DHL & UPS - No Knives Policy / FedEx - No Knives to the USA

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C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,485
1,438
Bedfordshire
This is only a little rant, although it may sound like more. Mainly I am writing to inform others so that they may save themselves some of the hassle I have been having.


Earlier this week I received $800 payment for a custom knife from a chap in the US. It isn't one of my own knives, and I had taken out a Bladeforums membership in order to access a suitable pool of buyers. Since I have had important documents disappear without a trace when using RM Airsure / USPS, I wanted to use a courier. First stop, DHL, who I have used for documents before, have a local depot and a good comprehensive list of what they will and won't carry. Knives are not mentioned at all. They should be!

DHL counter clerk had to go away and check, came back and stated that due to the length (15"OAL), that it was not an antique, and that it could be a "hunting knife", they could not accept it due to "security". Makes no sense to me, but they are free to have stupid rules if they want. Subsequently did some Google research and found that DHL have refused all sorts of knives, irrespective of size or age since 2010. Long enough that they should have been able to update their Prohibited list, but haven't bothered. :aargh4::rant:

Next try, UPS.

UPS don't have a such a convenient depot so after having searched the net and looked at their list of prohibited items I decided to phone just to be sure I wasn't wasting more time. It was all looking good, people said they had used them (in the US) and they made no mention of blades as being barred from carriage. The phone call dashed my hopes, no knives no way, unless you are an approved business account holder, and to be that you must already do a lot of shipping business with them. :aargh4::rant::cussing::banghead:.


Fedex are less convenient still, one must set up an account and the nearest drop site is even further away, but the UK service said they have no problem shipping any knife other than a switch blade, but when the Customer Service rep went to ask the Quote team, she was told that FedEx USA do not accept any "sharp objects", so no knives, no how to the USA. :sigh:.:banghead:

Last hope is Parcel Force who hand over to USPS, but I am getting decidedly concerned.
 

Leshy

Full Member
Jun 14, 2016
2,394
54
Wiltshire
Does labeling the item as "Arts & Crafts " not solve the problem?
Insuring it for the relevant value and just stating it's a piece of art should get over the hurdle .
In fact just stating it's a hand tool would do the same trick .

I know it's not ideal but surely its one way to get around the hassle isn't it?
Maybe I'm missing something?
 

oldtimer

Full Member
Sep 27, 2005
2,554
1,099
79
Oxfordshire and Pyrenees-Orientales, France
On the few occasions I have posted a bushcraft knife, I have labelled the package "Woodwork Tool". If the recipient uses it for other jobs too, it's up to him: my father used to open paint ins with a chisel! This still makes me wince and I have never done it. I think my father only did it to spite my cabinet-maker grandfather.

Seriously though, the lack of distinction between a tool and a weapon is illogical. On the news today, there is a report of a woman attacked with a pair of scissors. I doubt if you'd have any hassle sending scissors through the post.

Are you perhaps a victim of Trump's policy of encouraging americans to buy only US made goods?
 

Fadcode

Full Member
Feb 13, 2016
2,630
691
Cornwall
recently sent very well packed 3 Bushcraft Knives to the USA and Canada via DHL, with no problems at all, booked the items to go, via online booking, got to the pick up point(shop) they went online confirmed the pick up printed out all the docs etc, Item shown as Knife on the documents, cost £37 for each Item and they were delivered within 36 hours fully trackable, I didnt bother getting Insurance for the Knives even though they were around $600 each.
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,485
1,438
Bedfordshire
recently sent very well packed 3 Bushcraft Knives to the USA and Canada via DHL, with no problems at all, booked the items to go, via online booking, got to the pick up point(shop) they went online confirmed the pick up printed out all the docs etc, Item shown as Knife on the documents, cost £37 for each Item and they were delivered within 36 hours fully trackable, I didnt bother getting Insurance for the Knives even though they were around $600 each.


:censored::banghead:

I have no idea why you were able to send your knives, but they were categorical about mine, and I have found accounts by people world wide complaining that DHL wouldn't take knives, going back years.

I went and and posted via Parcel Force, from a post office. Cost £63 with the £20 insurance, slightly cheaper than if I had printed out all the labels from home. Manager there made a long call to Parcel Force to check and eventually confirmed no problem with anything other than flick knives. However, they are not allowed to carry "weapons" which are defined as having been designed or made to cause injury during offence or defence. Clear as mud for a lot of knives.

Going to the DHL depot they insist on opening all packages before accepting them, as in, don't bother taping them up at home 'cause you have to show the contents at the desk. I have read people in the US stating that UPS do the same, and even open packages if they are picked up rather than dropped off. I would not want to succeed in getting a package accepted through creative description, or circuitous methods, and then have them change their minds when/if they realised what they had and risk having the package vanish in their system on its way back to me.

The knife in question could never be called a wood working tool. If Customs opened it and saw that description I would expect them to confiscate it as punishment for telling obviously stupid lies! :lmao: If it was a little bushcraft knife, fair enough. I have often described things as camping knives but this wouldn't have worked.

I haven't talked to Owen, maybe it would be useful. I have another knife I am trying to sell in the US since I know it won't sell here and I am not looking forward to repeating this process.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,850
1,062
64
Florida
FedEx USA doesn't accept sharps? That's news. I've never sent a knife anywhere, but I've received many from various sellers; from pocket knives to machetes. And a 12 inch khukri from Khukuri House in Nepal. The catalog companies (Amazon, Cabela's, Bass Pro, Sportsman's Guide, Gander Mountain, etc.) and the individual sellers on e-bay almost always use one of those companies. FedEx and UPS being the most common.

Not denying what you've posted, it obviously happened to you; just trying to understand what seems to be a different standard they applied to you?
 

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