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Archive through August 19, 2003

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum » Strictly Absinthe & Collectibles » Snatched Shipments?!?! » Archive through August 19, 2003 « Previous Next »

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Donnie Darko (Besançon)
Mousquetaire
Username: Besançon

Post Number: 43
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - 4:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Using a courier, like LDF does may help avert some problems as you don't have to worry about the postal service opening packages, only the guys at customs. I've never had any shipment seized or even inspected, but perhaps that's because I order in small quantities (maximum of 2 bottles per order). I believe what the ATF/Customs is concerned with isn't whether you're importing Absinthe, but whether you're paying taxes on imported alcohol. Importing 6 bottles at a time is a pretty big package, it's no surprise it drew attention...

I'm not sure what the law is on importing alcohol, but I brought back a bottle of Lemercier 72% to the US, declared it to customs (I even wrote "Abisinthe" on the declaration card to see if it would draw attention), and they didn't mind at all because it was less than 1 liter of "spirits". Quantity seems to be all they're interested in.
--------------------------------------------------
Gretchen--"Donnie Darko, sounds like some kind of superhero or something"
Donnie--"What makes you think I'm not?"
Picasso's Last Words (Dpanice)
Paysan
Username: Dpanice

Post Number: 4
Registered: 8-2003


Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - 4:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


quote:

It's that customs is inspecting packages more carefully, and they are required to enforce the regulations of other agencies, and while the average inspector has no idea what absinthe is and which FDA regs it violates, he DOES know that it is illegal to send alcohol via the postal service.



We are talking about a shipment from Markus, right?

Granted, I haven't ordered any absinthe from Markus (yet), but I did recently purchase a fountain from him. When it arrived, I was under the impression that it traveled via DHL once it got to the U.S. Was this just because it was an especially fragile item, or am I missing something? I understand the illegality of shipping alcohol via the postal service, but is it legal to ship via private courier (such as FedEx, Airborne Express, UPS, DHL, etc.)?

quote:

I'd think it would be more likely that customs seized the bottles because they were non-duty paid alcohol than because they were absinthe though...



I'm assuming this comment was regarding private courier shipments, since any alcohol shipments via the postal service are illegal. My question is, aren't vendors paying the necessary duties to ship alcohol via private courier?

Of course, I am very much a newbie here, so please forgive me if these questions have been answered here before.

Regards,
Daniel

"Drink to me, drink to my health..."
Jack Collins (_blackjack_)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: _blackjack_

Post Number: 1187
Registered: 11-2000


Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - 3:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


quote:

They are illegal to make or sell here in the US, but customs won't really make an effort to stop them.




Not exactly. Almost all of them are legal with a prescription in the US. Some aren't specifically approved by the FDA, or are aproved but not marketed in the US. They are still legal under a doctor's prescription though, a loophole created so that AIDS and cancer patients could have access to newer treatments.

However, many are FDA approved and used in the US for other purposes (treating alzheimer's, or in one case, diabetes insipidus). The problem was that people were ordering them from foreign pharmacies that did not require proof a a prescription. If you produced a prescription from your doctor, Customs was happy to send them along to you. But if you'd had a prescription in the first place, you could have bought most of them at the local CVS.
Jack Collins (_blackjack_)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: _blackjack_

Post Number: 1186
Registered: 11-2000


Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - 3:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I don't think it's a question of going after absinthe. It's that customs is inspecting packages more carefully, and they are required to enforce the regulations of other agencies, and while the average inspector has no idea what absinthe is and which FDA regs it violates, he DOES know that it is illegal to send alcohol via the postal service.
Moonman's friend (Wolfgang)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Wolfgang

Post Number: 1008
Registered: 7-2001
Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - 6:50 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Damn! better move the business to a new satelite... Somewhere around Mars maybe ?
AbsintheMinded (Absintheminded)
Mousquetaire
Username: Absintheminded

Post Number: 14
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2003 - 10:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

One of the things regarding customs is that they track certain items and tag various companies when illegal items are found. Especially if a large number of items are coming into the country in a certain time frame from one particular vendor. That begins to raise flags, especially on the newer tracking systems they are implementing at the moment (part of the $6 billion dollars is being spent on upgrading those systems).

This is something I have delt with regarding drugs like nootropics; which are the absinthe of the drug world. They are illegal to make or sell here in the US, but customs won't really make an effort to stop them. But as more and more people started ordering from a certain shop, customs started seezing more and more shipments once it was flagged.

How most companies got around this in that area were to change addresses and company names every so often. In that area it wasn't hard because most of them were just using post office boxes anyway.

Unfortunatley all of this is due to a number of factors a) 9/11, b) increased orders for absinthe from these same vendors and c) a few of them were probably tagged.

Now, having said all that, customs does not have the capability or capacity to search the large number of packages coming into the country each day. And the new systems won't be fully implemented for at least another few years, so the odds are still pretty good that your shipments won't have a problem.

