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Old 18th November 2020, 12:40 PM   #1
tanaruz
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Default budiak shipping to the philippines

Hi all,

I'd like to ask your opinion on how to ship moro budiaks from the US to Manila. I've recently purchased a long Moro budiak (over 10 feet long)- and fortunately, it can be shipped in three parts. So no worries there.

But there are two more budiaks which I am interested and since the shaft is made from cane, it can't be shipped in parts (because they are quite long).

A colleague suggested to have the shaft 'cut'. I was thinking if the items comes very costly if sent via air options, how about enclosing them like pallets and have then shipped via sea?

Would appreciate any suggestions.

Kind regards,

Yves
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Old 18th November 2020, 10:07 PM   #2
Philip
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Default shipping long objects

How long are the two budiaks with cane shafts that should not be cut?
The commercial courier services (UPS, DHL) sometimes allow longer parcels than the national post offices. You should check with them, and also the postal regulations for parcel mail between the countries concerned -- the length limits are not uniform internationally.

A friend in Hong Kong just had a Burmese spear sent from an EU country to him. I don't recall the exact length but it was probably over six feet. The first time it was returned to the dealer because UPS said they don't ship spears (!) The second time it was described as a flag pole and it went through and was received. A few years another friend in the US had some trouble with UPS over spears sent from Thailand. There was no problem when they were resent as fishing equipment (well, Capt. Ahab speared Moby Dick with a harpoon so that wasn't total BS)

Bottom line is UPS, and FedEx, can get touchy about all kinds of weapons, even antique ones. They are not consistent. Bows and arrows have been stopped, yet early this year FedEx approved a rapier that was sent to me from Belgium.

In my experience, DHL is the most liberal when it comes to antique weapons, you can declare something as a sword, a bow, or anything like that, it helps to describe it as antique or decorated or tribal and there should be no problem. Just be sure the item isn't too long!

Regarding sea freight, usually that is calculated on basis of volume (cubic measure), it's intended for very bulky shipments so you pay a relatively large amount upfront that's the same whether it's a box of spears or a car). I'm sure a freight company can provide you with more precise info.
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Old 18th November 2020, 10:23 PM   #3
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Default budiak shipping to the philippines

Hello,

many thanks for the info. I love the Capt Ahab thing ha ha.

The longest is over 10 feet and the shortest is just about 7 feet.

Will inform the dealer/seller on the possibility to send them through DHL (as antiques, etc).

Kind regards,

Yves
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Old 19th November 2020, 04:49 AM   #4
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There are great freight services that ship stuff from US to PH at almost the same or sometimes even less cost than USPS and the like.

Unfortunately I think most of them are at full capacity because of the pandemic and the incoming holidays.

They're actually so convenient when buying directly from ebay. Delivers right to the doorstep.
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Old 19th November 2020, 05:52 AM   #5
Philip
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Default some suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanaruz
Hello,

The longest is over 10 feet and the shortest is just about 7 feet.

Will inform the dealer/seller on the possibility to send them through DHL (as antiques, etc).

Kind regards,

Yves


I know that you said that the shafts are in one piece and shortening them is out of the question, but can the steel heads be detached for shipping? That might reduce the overall length by a foot or more, depending on the length of the heads.

Just to give you a hypothetical example of a possible alternative, the US Postal Service has, TO MANY DESTINATIONS, a size limit of 108 inches, which equals length plus girth (distance around the outside) of the container.
So if your spear is seven feet (84 inches) long, and you find a sturdy tube of heavy cardboard or even plastic that is long enough and which is 6 inches in diameter, then the girth is the circumference which would be 6 x 3.14 = 19 inches. This would allow you a container that is actually 89 inches long, to meet the maximum of 108 inches. The extra 5 inches of length would be room for padding (be sure to use something like a piece of wooden board cut to fit one end, so the steel point does not poke out!) If the spear head is removable, you can get by with a shorter overall package length. You do need to see whether the 108 in. limit applies for mail departing your address and going to the Philippines. I'm giving you this example just to make a suggestion on packing, and how to calculate the parcel size to confirm to postal regulations.

The commercial couriers have their own dimensional limits, which can be either gross length, or length+girth, depending on company. The 10-footer might be problematic, you just have to inquire until a solution can be reached. The freight companies that specialize in shipping to the Philippines may be the best option for you. Do you live in an area where there is a sizeable Philippine expatriate community? I am located in southern California where this is the case, and there are quite a few of these firms (though I've never used their services because I've never had to send anything larger than what the Post Office or DHL can handle). Let me make some inquiries with a colleague to see if I can find some info useful to you.
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Old 20th November 2020, 01:57 AM   #6
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Default a recommendation

Hi, Yves

Here's advice from a tribal arts dealer in the San Francisco area, who's shipped spears (and the small boat I mentioned previously) and he recommends this:

For large things shipped overseas, best to use FedEx but you need to go through a special department "FedEx Great Rates"
www.fedex.com/en-us/greatrates.html

Use of this service requires a FedEx business account which anyone can apply for, at no charge.

