View Full Version : Shipping internationally

Vic D
03-20-2011, 10:41 AM
What are the caveats? I don't see a problem shipping to like the UK, other than it's like 45 bucks, but what about Thailand? Am I gonna get beat down by the man for shipping a ukulele with a mother of pearl inlay, or a Honduras rosewood fretboard?


03-20-2011, 10:48 AM
Interesting discussion about the Lacey Act/CITES over at Delcamp today with some links that might be helpful to you.


Basically, you can have problems on either end, whether importing or exporting.

03-20-2011, 11:13 AM
My tactic is hit them with alot of paperwork (we always send 3 copies of the invoice), but don't be too honest if you think an over enthusiastic customs officer might single you out for something unusual looking on your paperwork. For example, I usually just put "Ukulele" as the description, not elaborating on the wood etc. Unless you are sending a bunch of them, I don't think they should get held up unless the value is over $1000 for most countries.
Also sending it express thru UPS or a similar company seems to lessen the chance customs will look at it too closely.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
03-20-2011, 12:42 PM
I ship overseas regularly. Things always go through but sometimes will get hung up in customs (for up to a couple weeks on occasion) for reasons unknown to me. Like Mike, I only declare it as an "ukulele" and make sure the packing slip is clearly visible on the outside of the box. Also, I never put my company name of the return address or customs form, just my personal name. I only ship USPS Express Mail--costs about $100. I also never lie about the value, no matter how much the customer pleads. A while back I shipped a $5,000 uke for a customer in the UK. He was concerned about the high VAT he had to pay and other customs regulations. I shipped it to America where he picked it up himself and hand carried back home. Let him deal with the customs.

Vic D
03-20-2011, 04:37 PM
Thanks for the advice fellas. I've made up my mind that whatever the hassle, I'll go ahead and ship wherever.

03-21-2011, 04:34 AM
I spoke with a US Fish and Wildlife representative because they are the ones dealing with the Lacey Act issues more so than customs. I don't ship material overseas that is on the CITES list, and there isn't any form to say that its isn't, so the rep helped me develop a letter that provides all the information on the instrument in the event that if questions are raised then they can be answered. I specifically spell out that the rosewood is Indonesian, the mahogany is sapele and that the inlay is abalam or MOP, but don't describe it as mother of pearl. I also provide a packing slip with it on the outside as well as one inside the case with the instrument. She indicated to em that I should word it in a manner that didn't leave any doubt to what was in the package. No problems yet.