a BONE hilted dagger for polishing the wootz needs a British CITES permit, even though the hilt has the obvious grayish hue and surface texture of, say, bovine origin. So it will be a couple months before I see the thing!