Monday, September 01, 2008

International Shipping

Argh. Maybe I should just give up on entering quilt shows. I can't believe how complex it is to ship a quilt through customs and back. OK it is being made harder by me wanting in insure it for more than $45 and the show wanting me to use that as it's value. I've talked to so many people about how to do this, and frankly I am none the wiser. I could spend about 1000 pounds to get it a passport. I may then be required to pay the full value of the quilt to US customs to get it into their country, although I might get it back when it comes home. I can't afford that. I could send it out on a temporary export, exactly like I have done every other time, but then I would need to give a sensible value on the customs form to insure it. The show doesn't think that is a good idea. I could ship it with no insurance and hope. Oh and I've been warned that when you tell US customs something is of no commercial value they like to cut the corner off just to be sure. Guess what I am supposed to put on the form. So send it uninsured with an invitation to cut it up. It's not sounding like something I want to do. Of course I don't have anything better to be doing, I love trying to figure out a way to get around three different sets of rules at the same time. No really I do.


Teri said...

Hi Ferret, I enjoy reading your blog and I love your quilts.
Do you have a friend in the states that you would trust to do your shipping? I have an internet friend in Germany that started doing quilt competitions here in the states a few years ago. Although we have never officially met, I have "talked to her by email for several years. She sends her quilts to me and I send them out to shows for the year. She does the entries from Germany, and pays all of the entry fees, return shipping etc. Then, once in a while, she will send some money to cover postage, and I mail her quilt to shows. Although it isn't necessarily inexpensive from this side, it is way less that it would be from Germany. Just a thought. Good luck. Your quilts are too awesome not to be seen.

Esther said...

HI Ferret,

I know your pain! I hate sending my quilts out. I just sent one out to Houston this week and I faced exactly the same problem. The postage is too high, and then you have to decide about insurance and tracking and whether your quilt is worth $45 or $1 (on aust) customs issues....and what do you do if it goes missing anyway?

I know quilters who have spent $300 posting one way...I just think the whole international postage thing has gotten way out of hand.

I think international comps need to set up some kind of shipment ring to streamline this process for us all.

Good luck at the show!