So the cold hard reality is, it's the luck of the draw... And it sure does hurt when it was your luck that just ran out.
balzdeep (Swarez)
Mousquetaire
Username: Swarez

Post Number: 42
Registered: 12-2002


Posted on Monday, August 18, 2003 - 10:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

QUIT TRIPPING BALZ! It hurts!
Hell, at least I can lick myself...
Donnie Darko (Besançon)
Mousquetaire
Username: Besançon

Post Number: 41
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2003 - 9:42 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

There's been a lot of attention in the media lately towards Absinthe and how it's poisonous and makes you trip balls and all those lies. The increase in package inspection isn't surprising, though it could also be due to anti-terrorism initiatives.
I'd think it would be more likely that customs seized the bottles because they were non-duty paid alcohol than because they were absinthe though...
--------------------------------------------------
Gretchen--"Donnie Darko, sounds like some kind of superhero or something"
Donnie--"What makes you think I'm not?"
Robert B (Labrat)
Paysan
Username: Labrat

Post Number: 3
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2003 - 5:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

SO is this just a string of coincidences, or is big brother keeping Absinthe out of the hands of his people. I think the level at which the US government takes things is crazy. Absinthe has been essentially proven to be safe for consumption. I guess I’ll have to wait the 50 – 60 years the US government will take to allow it's import! Crazy…
Bob (I_b_puffin)
le Duc
Username: I_b_puffin

Post Number: 193
Registered: 4-2002
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2003 - 2:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"The package contains the 2 spoons I ordered. However, its 6 bottles light and no explanation."

They'll send you a letter soon. Probably the best thing to do is to write them back and tell them to return it to the sender.
Buck_turgidson (Buck_turgidson)
Paysan
Username: Buck_turgidson

Post Number: 18
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2003 - 9:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

... Finally, after 6 weeks of waiting, my order from Markus finally arrives, today. But what's all this green tape?
It has been "Examined by US Customs."
The package contains the 2 spoons I ordered. However, its 6 bottles light and no explanation.

I've placed over a dozen orders in the past 3 years. This is the first one that didn't make it. Anyone else been "examined," lately?
Moonman's friend (Wolfgang)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Wolfgang

Post Number: 1002
Registered: 7-2001
Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 10:01 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

It doesn`t happen often but it is a possibility.

Anyway, don`t worry, all honest sellers will offer some kind of compensation if you can send a proof of what happened (like an official letter from the postal service for exemple).

This problem should never happen if there was no fancy label to identify the content of the bottles... Moonman is thinking about it...
Jon A. Cohorn (Joalco)
Mousquetaire
Username: Joalco

Post Number: 218
Registered: 7-2001
Posted on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 7:46 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yet another reason to squeeze the fairies your own self, I guess...

And to those who have asked, if you want information about where it was coming from, etc, let's discuss it via email rather than a public conversation, for multiple reasons.

My email is in my profile.
Mssr. Arsénique Kallisti (Head_prosthesis)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Head_prosthesis

Post Number: 3779
Registered: 1-2001


Posted on Sunday, August 10, 2003 - 9:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Swarez. Not wedding gifts (still haven't
seen yours yet though, heh!). Just general Ebay
junk. Funny thing is I NEVER EVER had a problem
prior to moving to CA. and Kallisti has never
ever had a problem until a few months prior to
my getting here.

Blame me? Nah!

Just seems to me like there's a big sieve in
the USPS since all this BULLSHIT has been passed
by Boss Hoss' legislative WOAH BOYS, who finally
got their way.

They been workin' hard fer the last six months
to get mah goods. Well, fuck 'em. Ah'm gonna
start orderin' Cowshit and have it CODed to the
WATTHAAS!!!

GO LIVE !!!
ENORMUS DICK (Louched_liver)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Louched_liver

Post Number: 2119
Registered: 12-2001


Posted on Sunday, August 10, 2003 - 8:43 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ballzy sez:
"Head must be waiting on a bunch of wedding gifts!"

Yeah, like mine. It sucks being poor.

Fine story, by the way, Headly.
Hi, what're ya havin'?
AbsintheMinded (Absintheminded)
Paysan
Username: Absintheminded

Post Number: 3
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Sunday, August 10, 2003 - 7:36 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I did have one shippment stopped a couple of years ago of some Absinthe. I too received the box with everything but the Absinthe, along with a nice note. In the note it tells you how to respond to customs to "make your case" for why you need it. I had I think 2 weeks to respond or else they were going to distroy it. I followed the advice of some friends and wrote a nice little letter describing that this was for personal consumption, etc. I didn't think it would work at all, but what the heck right. Two weeks later a box showed up with my Absinthe in them! I couldn't believe it!

Although mine was not shipped via USPS, It was one of the other carriers...
balzdeep (Swarez)
Mousquetaire
Username: Swarez

Post Number: 39
Registered: 12-2002


Posted on Sunday, August 10, 2003 - 4:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Head must be waiting on a bunch of wedding gifts!

