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How to get a sword from St. Louis to a museum in Italy

How to get a sword from St. Louis to a museum in Italy

Old Feb 26, 04, 7:57 pm
  #1  
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How to get a sword from St. Louis to a museum in Italy

Does anyone know to successfully ship a sword (antique) to Italy? A friend of mine lives in St. Louis and is a descendant from a small village outside of Milan. Her grandfather fought in an italian regiment from that village and she has his sword. When we were all in the Italian village last year in the tiny local musuem, she mentioned to the curator that she had the sword. It brought such a huge smile to his face and eyes that she instantly knew she must donate it to the museum.

She's looked into sending it via the postal service, but the postmaster at her local branch told her that although the USPS doesn't permit shipment of weapons, she was able to convince them that this was an antique for a museum and not a weapon. However, the postmaster said that even if he allowed her to ship it, that it would never get past Italian customs inspectors.

The museum curator is of little assistance because although he's a charming and wonderful man, he's not exactly sofisticated in such matters. My friend is contacting someone at the Southern Illinois University to see if they can help. I thought I'd give flyertalk a try. With all of the collective wisdom here, I've yet to come across a problem that somebody here couldn't solve. Any suggestions?



[This message has been edited by hhonorman (edited Feb 26, 2004).]
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Old Feb 26, 04, 9:36 pm
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Strangely, we just sent a US Navy ceremonial sword from San Diego to St.Louis. We FedExed it, because the inheritor obviously couldn't have taken it on the plane.

I would suggest FedEx for Milan or DHL. Properly insured, of course. Overnight FedEx is pretty expensive, but if you're not in a hurry ....
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Old Feb 26, 04, 11:48 pm
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Just call DHL, tell them antique and send.
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Old Feb 27, 04, 3:32 am
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If the Italian museum curator can't figure out how to do it than I'd question if they're genuinely interested. I'd simply donate it to a museum in the USA and avoid the shipping hassle all together.
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Old Feb 27, 04, 8:53 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by hhonorman:

She's looked into sending it via the postal service, but the postmaster at her local branch told her that although the USPS doesn't permit shipment of weapons, she was able to convince them that this was an antique for a museum and not a weapon. However, the postmaster said that even if he allowed her to ship it, that it would never get past Italian customs inspectors.


[This message has been edited by hhonorman (edited Feb 26, 2004).]
</font>
This is correct but mailing them is prohibited by Italy not the US under postal treaty arrangements. Whether shipment by one of the express carriers is allowed I do not know but I bet you have to get approval from some government ministry to do so. Better to donate it locally and avoid the hassle or go through an entity that specializes in transferring such item but I bet you will pay a lot for the services.

See list for prohibiton to mail to Italy.

Country Conditions for Mailing - Italy
Prohibitions (130)

Albums of any kind (of photographs, postcards, postage stamps, etc.).

Arms and weapons.

Articles of platinum or gold; jewelry; and other valuable articles unless sent as insured packages.

Artificial flowers and fruits and accessories for them.

Bells and other musical instruments and parts thereof.

Cartridge caps; cartridges.

Clocks and supplies for clocks.

Compound medicaments and medicines.

Coral mounted in any way.

Ether and chloroform.

Exposed photographic and cinematographic films.

Footwear of any kind.

Haberdashery and sewn articles of any kind, including trimmings and lace; handkerchiefs; scarves; shawls, needlework including stockings and gloves; bonnets, caps, and hats of any kind.

Hair and articles made of hair.

Human remains.

Leather goods.

Lighters and their parts, including lighter flints.

Live bees, leeches, and silkworms.

Live plants and animals.

Nutmeg, vanilla; sea salt, rock salt; saffron.

Parasites and predators of harmful insects.

Perfumery goods of all kinds (except soap).

Playing cards of any kind.

Postage stamps in sealed or unsealed letter-post shipments.

Radioactive materials.

Ribbons for typewriters.

Roasted or ground coffee and its substitutes; roasted chicory.

Saccharine and all products containing saccharine.

Salted, smoked or otherwise prepared meats; fats; and lard.

Tobacco.

Toys not made wholly of wood.

Treated skins and furs.

Weapons of any kind and spare parts for them.

Restrictions

Coins; bank notes; currency notes (paper money); traveler's checks; jewelry; and other precious or valuable articles must be enclosed in an insured parcel post package in order to be mailable to addressees in Italy.

Postage stamps for philatelic purposes are admitted in registered letter-post shipments on condition that the package bears a completed Form 2976 and the addressee complies with the Italian financial regulations.

Observations

1. Air parcel post must have a street address. Delivery cannot be made to post office boxes. A local telephone number for the addressee should be provided.

2. For air parcels, an invoice, in duplicate, is required for all commercial shipments regardless of value and all personal shipments valued at $300 or more. The invoices must be affixed to the outside of the parcel or may be enclosed in
PS Form 2976-E with the customs declaration.

3. Letter-post shipments may not contain dutiable articles.

4. Shipments containing books must bear a PS Form 2976 (green label).

5. Many articles are subject to an import license or quantity restrictions. Senders should ascertain from the addressee before mailing whether the articles will be admitted or whether the necessary documents, if required, are held.

Customs Forms Required (123)
Letter-post: PS Form 2976 or 2976-A (see 123.61)
Parcel Post: PS Form 2976-A inside 2976-E (envelope)

Size Limits
Letter-post: See 243.2
Air Parcel Post:
Maximum length: 79 inches
Maximum length and girth combined: 108 inches
Economy Parcel Post:
Maximum length: 42 inches
Maximum length and girth combined: 79 inches




[This message has been edited by biggs (edited Feb 27, 2004).]
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Old Feb 27, 04, 10:35 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by biggs:

Country Conditions for Mailing - Italy
Prohibitions (130)

Albums of any kind (of photographs, postcards, postage stamps, etc.).
...
Playing cards of any kind.

</font>
??? Any idea why? This is so strange.

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Old Feb 27, 04, 11:19 am
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You could try contacting the Italian embassy (or a consulate may be more willing to help). Given its a part of Italian history and being donated to a museum, there may be a way around the mailing restrictions.
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Old Feb 27, 04, 6:56 pm
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Why not contact the staff at your local museum, and get a referral to the customs expiditer that they use when shipping their art works?
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Old Feb 28, 04, 2:17 am
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I agree with the earlier poster that said just call DHL [ or FedEx ], tell them it's an historical antique. These companies know what they can and can't ship and will do the right thing.

Interesting list, by the way.

-David


[This message has been edited by LIH Prem (edited Feb 28, 2004).]
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