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Customs inspection - bottles removed

Discussion in 'Beer Trading Talk & Help' started by stakem, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. stakem

    stakem Poobah (1,015) Pennsylvania Feb 20, 2009 Beer Trader

    Has anyone ever received a partial box from an international trade?

    Incoming to the US from the Netherlands. My box was opened at customs. All the bottles were removed and some of the glassware and a t-shirt was replaced and sent on its way. There was no signs of breakage and quite frankly I would not have even known if it was opened had it not been for the obvious weight discrepancy and neon green customs tape that sealed the box.

    The customs documents followed the usual format: labeled as collectibles with an individual breakdown of varying prices based on size of the bottle format.

    I am aware of the risks and knew this was a gamble. I am not looking for pity or condolences. Just curious if this ever happened to anyone and if there was any positive resolution. Obviously I would love to pay any taxes/fees to get this delivered but i am wondering if this is a lost cause. I think I recall reading about this on the old site, perhaps someone can chime in with what happened?
  2. totoropanda

    totoropanda Savant (310) New Jersey Apr 12, 2012 Beer Trader

    where was this coming from?
  3. stakem

    stakem Poobah (1,015) Pennsylvania Feb 20, 2009 Beer Trader

  4. MordorMongo

    MordorMongo Initiate (0) Jul 19, 2009

    Readin r herd.

    I have never heard of that happening and I have gotten quite a few international boxes...though not near as many as several others I am sure so maybe one of them will chime in.
  5. sendsilk

    sendsilk Advocate (545) Florida Aug 31, 2007 Beer Trader

    Ewe r fucked.
    Retail1LO likes this.
  6. I have send a bunch of boxes from the Netherlands to the U.S. never had anything like this happen.
    One box is on it's way as we speak... (fingers crossed, I guess)
    Just curious, did you receive this box through a trade or did you order from a webshop or another place?
  7. I have sent a few international boxes and have never had this happen (thank god)!

    I always try to insert a note inside the box stating that any contents of the bottles are not suitable for consumption under any circumstances.
    FUNKPhD likes this.
  8. forgetfu

    forgetfu Savant (315) Colorado Jul 27, 2007 Beer Trader

    I had a 6 bottle shipper coming to me, but somewhere along the way, one of the handles ripped, and someone stuck their hand into the box, broke the styrofoam, and stole 3 of the 6 bottles. So the box arrived half destroyed, with no sign of leakage, and half of my bottles just missing. But there was no neon green tape. :-/

    I'm really surprised this happened to you. From a customs perspective, importing beer isn't against the rules. It's not until they hand the package off to the USPS that things get gray. If customs has a problem with what was coming in, i've always assumed they'd just ask for more tax money.

    I did get called out on one box once...12 bottles and 1 tshirt. I got a call from Fedex, because customs was really concerned about the tshirt apparently. I guess we have strict rules on garment imports. They wanted to know what the tshirt was made out of, how much it cost, where it was acquired, etc.
    mythaeus likes this.
  9. claaark13

    claaark13 Advocate (725) Indiana Nov 29, 2007 Beer Trader

    I've had a similar occurrence, but I'm certain that it was the carrier and not US Customs.

    A crate was shipped from Germany with x10 75cl bottles and x2 33cl bottles. When it arrived to me, it had a new box, x8 75cl bottles, x2 33cl bottles and a random 50cl bottle of German wine. I'm still confused about this.
  10. Someone instigated their own trade.
  11. claaark13

    claaark13 Advocate (725) Indiana Nov 29, 2007 Beer Trader

    They "won" the shit out of that trade.
  12. bauermj

    bauermj Advocate (510) Illinois May 4, 2009 Beer Trader

    A friend & I have a big shipment that has been sitting in Chicago customs since 12/21. Lambic whales too :(
  13. gory4d

    gory4d Advocate (590) New York Apr 14, 2007 Beer Trader

    Yeah, I have a box from the Struise webshop sitting there now - only been there a week so far, but what I've read seems to indicate that it could take a long time to clear through.
  14. C2H5

    C2H5 Savant (480) Illinois Jan 7, 2012 Beer Trader

    did the t shirt read " I got F'd by customs and all I got was this lousy T-shirt" ?
  15. forgetfu

    forgetfu Savant (315) Colorado Jul 27, 2007 Beer Trader

    Particularly through the holidays, i had quite a few boxes get hung up in customs. It seems to be clearing up a bit now. Also, it's possible that the box has moved on but has missed scans. USPS has gotten *really* sloppy lately about scans. I dropped boxes off last week that never even received their acceptance scan. They didn't show up in the system until they left the country. I've also had boxes in your situation that scanned in through customs, then suddenly were delivered after a week or two without a single scan in between. It's a mess, but you're probably fine.

    (now bauermj, on the other hand...he's screwed (which sucks, given what's in that shipment)).
  16. readbaron

    readbaron Savant (375) Illinois May 12, 2010

    Wait, what? I hope you just forgot to put the smiley face in there. Otherwise, :mad:
  17. forgetfu

    forgetfu Savant (315) Colorado Jul 27, 2007 Beer Trader

    ;-) (that one?)

