Sending knives to another country might be something you probably thought about (or might need to do) at least once in your life. Maybe when you were at that point, you decided not to go with it because you probably had no idea what to do and this made you choose not to purchase it. Well, in this article I will go through all the things you need to know today before sending or buying any knife.
There are 3 main points that you should know about. First, does the country you are sending or receiving allow for knives to be sent? Second, which courier can you use to send the knife? And the third one is how important it is to pack your knife securely. There are some other points one should be looking into, but with these 3, you are pretty much almost done.
If you are relocating out from your current residence to another, you probably want to take everything with you, including kitchen supplies and, therefore, your knives. Maybe you had to book shipping with a courier to help you relocate, but now you are unsure if it is allowed.
Knives can be challenging to ship. The manufacturer or sender will usually offer a guarantee for your knife, but there is still a possibility it to get lost in your countries Postal Service. When sending your knife, make sure you are tracking your knife’s path to its destination.
This way, you will avoid any type of loss if the mail carrier is at fault. Make sure to package when shipping knives securely. Finally, insurance for the value of the knife is something you should always be doing.
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Check country restrictions before shipping anything.
This is something you should do first before anything else. If in case you are not allowed to send or receive and you already prepared the package or maybe you already ordered something from Amazon, you might lose your item, time, and money. But most, if not all, countries do not have any restrictions when sending knives to a different country. However, I would suggest you to check this for your own country. This is actually a straightforward process. You can contact your countries postal service to know if there are any restrictions for sending or receiving anything related to knives and or cutlery. They can immediately tell you if this is possible and also help you further with the process. Any courier company would also be able to answer you.
Can I ship knives with a courier company?
The short answer is yes. You can most definitely send it by a courier company, but we all know this might cost you more than the regular postal service of your home country. If in case you have the possibility and you have the time to wait, I would suggest opting for the postal service. You will save money, and they are (at least most countries) dependable. However, if you still prefer to send it with a company, there are things you should know and check when choosing one you wish to work with. Almost all companies ship knives, but depending on the carrier, there can be some restrictions. Generally, when you choose to send something, it is recommended to select a service that offers you an up-to-date tracking system. Especially if its an item that is of high value.
Which courier company is the best?
I guess this is the one million dollar question. I think this depends on what’s important to you. But in the end, almost all of the carriers are very similar, except for a few minor differences. Please find below a shortlist of carriers and their rules and restrictions when it comes to sending a knife. Basically, all of them are potentially a good option, but it all comes down to the tracking system. You need to be able to track your parcel at all times in both countries. If in case the courier you choose does not have it and they lose your package, and you have no insurance, you have lost your money your knife. So before selecting any of these companies, I would suggest for you to contact the one you wish to work with and ask for their tracking system.
USPS allows shipping knives, as long it is legal in the place you wish to ship. Knives and blades are categorized as sharp-pointed or sharp-edged instruments such as ice picks, and razor blades, etc. They must be securely packaged in a box that will protect the carriers from injury. It’s also advised to have two layers of protection The material must be securely packed so that it doesn’t move around during normal Postal Service handling.
UPS currently has no restrictions on shipping blades. Customary, it’s best to follow the correct procedure and make sure the knives are securely isolated and in the safest possible position (closed, the sheath on, etc.)
Similar to UPS, FedEx no restrictions shipping currently on knives. Again, it’s crucial to follow the same process you would for shipping with USPS for the safety of anyone handling your potentially dangerous package.
Which types of knives can I ship with courier companies?
Carrier companies allow most cutlery sets and kitchen knives as they classify them as tools, essential for trade.
Various kinds of knives and white weapons are heavily limited or even forbidden in many countries, which makes some knives not possible for shipping.
The following shortlist of blades are or else heavily restricted or prohibited to send via courier companies:
- Butterfly knives
- Mechanical knives
- Hidden knives (made to look like something else, like lipstick blades)
Machetes and swords are also a particular category that you should research beforehand. Customs officers will confiscate such items if prohibited when shipping internationally.
Usually, if you wish to send a knife internationally, for example, a Swiss army knife or pocket knife or hunting knife, you need to read the local regulations of both countries first. Always appropriately packaged and secured, many of these can be seen as “tools” for hunters, travelers, and survival enthusiast, but it is still smart to verify the rules and how they apply locally. Also, it is good to know that in some countries carrying of certain white weapons is banned. You may think this would not have an affect on your shipment, but it may affect the person you are sending the package to. Besides, some courier companies may even decline to ship your package if your knife falls into their prohibited category.
How to correctly package a knife for shipment.
