Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Mat, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Does the recent shutdown affect customs with packages coming "into" the U.S.?
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  3. desertgem

    desertgem MODERATOR Senior Errer Collecktor Moderator

  4. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball Cannot Re-Member

  5. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

  6. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    Didn’t think about that. I can say I received a package from overseas last week.
  7. calcol

    calcol Supporter! Supporter

    I've had a lot of electronic parts and world coins shipped in from outside the US. Most of them valued at less than $200. I've never seen any evidence that they were inspected by customs. Packages weren't opened, no inspection stamps, etc. Possible they were inspected externally, x-rayed or sniffed, and I wouldn't detect that.

    I would expect that if there are any changes due to the gov shutdown, there would be even less chance of inspection.

  8. desertgem

    desertgem MODERATOR Senior Errer Collecktor Moderator

    Or they just end up waiting in a bin until someone can check them.
  9. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    If they're opening it they suspect something or saw something they didn't like or a dog hit on it ect. Just because there's no stamp doesn't mean it just blindly passed through.

    It would just be slower. Customs doesn't have to clear anything, nor do they have to operate on a time frame. If it takes them months to get to your package then it takes them months. Obviously they try not to have things sit longer than they need to but they would never just be like oh well send everything through so that something isn't delayed
  10. calcol

    calcol Supporter! Supporter

    Customs doesn't have to inspect everything either ... at least, nothing more than a cursory glance. I do enough international travel to know this is so ... at least with regard to carry-on and personal items. Don't know about checked bags. I'm talking about regular customs; ag inspection by USDA is more thorough. I've seen airline crew get nailed for trying to bring in prohibited food items.

    So, hard to say whether customs would let things pile up or pass through more items with only cursory inspection. I would guess the path of least grief for supervisors and managers is the latter. They won't get many complaints if a few more prohibited items or items on which they should collect duty slip through. They will hear from importers if their goods are held up.

  11. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    Your carry on is all scanned in x-ray at some point in your travel in civilized countries.

    No it's honestly not hard to say. US Customs and Boarder Protection is a federal law enforcement agency. Not everything gets a stripped down top to bottom inspection but they absolutely are scanning for certain things.

    And they won't care at all, they aren't a business and it makes no difference to them.
  12. calcol

    calcol Supporter! Supporter

    US customs doesn't care what you carry on to a plane (but TSA does). They are only concerned with what folks or freighters arriving from out of the country bring in. Mostly concerned with prohibited items (certain drugs, guns, etc.) and collecting duty on certain valuable items or big lots of not so valuable items.

    Importers certainly are businesses and are individuals as well. Importers are companies like Apple bringing in loads of iPads and iPhones from China. And if you order a coin from out of the country, you are an importer.

  13. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    You need to reread what I wrote. At no point did I ever say anything about Customs doing airplane security or whether or not an importer is a business.

    Customs doesn't care if they tick off importers and getting off a plane is different than shipping something
  14. calcol

    calcol Supporter! Supporter

    You posted " Your carry on is all scanned in x-ray at some point in your travel in civilized countries." in response to my post on Customs inspections. There are valuable items that you can put in your carry-on, and the boarding security personnel won't care in most countries. $1000-worth of cigars, no problem; several thousand dollars value of rare coins, no problem. However, at the US end, Customs will care a great deal about these. And yes, folks do manage to get contraband, especially drugs, on to commercial flights, and yes, some do get caught by US Customs at their port of entry. Then there are private boats and planes where there is no outgoing inspection in many cases.

    I've carried coins on to domestic US flights many times. The only time TSA was interested was when I had some rolls of common Morgans that showed as large cylindrical objects on x-ray. We ended up having a nice discussion of coin collecting. They had no interest at all in the much more valuable slabs in the same carry-on. However, if I had been coming into the US with this lot, Customs might have been very interested in all of it.

    There is overlap in the interests of TSA and US Customs (weapons, for example), but it's not complete by any means.

    Pretty sure bringing merchandise into the country with you on a plane is considered shipping by Customs. And pretty sure if Customs holds-up merchandise being imported by Fortune 500 companies, Customs officials at the highest level will hear some meaningful feedback.

  15. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    Those are secondary concerns of customs. Some people will get caught not declaring that merchandise others won't, buying legal things in a foreign country to try and apply taxes for you is not customs main concern.


    Believe it or not, Customs basically couldn't care less about numismatics. They have more important things to worry about. If you want to try and cheat import taxes that's on you aside from that your coins aren't a threat to anything.

    It is for the important things and this had nothing to do with TSA. The point was that depending where your flight originated there is some assumption that the departing country did their job and prescreened things for weapons, bombs ect. If you're coming back from a third world country you will get more attention. Either way your bags are all getting screened.

    And they won't care at all. They don't answer to them.

    Go down to your local sheriffs office. Demand to speak with them and give them feedback because as a tax payer you're their boss. See how well that goes. That's basically what you think they're worried about.
  16. calcol

    calcol Supporter! Supporter

    Finis argumentis ab me. Where's that glass of zin? Cal
  17. JCro57

    JCro57 Making Errors Great Again

    I am a former U.S. Customs agent from Buffalo.

    The screening process of passengers, vehicles, and their stuff - regardless of how it comes in (legally, of course) - proceeds as usual during shutdowns. Whether or not the Post Office delivers it is another story.
    calcol likes this.
  18. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    Customs for passengers on ships and planes is one thing, Customs for merchandise and imports is something totally different. About 325,000 people fly into the US each day and have to go through customs. How many boxes or packages do you think can be packed into a 40 foot shipping container? Between 1400 to 2002 boxes that can be easily handled by one person. Something like 33,000 containers enter the US each day. That's 46 to 66 million packages a day, 7 days a week. Do you really think they open and inspect each of them? There are about 46,000 people that work for the customs dept in all capacities. If every single one of them were inspecting packages each would have to inspect between 1000 and 1400 packages a day. I'd say that unless they have gotten a tip or they see something suspicious, they just spot check.
  19. JCro57

    JCro57 Making Errors Great Again

    @Conder101 Exactly.

    Personally, when I worked in the Buffalo International mail room I looked at packages that had excessive postage, or if it came from a terrorist or drug source country, was oddly shaped, had no return address, or other red flags. Probably searched 12-14 out of every 170 packages
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