Monday, 18 October 2010

Trinkets and customs officials

I love the anticipation of a parcel arriving don't you? Especially when it contains mystery treasures for sharing. The lovely Faerwillow began a mail around of trinkets back in the summer. Each participant was to take a goodie or two, replace with their own and mail it on.

All was going so well until our box fell foul of officialdom. You see, the suspicious folk at the UK border were not aware that what an arty blogger considers 'treasure' is not perhaps the swag they were expecting when they read the customs description and demanded import duty!

Thankfully they were placated by my tale of artists inspiring each other the world over with little drawings, a few beads and collage materials. They did open up the box for a good rummage around first mind. Perhaps they were disappointed it wasn't priceless artifacts, but at least our trinket trade was able to make its next stop without me adding to the coffers of Her Majesty's Customs & Excise.

So, tomorrow I will bid a fond farewell to the parcel - being sure to write a lengthy description on the required documents! The thought that remains with me though is this... What if we all become famous artists one day, with creations selling for millions? I like to think that perhaps in 10 years or so (or shall we be more ambitious and go for five?), this little box of 'trinkets' will warrant a huge customs declaration and the need to be escorted and handcuffed to the arm of a security guard. What do you think?


  1. Wow...what an adventure!! Best of luck! I had trouble is hard to know what to write then is acceptable! and hard when you dont want to ruin the suprise for the reciever!
    Wishing your parcle many sparkles..onward!

  2. ooo... i'm next i think ... i sure hope it doesn't take 2 months to reach my hands which 3 parcels just did today!!! 2 months!!! UGH!!! do you think it's a good idea to send it to me still ???

  3. I really don't like the UK's customs deal. I sent one of my paintings to someone in the UK and the gracious lady agreed to pay the very high shipping cost. Then, she was hit with a custom charge after it arrived. Even if I would have declared it as a gift, she still would have had to pay a high price. I often worry that my "art Mail" will get lost in the mail here too. It did once. I had placed old foreign stamps on the front. It never made it to it's destination. I can only imagine that maybe one or more of those stamps were valuable and someone swiped it. I don't send anything now in my art mail that is even a bit suspicious of anything..

    Good idea posting this..thanks.

  4. OMG! and there was me thinking it was only Canadian customs that did that! Just goes to show they are all the same!!!

    I'm still reeling from the idea over here that you must pay purchase tax(HST) like UK VAT, on second hand cars!!!! Think how much money they are raking in if a car is sold over and over! And that's from private sellers too, not just dealers!!! And the minimum tax on said second hand vehicle is calculated at $1,000 even if it only cost $500!!!!

  5. Glad you got it all sorted around. I have trouble when I send to Canada knowing what to say and not say.

  6. ~trinkets...hey they really are priceless pieces!! i am so sorry you had to go through all that trouble and hope is was a bit worth it!?!? i am anxious for its return and appreciate you doing a post reguarding such...i like your last thought...i am sure many will be well known within 10 years...hehehe...warm wishes and brightest blessings~


Thank you for your comments - I always love to hear what you think :)

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