Shipping across international borders always involves complications. The objective is to get the shipment through customs clearance with the least delay. To do that it is necessary to have all the paperwork in order.
Customs normally deals with goods being shipped between seller and buyer. Such goods are subject to customs fees and taxes. Goods sent for repair and to be returned are the exception. It is essential that the paperwork is clearly marked to avoid extra costs.
The most important part of the process is all paperwork. If this is done correctly everything moves without delay. Any problems in the paperwork can delay the shipment.
Not everything always works predictably. In some cases a customs inspector questions some detail that would normally never be questioned. Preparing the paperwork so that questions are unlikely is the best method of efficiently moving your instrument through customs.
This is an essential document. Goods will not be allowed to clear customs without this document. The commercial invoice is a customs requirement. Two copies will be needed.
UPS or any other carrier should be able to assist in producing this document, for a fee. You can also download commercial invoices online and fill them out yourself.
Additional information about commercial invoices can be found from UPS; or Yahoo; or Wikipedia.
Here are some of the details you may need for shipment to us:
- Reason for Export: Repair
- Ship to and Sold to will be the same:
- Contact Name: Tami Peters
- Company Name: Fox Products Corporation
- Company Address: 6110 South State Road 5
- City: South Whitley
- State/Province: IN
- Postal Code: 46787
- Country: United States
- Telephone Number: 001 (260)723-4888
- Description of Goods:
- Make, model, type of instrument. Add “US Goods Returned for Repair” and include the Harmonized Tariff Number. For example: “[9801.00.1012] Fox 660D Bassoon – US Goods Returned for Repair.” If only part of the instrument is being sent, also specify that part, such as “Wing Joint.”
- Country of Origin: US
- Unit Value: There must be a value declared, even if it is only $1USD. This does get challenged on occasion and a higher value may be desirable.
- Additional Comments and Declaration Statement will be the same. Example: “Fox 660D bassoon sn: 12345 – US Goods returned for Repair” That last clause “US Goods Returned for Repair” is important to add.
Harmonized Tariff Schedule Numbers
These numbers identify the nature of goods passing through customs. These are numbers that originate from the US government. Including them with the description makes the customs process work better.
For instruments being returned for repair use this number: 9801.00.1012.
This number applies to products of the United States returned temporarily for repair, which will subsequently be re-exported back to the owner.
There are other numbers that are used for export where a change of ownership will be involved. Visit the Harmonized Tariff Schedule site for a complete listing of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule Numbers go to http://hts.usitc.gov/.
We recommend UPS as the carrier. In our experience UPS has been the carrier that is most efficient in getting shipments through the import/export procedures. In addition to that UPS is our primary carrier and we deal with them on a daily basis. They’ll be here to drop off and pick up shipments every day.
FedEx is another good carrier, but watch out for insurance coverage. They limit their liability to $1000 for any musical instruments older than 20 years or that are customized or personalized. If any of those qualities apply to your instrument either make certain that you have separate insurance coverage or send it by UPS.
On occasion we receive instruments shipped to us through freight forwarders. Our experience with these services is generally less than ideal. They inevitably involve more paperwork delays and slower service.
When we return it to you …
For repairs other than work done under warranty, your instrument will be “advanced in value or improved in condition.” When it is returned to you the commercial invoice will show the value of the repairs we have done. You can expect to have import taxes and fees levied based on that value according to the laws of your country.