    (i very much hope it comes through. I was just poking the hornets nest a bit).
    readbaron likes this.
  18. stakem

    stakem Poobah (1,015) Pennsylvania Feb 20, 2009 Beer Trader

    It was a unique situation. I placed an order with a webshop that does not ship to the US. A great BA whom I traded with in the past got the box and forwarded it to me.
  19. actually talked to that great BA last night. Sucky thing to happen.
  20. SageO

    SageO Savant (455) California Jul 13, 2010 Beer Trader

    I'm sorry this happened to you, but goddamn that made me laugh.
  21. gory4d

    gory4d Advocate (590) New York Apr 14, 2007 Beer Trader

    Well, the box cleared customs, and it made it to me on Saturday - but two of the six bottles were smashed and the cardboard was saturated with beer. Good thing Struise use a heck of a lot of tape, or I wouldn't have gotten a thing.
  22. stakem

    stakem Poobah (1,015) Pennsylvania Feb 20, 2009 Beer Trader


    Today I got a letter/notice of seized property from the US Customs and Border protection. They state the property as spirituous, vinous, malted, fermented, or otherwise intoxicating liquor that is nonmailable and shall not be deposited in or carried through the mails.

    Appraised domestic value of the property is $150.

    There are then 3 pages attached which describe needed action on my part to forfeit, take no action or proceed with judicial administration.

    I live in central PA, the port of entry is Miami, Florida. I am wondering if I petition this and attempt to reclaim my 15 bottles. I am inevitably going to have to end up going to Miami to claim these in person... FML
  23. If there's a phone number on the customs form call and tell them the "company" sent you the wrong items because you ordered glassware and other merch. Tell them you spoke with the company and they're willing to ship you the correct items after the box they accidentally sent is returned. If it works, maybe adjust the packing information, box, who knows what else and try again?
  24. bauermj

    bauermj Advocate (510) Illinois May 4, 2009 Beer Trader

    Thanks for the update OP. Keep us informed on the developments, I'm wondering if a bunch of these notices will start to show up for those of us still waiting.
  25. joel66

    joel66 Savant (490) New York Sep 1, 2012 Beer Trader

    3 boxes in total....

    what is weird is that nobody at usps or BP post is able to provide information now that they are in customs.. really hope these get here soon
  26. stakem

    stakem Poobah (1,015) Pennsylvania Feb 20, 2009 Beer Trader

    And another update already...

    I spent hours yesterday trying to understand the options that were placed before me from the Customs letter and reading the additional info that is available on their website. It seems as though most of the verbiage in the documents are geared toward people who wish to forfeit the items.

    Frustration got the best of me so I called the port where the bottles are being held. The woman who answered the phone was downright amazing. She assisted me in filling out the paperwork and stated that my case will be reviewed and will most likely be resolved with a payment of tax and fine. She then stated the bottles will be packed and shipped to me via UPS at their expense...

    It appears as though there is light at the end of the tunnel. Before I reveal more specifics, I will wait and see what happens.
  27. Keeping my fingers crossed for you man.
    Hope you be enjoying some great brews soon.
  28. huskermike12

    huskermike12 Savant (485) Vermont Nov 14, 2011

    Same here. 3 boxes waiting for me. Not feeling really great about these showing up honestly.
  29. CheapBeerBuzz

    CheapBeerBuzz Advocate (660) California Dec 20, 2011 Beer Trader

    I think we are missing a key piece of info on this "third party" trade. How was the German wine?!?!
  30. claaark13

    claaark13 Advocate (725) Indiana Nov 29, 2007 Beer Trader

    Not sure. It's laying down in the cellar. I'm sure I'll eventually be drunk enough to put my life on the line and take a gamble with a mystery bottle of German red wine.
  31. CheapBeerBuzz

    CheapBeerBuzz Advocate (660) California Dec 20, 2011 Beer Trader

    FT: Random 50cl of German Red Wine / ISO: The Jerkoff who has my 2 bottles
    chase2634 and OtisCampbell like this.
  32. huskermike12

    huskermike12 Savant (485) Vermont Nov 14, 2011

    2 of my 3 boxes arrived. The third (and the first of the 3 shipped) is still not showing any update.
    DenverBeerDrinker likes this.
  33. stakem

    stakem Poobah (1,015) Pennsylvania Feb 20, 2009 Beer Trader

    Update again.

    I got a letter in the mail today that states Customs has accepted my petition for releasing the items. They gave me a list of instructions to follow:

    1. Prove I am of legal age.
    2. Send payment via cashiers check or money order.
    3. Sign an agreement that essentially forfeits my right to hold them accountable for any damages, losses, charges or other liability resulting in them confiscating this box.
    4. Get the above agreement notarized.

    It looks as though I might be getting some of these after all. I guess I will know within a month.
    chase2634, claaark13, bauermj and 6 others like this.
  34. Lutter

    Lutter Advocate (660) Texas Jun 30, 2010

    That's badass that you're getting it back. I'd've throught they were gone for sure.
  35. Jeffo

    Jeffo Advocate (705) Netherlands Sep 7, 2008

    That's awesome Adam! I hope this works out for you. I know how much you were looking forward to this box of brews.

  36. hooliganlife

    hooliganlife Advocate (665) Missouri Apr 12, 2007 Beer Trader

    Wow, crazy. Glad this is working out.
  37. stakem

    stakem Poobah (1,015) Pennsylvania Feb 20, 2009 Beer Trader

    And today would be the day I get some closure on this topic. I returned home from work to find a box from customs waiting for me.
    Unfortunately, some bottles and glassware are still lost in transit. But at this point I consider myself fortunate to have run through the gauntlet of confiscation and come out with this as a success for the most part.
    mythaeus, sarro, JxExM and 4 others like this.
  38. CheapBeerBuzz

    CheapBeerBuzz Advocate (660) California Dec 20, 2011 Beer Trader

    Bummer you didn't score any awesome German red wine in transit...
    claaark13 likes this.

  39. I've been ordering from friends in Belgium since 1998 and this has never happened. Sounds ultra shady to me.
  40. mymrnngjckt

    mymrnngjckt Savant (420) Pennsylvania Jul 10, 2006 Beer Trader

    When are you sharing these?