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Shipping wine to U.S. and Customs - help!

Shipping wine to U.S. and Customs - help!

Old Jun 30th, 2005, 03:25 PM
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Shipping wine to U.S. and Customs - help!

We shipped 10 bottles of wine from Italy back to the U.S. We have yet to receive our order and just received a call from someone who said he worked for a 'Customs House Broker'. He advised us of charges owed to have the order released from Customs. He said he could take care of this and then could ship our oder to our home address for another charge.

We paid a lot of money in Italy for shipping to have this order shipped home. Is this legit? The person had all the details of our order, how many bottles, kinds of wines, address information. Can anyone help?
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Old Jun 30th, 2005, 03:48 PM
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Yes, it is legit and not much you can do if you want the wine. Of course, you could abandon it. Hope you got a good purchase price.
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Old Jun 30th, 2005, 03:52 PM
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I don't believe that individuals are allowed to import wine into the U.S. Bring home with you, yes, but not have shipped directly--hence the customs broker. Even then it's surprising, as usually you have to make arrangements with a wine importer to handle the transaction.

But then things might have changed since the last research I did.
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Old Jun 30th, 2005, 04:00 PM
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many states such as massachusetts forbid the shipping of wine into the state unless you have a dealers licience. check the guidelines of you state to find this out otherwise you may have wasted your money
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Old Jun 30th, 2005, 04:01 PM
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private individuals cannot import wine, as mentioned. i don't know what amount that is, but a friend of ours received as GIFT some bottles of wine it ended up being a financial nightmare.

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Old Jun 30th, 2005, 04:41 PM
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<<a friend of ours received as GIFT some bottles of wine it ended up being a financial nightmare.>>

What? Are you serious?

Do tell more.

Curious minds want to know!

Best wishes,

Rex

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Old Jun 30th, 2005, 04:52 PM
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I'm so disappointed to hear that there is a problem doing this! I loved the italian wines my last two trips and didn't ship any, but I was promising myself to do it this time!

Were the charges very high to get the wine? If it was special wine that you can't get here, it might still have been worth it!

Keep us posted...
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Old Jun 30th, 2005, 06:45 PM
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For what it's worth, cybertraveler, I would contrast this (still not well described) expense and hassle with the relative ease of just bringing it home in your luggage. The only challenge is: how much can you carry?

See http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34422344 for my ideas on how to transport a case of wine in your luggage.
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Old Jun 30th, 2005, 08:21 PM
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Sorry to post this question at the bottom of this thread but it is kind of related.

I was wondering about the reverse. What about taking American wine to Italy in your suitcase. Does anyone know if there is any problem with this?

I wanted to bring some wine to my relatives in Italy.
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Old Jun 30th, 2005, 08:38 PM
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You can carry wine in your hand luggage - or even in your checked bags. Just stay under the allowed amounts. And you can bring wine back - again under the allowances or you'll have to pay duty.

argeill's problem was they shipped a case of wine - that is why the import broker was involved.

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Old Jun 30th, 2005, 09:48 PM
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We just returned from Italy and brought back wine as carryon. No problem. Our friends that were with us brought back 18 bottles in their checked luggage....no breakage.

Two years ago, they brought back approx. 100 bottles in checked luggage....again no breakage and no charges of any kind.

Interesting about the charges when shipping. While in Italy we found out that to ship just one bottle, it was about $11 per bottle. There were a number of people in winerys we visited who were willing to ship at that extra charge. I'm wondering if they knew they may have to pay more once the wine arrived in the states.
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Old Jun 30th, 2005, 10:31 PM
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I must admit I am curious about why people would ship wine from Europe to the U.S. for personal use. Carrying wine makes sense although you are somewhat limited by what you can carry. Cannot imagine trying to carry 100 bottles home as it would exceed my family's weight limit by far. One case of wine with decent packaging weighs about 35 lbs so 100 bottles would be close to 300lbs.
Wine may be less expensive in Europe than in the US but not always. Indeed one can often buy wine in the US for less than in Europe if we are talking about wine a few years old which were brought into the US when the dollar was markedly stronger.
Costs for shipping wine are not cheap and if you ship anywhere near the summer you risk ruining your wine if the temperatures are not controlled during shipping. Although there are specific wines in the world not available in the US I strongly suspect that in most cases you can find something here pretty close unless we are talking about rarities such as some Chateau....... from 1862....
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Old Jul 1st, 2005, 02:23 AM
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Does anyone know what the limit is to carring wine in your suitecase to Italy?
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Old Jul 1st, 2005, 05:02 AM
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Above 66 pounds, the airline will likely impose an excess baggage charge. If you pay that, and the duty, I don't know if any upper limit has ever been discovered. the 100 bottle story above (for an entire family?) is the most I have ever heard described. It's impressive; I wonder if any of those were "splits"! (I often purchase splits when traveling).

But the final arbiter on all "import" of alcoholic beverages is the states through whose juridiction you pass, including your final destination. The repeal of Prohibition gave the power to states, not the Federal government and every state has an Alcoholic Beverages Commission that can and does enforece its own state laws.

Legendary tales of confiscation at airports are by state ABC officials - - not the feds.
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Old Jul 1st, 2005, 05:06 AM
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I always find that by the time you pay duty and deal with the exchange rate, you might as well just buy wine at your local dealer.
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Old Jul 1st, 2005, 06:33 AM
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IIRC,

You may bring 1L of wine into Italy, same as US.

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Old Jul 1st, 2005, 06:38 AM
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when we were in Italy in '99 we found the high end Super Tuscans were much cheaper there than here. Now, the exchange rate was very good then, so that may have been part of it. One example: Fonterutoli Siepi cost us about $45 a bottle at the winery. I found it at home for $85. so it was definitely worth carrying it back.

When you hand carry wine, the customs agents at the airport will rarely charge you duty when you go over the limit. They can, but its never happened to me. We came back with a case...my husband and I each carried 6 bottles as carryon luggage. we 'fessed up to being over the limit (1 or 2L/person, I think) and were waved through, no problem.
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Old Jul 1st, 2005, 06:39 AM
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Hi argeill,

A lot depends on how the shipper fills out the paperwork, but it is not surprising that your shipment ended up at a bonded warehouse and must now be ransomed from Customs.

It is legitimate.

This happened to us once. We paid an additional $5 customs duty and $65 warehouse and shipping fees.

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Old Jul 1st, 2005, 08:35 AM
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<<You may bring 1L of wine into Italy, same as US.>>

I suppose you mean duty-free, legally. Practically speaking, has anyone ever encountered any kind of customs or duty collection upon entry into Italy?

I think you can take as much as you can carry.
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Old Jul 1st, 2005, 09:32 AM
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If I really wanted to do this, I'd call a global integrator (DHL is a good one as they are huge in Europe and just acquired Airborne) and ask them what the process is and what restrictions exist. They have a brokerage license in addition to being a shipper, they can handle the customs process and get it all the way to your door.
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