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arcaknob
06-06-2014, 08:14 AM
Just wondering if any other UU members have had a long wait for their ukulele from Bruko. Mine was shipped on 5/12/2014 and arrived in the US on 5/20. Tracking has not been updated for the last 17 days and I am getting a little worried. Could it be held up in customs? I am dying to see my new uke.

Vagrant
06-06-2014, 08:49 AM
Just wondering if any other UU members have had a long wait for their ukulele from Bruko. Mine was shipped on 5/12/2014 and arrived in the US on 5/20. Tracking has not been updated for the last 17 days and I am getting a little worried. Could it be held up in customs? I am dying to see my new uke.

Here in the UK we get stuff from Europe fairly prompt, but I ordered a camera bag from the US earlier in the year - it took a week to get into the UK, but was then held up in customs for three weeks. When it arrived it had an import charge sticker on it, which had been scribbled out, so I guess the hold-up was while some officials tried to decide whether I should pay import duties or not!

I also know that the DHL depot in Kitzingen (where all Bruko shipments pass through) only send out the international parcels to Cologne once a week, which can hold things up.

Hopefully it's just bureaucracy... now you've voiced your worry it'll probably arrive (that always seems to happen to me - as soon as I email someone about an item's whereabouts it arrives)

coolkayaker1
06-06-2014, 09:01 AM
My Brukos from Germany to IL in 2012 were held up like that, three separate orders in one year. Twice I got dinged for customs taxes, which you pay at the US Post office when you pick it up, and once I got no customs tax. I learned after the first time to buy in bulk and save shipping and tax, so I bought five at a clip on orders two and three and resold them on eBay.

Ramart
06-06-2014, 09:33 AM
I have a follow-up question about direct uke imports like the ones being discussed: Has anyone ever encountered a customs delay involving CITES treaty issues? (CITES is the international treaty to protect endangered species of certain woods and animal-derived adornments like ivory and some kinds of shell.)

I've heard that some instruments have been seized by government inspectors during customs checks, either during international shipping or even during inspections of travelers' hand-carried instruments at airports or other ports of entry. From what I've read, such seizures could involve mistakes by officials who erroneously determine a type of wood is one that's on the CITES roster of protected species; however, there apparently is no mechanism for retrieving such improperly seized items, short of filing a lawsuit and then winning a court order.

I've been considering an ebony uke purchase from RISA in Germany, which informed me that its new Koki'o line has all proper CITES documentation, because RISA imports those Asian-made instruments into Germany and must satisfy the European Union's very strict CITES compliance. Presumably, a Koki'o uke from RISA could be shipped to a U.S. customer along with some kind of unofficial "passport" type documentation that all components are permitted species; however, the treaty does not define accepted forms for such documentation so an erroneous seizure could still be possible, I presume.

Does anyone know anything about this issue, from first-hand experience?