View Full Version : Sending a uke to a friend in Germany...Best way to ship??

08-29-2015, 06:38 AM
Sending a soprano uke to a friend in Germany...last time I shipped out of the US was to a certain ukulele aficionado in Tasmania...that was by US Post.
Any suggestions would be appreciated...


I should mention that I'm sending a couple other items in the package so it will weigh 10-15 lbs...

08-29-2015, 02:08 PM
Couple things:

If you put a value on the label, and the value exceeds €45 (roughly the same in USD right now), the receiver of the package will pay import and VAT taxes (a combined total of about 22% for an instrument). This will happen even if you check the "gift" box. If the value and the insurance amount clash too much, the customs office will use the insurance value to determine the actual value and/or ask for a "pro forma" invoice.

Also, if the label does not contain the information concerning the value, German customs will hold the package and send a letter to your friend, requesting that information.

08-31-2015, 01:45 AM
regarding potential carriers I don't think it makes much of a difference whether you use USPS, UPS, FedEx or DHL - at least not for customs clearance and delivery in Germany. Price might well be different though.
USPS will most probably cooperate with DHL (the logistics brand of Deutsche Post) for delivery anyway, and they handle up to 31 kg (~68lb); UPS operates own delivery fleet (not sure about FedEx, they might have yet another partner for delivery)

08-31-2015, 03:24 AM
Having sent instruments overseas several times, I found that USPS was significantly less expensive than FedEx and UPS.

09-02-2015, 03:01 PM
Use USPS. Include the original bill. I know, I've sent an expensive Martin uke to my friend in Berlin, Germany as a gift. Customs will hold it back and force the receiver to even sign a paper to prove it is a "gift" from a "friend" and then charge an import percentage. I included the bill because the suggested retail price was hundreds of dollars higher on many web sites. Customs agents check the web with the receiver. My original bill saved my friend big-time cash. Don't mess with German customs, Jawohl! hehe