If you wish to send a knife internationally, and it belongs to a cutlery set, or maybe you want to send a kitchen knife, the crucial thing is to prepare the package securely. The most reliable way to send knives is to put them in their cases or sleeves if they have them. If not, wrap heavy cardboard around sharp blades and tips, tough enough to guarantee that the contents do not pierce the exterior packaging. Wrap individual items with cushioning material—place in a proper outer container such as a padded envelope. Also, make sure it has a lot of packaging materials around so that that the courier or any other person involved in the transport process will not get hurt. Basically, pack them to survive the apocalypse! In case you do not have anything yourself, contact the postal service to provide you with the containers and or other materials. The same thing goes for courier companies. They also sell these items. I feel like sometimes I feel safer to use theirs as I know its the right standards.
Always take an insurance.
When sending your knife, the number one rule is to send it with a tracking number. The number two rule is to have it insured. Of course, this is something that can be done for any item you send, but I feel like I must add this even if it’s obvious. What I have read in quite a lot of forums is that many insure the package for more than its value. As the packing can get pretty beat up when it arrives, you must have proper insurance so you can reclaim if any damage has been done. Some of the knives can be fragile, and I guess just like anyone else, you would want to have your knife without any dents or chips.
Guarantee delivery up to customs.
Maybe this has happened to you before, you order something, and at the customs, the item gets stuck. You need to pay some vat on it, or maybe they find the item not packaged correctly and therefore deem it dangerous, which leads to loss of the item at the end. This especially happens for items coming from China, unfortunately (although we all buy because its a cheap alternative). If you have purchased a knife from a company abroad and they send it to you, some of them will only take responsibility up to the customs and guarantee it will arrive but past that is the customer’s responsibility. So make sure you read their terms before purchasing anything.
Age when ordering the knife
This one seems obvious, but it is something I thought would be handy to know. There are age restrictions when ordering a knife. To most of us this sound logic, but it might be possible that in some countries these age restrictions may vary, some countries may allow you to order one if you are 16 while most would be 18. In most countries, the rule is the same. You need to be 18 years old. But the same rule applies if you are sending it to someone, but the receiver is underaged. Some carrier companies do age verification upon delivery, and if in case you had no idea you’ve been posting the knife to an underaged person, you might get into trouble. So it is advised to verify the age of the buyer before sending anything.
Shipping knives on flights.
If you are abroad or on vacation and you purchased a knife or a cutlery set, you can take it home with you even with the strict regulations on airlines since the 9/11 tragedy. The most reliable way to get your knife home is to place it in your checked baggage. But before doing so, first make sure you are allowed in that specific country and airport you are checking in, as some airports might have different rules when it comes to transporting kitchen knives in your checking baggage. Do not ever try to bring it with you in your carry-on luggage. Most definitely, you will lose your knife if you do this. You will be able to bring your knife home with you if you pack it in your checked luggage.
Can you buy a Japanese kitchen knife in Japan and bring it home?
The short answer is yes. You may buy kitchen knives of any length while on vacation in Japan. Here’s how it’s done: When you buy a Japanese kitchen knife in Japan, the blade will be nicely wrapped and sealed in a case and then a bag. This is to show the knife was bought by a tourist and not for use within Japan. It is essential for you to resist the temptation to open your case, once the seal is broken, you could violate any number of Japanese laws regarding possession of a weapon.
Even though you have no intention to harm someone or would have unusual behavior, the Japanese government takes these rules very seriously. It will enforce them if they become aware of a violation.
Customs and the value of your knife.
My wife works at the border in Austria, and she regularly sees items where the insurance is put instead of the actual value. And as I have mentioned before, some people are even putting the cost higher than the original price of the knife. When the customs value the item and let you pay the VAT on it, they will value it on the amount you have given. However, if you specify that the insurance value is higher, but the value of the knife is lower, they will then make sure to calculate the correct amount. She sees this almost every day, which clearly means that a lot of people are making this mistake. So the message is, make sure to separate both of them and specify that the insurance value is higher, but the actual cost is the one they need to calculate upon.
This is probably something that many of already, you know, but yes, there are customs and vat costs involved in sending and receiving. Depending on the company you are buying from (if purchased from abroad), they might cover these costs, but they also might not. So it is a good thing to check this with them beforehand.
Shipping knives can be a challenge. The number one rule you need to know is that knives are a weapon and treated differently than a standard package. With the tracking systems and specific instructions value to the carrier companies, you will see that sending your knife will be worry-free. Although I have mentioned this a few times, I cannot emphasize this enough. Tracking is the key to sending something if you go online and read about others who have been sending knives, almost (if not all) all of them spend even extra money on tracking the parcel.