Congrads!
Hell, at least I can lick myself...
Mssr. Arsénique Kallisti (Head_prosthesis)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Head_prosthesis

Post Number: 3774
Registered: 1-2001


Posted on Sunday, August 10, 2003 - 9:35 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

At least he got an empty box and an
explanation.

The USPS has lost up to 5 of my incoming
packages and they weren't even booze.

The USPS is no longer safe, reliable, or
expediant.

I watched an exchange at my local post
where a worker I call 'the robot' was
adamant that he could not take a package
because it had a bump in the box. The bump
was about a quarter of an inch high. The
robot insisted that it would get caught in
their handling machines. "I don't make the
rules, I just enforce them." Indifferent cop.

The package was going to Israel, the sender was
a little old Jewish lady.
This shouldn't matter right? Read on.

The Lady couldn't get the robot to budge so
she asked for his name and the number of the
post master. The Patriot in line in front of
me started screaming at the Lady. She (the Patriot)
even stepped out of line to get in the Ladys
face. "YOU CAN'T ARGUE HIM! HE WORKS FOR
THE GOVERNMENT!!! YOU'RE IN THE UNITED STATES,
YOU CAN'T GO AGAINST
THE UNITED STATES RULES!!!"


What a disgusting display. I wanted to take
the Patriot and shove her right up the robots
ass.

The payoff was that the robot didn't give any
recognition or emotional response the to the
Patriot when it was her turn at the counter.

I told the story at work. So Munky Boy took a
package he had prepared and taped a ball of
paper towel to it. Went up to the same PO but
unfortunately he got a different clerk.

We'll call her "The Human".

Munky Boy gave the Human the package. She ran
her hand over the bump and said, quizzically
"Ok!" then tossed it into the outgoing basket.

What's right? What's wrong? Will you get
your packages, or not? Are we any safer with
these rules or are we better off with a
general consensus of apathy?

The balance has shifted and all I see is a pile
of MY packages sliding off into the void.




GO LIVE !!!
Crochety Old Bastard (Artemis)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Artemis

Post Number: 867
Registered: 10-2000


Posted on Sunday, August 10, 2003 - 8:13 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

It has nothing to do with national security OR Texas. It's against U.S. Postal Service rules to ship alcohol through their system ANYWHERE in the United States. They have the legal right to do what they did. That it doesn't happen more often or in other states is more surprising than that it happened once or twice in Texas.
"He is an unapologetic, crochety old bastard who will peddle any fibs that will make him a buck, or put him on a pedestal."
Donnie Darko (Besançon)
Mousquetaire
Username: Besançon

Post Number: 30
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Sunday, August 10, 2003 - 7:51 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

It has nothing to do with "National Security". It's illegal to ship alcohol through the mail in Texas, regardless if it's from overseas or inside the country. There are a few other states that have similar laws and once in a great while enforce them. This is the 2nd incidence of this happening this year I've heard of though (in Texas). Whoever shipped it needs to do a better job of packaging and concealing the contents.
--------------------------------------------------
Gretchen--"Donnie Darko, sounds like some kind of superhero or something"
Donnie--"What makes you think I'm not?"
Robert B (Labrat)
Paysan
Username: Labrat

Post Number: 1
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Sunday, August 10, 2003 - 7:06 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Be careful. You may be labeled a terrorist for trying to smuggle the neurotoxin thujone into the good ol' USA!!

Was the snatched shipment commercial or bootleg?
Kaseijin (Kaseijin)
Paysan
Username: Kaseijin

Post Number: 2
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Saturday, August 9, 2003 - 11:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dalals/Ft. Worth, you say? That's where I am, and I was just about to make an order. Do you think you could email me the distributor you ordered from? My addy is in my profile, I believe.
Robert Novak (Justabob)
Paysan
Username: Justabob

Post Number: 5
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Saturday, August 9, 2003 - 10:23 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

No I personally have never had a problem. Were did you order from? You don't have to name the vendor, I am curious about the country involved and who customs my be scrutinizing?
Pataphysician (Pataphysician)
Elitist Bastard
Username: Pataphysician

Post Number: 648
Registered: 5-2001
Posted on Saturday, August 9, 2003 - 10:06 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

No.
Perhaps.
Probably yes.
Jon A. Cohorn (Joalco)
Paysan
Username: Joalco

Post Number: 217
Registered: 7-2001
Posted on Saturday, August 9, 2003 - 9:39 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello there, good folks. It's been quite some time since I've popper my head in these yere parts, but recent events have brought me out of my self-imposed exile.

Up until this week, through more than four years of shipments, I've never had a shipment confiscated. However, I came home Thursday evening to a resealed box with a pleasant letter from the good folks at the Dallas / Fort Worth postal center saying that they'd "destroyed" my potable alcohol, and that they could press charges, but they're not.

Has anyone else had this happen recently? Has there been an increase of these instances in today's era of "national security"? Is anyone else as pissed off as I am?

Thanks fer letting me vent. Hopefully this is an isolated incident, but I was shocked and dismayed by it.
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