Germany Shipping from Germany to US

Discussion in 'Europe' started by CuriousMonk, Mar 13, 2013.

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  1. CuriousMonk

    CuriousMonk Poo-Bah (1,625) Dec 24, 2010 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    My buddy is headed to Germany for three weeks and he would like to ship beers from Germany back to the States. Of course, he could pack up some beers in his suitcase, however, in the event he wants to ship 10+ beers, then he might as well ship em out. I would like to know if anyone has any RECENT experience shipping out of Germany to the States - such as the recommended shipping method (air vs ground) - issues, etc. that would be useful for him to know?

    Thanks in advance for your time!
  2. boddhitree

    boddhitree Devotee (482) Apr 13, 2008 Germany

    Air is better for the beer, for it's kept in a pressurized and temp controlled plane. Sea/ground is in a hot container which takes 2 or 3 months. Air is more expensive, but you'll thank yourself when you drink the beer.

    2nd, when he mails it from a German post office, have him label it at "Art glass" "decorative glass." Germany doesn't care if you mail beer, but the US gov. does, but if labeled as above, it's rarely inspected except maybe x-ray, and then they'll see glass. Pack it very good with lots of newspaper or packing peanuts and generally, it will arrive in one piece. Also, value the items higher than the value of the beer, for "decorative glass" shouldn't be cheap, and this will make it seems more believable when it arrives in the US.

    Otherwise, I've never had problems shipping beer to the US from Germany.
    dieBlume likes this.
  3. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    They don't even ship ground anymore so it's ALWAYS going to the US by plane. The difference between regular and premium is transportation within the destination country. Depending on how far it still has to go within the US it may well be worth to shell out for premium and it's (roughly) 40 % mark-up.
    einhorn likes this.
  4. Duff27

    Duff27 Poo-Bah (1,779) Feb 10, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Can anyone give an estimate on what shipping, say, 12 bottles back to the US would cost?
  5. boddhitree

    boddhitree Devotee (482) Apr 13, 2008 Germany

    According to Nightfall:
    I only disagree with how much to value it. I'd put it more than 80€. Other than that, he's correct.
    Stahlsturm's reply:
    Though I disagree with valuing it at 500€. The value must be lower, basically under 80€ or it will raise suspicion in the USA; otherwise, customs seizes it and nightmares begin.
  6. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    By insuring it for UP TO 500 € you do not declare that as value. You still have to fill out a customs form where you declare the actual value and then, in case it's lost or damaged you can only claim that value plus all shipping costs from the postal insurance. Trust me, I've been there.

    Plus, depending on destination shipping premium may be an important option when shipping what after all is a perishable good.
  7. CuriousMonk

    CuriousMonk Poo-Bah (1,625) Dec 24, 2010 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    thanks for the suggestions!
  8. SammyJ

    SammyJ Initiate (0) Mar 14, 2013 North Carolina

    Hey guys,
    So I have about a dozen or so beers that I'll need to ship. I was talking to a fellow BA'er from Belgium and he said he had some trouble with shipped boxes either not showing up or showing up with missing bottles. I'm not sure if anyone has had this problem here, but is it safe to ship (declared as "decorative glass, or such")? I've even gone so far as to order fake business cards that allude to my vast Snow Globe conglomerate that I'll affix onto the box. I'm just worried about prying hands I guess.

    Also, as far as packing, I was thinking I could wrap the beers, put them into a German beer crate (holds 20), then put that whole thing into a cardboard box with padding and some other items that I'd like to ship. Think that'll work?

  9. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    No. Customs will open it either way and obviously some customs agents like German beer as well. They know that the customer can't complain since shipping beer is apparently illegal in the States so they know they can get away with it. Try shipping to a different address that might have a different point of entry in the States and thus different customs agents who may be more lenient / honest.
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