The Great Rates program also applies to FedEx's "freight" department which is useful for really big, or heavy (like 150 lb or more) items. You need to specify freight if this applies to the size of your packaging, when you use the Great Rates webpage.

My colleague suggests shipping your spears in a plastic (PVC) pipe, they come in large diameters like 6 inches or even more if necessary, in various lengths, available at building supply stores. There are special plastic end caps made to fit each size so this prevents the sharp tips from poking out during transit. The PVC is stronger than cardboard and will guard against the most common hazards encountered in shipping spears -- breakage of shaft or bending of the steel tips.

Since you have to declare the contents for international transport, and considering FedEx's irregular policy on weapons, you will not be shipping spears, but rather things like flagpoles, fishing equipment, or processional emblems. (I would avoid the descriptor "martial arts equipment" which some guys like to use, because some countries restrict things like balisongs, throwing stars, nunchakus, and the like). Couriers like FedEx and UPS tend to interpret things more strictly in order to cover their butts.

I hope this gets your items across the pond without any problems.
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Old 20th November 2020, 07:46 PM   #7
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Hi Philip,

This information is very helpful too for those who have encountered difficulties shipping weapons in general internationally in recent years. The vagaries of Fedex, DHL, etc. are common, unfortunately, when shipping from Australia also. Accurate (but helpful) descriptions of items have been useful in overcoming some objections. I've found, for example, "Antique Philippine tenegre, cultural artifact made from iron, buffalo horn, and wood," to be more successful than "Philippine sword in sheath." I like your suggestions of flagpole, fishing item, parade item, etc. for spears. Any thoughts for a massive, five foot long panabas?

Regards,

Ian
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Old 20th November 2020, 07:56 PM   #8
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Default a rose by any other name

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Hi Philip,

This information is very helpful too for those who have encountered difficulties shipping weapons in general internationally in recent years. The vagaries of Fedex, DHL, etc. are common, unfortunately, when shipping from Australia also. Accurate (but helpful) descriptions of items have been useful in overcoming some objections. I've found, for example, "Antique Philippine tenegre, cultural artifact made from iron, buffalo horn, and wood," to be more successful than "Philippine sword in sheath." I like your suggestions of flagpole, fishing item, parade item, etc. for spears. Any thoughts for a massive, five foot long panabas?

Regards,

Ian


In the US, the post and couriers like the object to be named in English, and nuance is everything. So "saber" is more subtle than "sword" and just about any dagger or short sword can pass as "cutlery", with the adjectives "antique", "old", "decorated", "ceremonial", or "regalia" added as appropriate. Tenegres would do well posing as "farm tools", and your big panabas can masquerade as an "agricultural implement". "Indigenous" is a good qualifying adjective. I used the latter label in declaring a Vietnamese dao truong falchion that I polished for a Hong Kong client not long ago.
It's a good time to recall that creative writing class you had to take in high school or college!
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Old 20th November 2020, 08:11 PM   #9
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Default know before you ship

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Hi Philip,

This information is very helpful too for those who have encountered difficulties shipping weapons in general internationally in recent years. [/i]?

Regards,

Ian


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!
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Old 23rd November 2020, 08:07 AM   #10
tanaruz
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Default budiak shipping to the philippines

Hello my friends,

with the budiak shipped inside a plactic PVC pipe, it was cleared and on its way to Manila. Description: "Spear used by Capt Ahab..." just joking, but the ceremonial flagpole desciption passed with flying colors. Now the dealer in the US is more knowledgeable now on how to ship things like these.

again, thank you so much,

Yves
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Old 23rd November 2020, 05:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
In the US, the post and couriers like the object to be named in English, and nuance is everything. So "saber" is more subtle than "sword" and just about any dagger or short sword can pass as "cutlery", with the adjectives "antique", "old", "decorated", "ceremonial", or "regalia" added as appropriate. Tenegres would do well posing as "farm tools", and your big panabas can masquerade as an "agricultural implement". "Indigenous" is a good qualifying adjective. I used the latter label in declaring a Vietnamese dao truong falchion that I polished for a Hong Kong client not long ago.
It's a good time to recall that creative writing class you had to take in high school or college!


I don't have a whole lot of experience with international shipping, but I did recently successfully send an old garab to the Philippines labeled as "antique farming equipment."

Have fun,
Leif
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