I needed to get a mask shipped. I remember that on Krampus Army’s website they would help broker getting a mask made and sent to you. The artist was backed up till at least October, so that wasn’t really an option, but I remembered they talked about getting a customs broker, so I contacted them.

They gave me the phone number of their customs broker, but this was a broker in Canada. They also told me that the most important thing was to classify the mask as ART for customs purposes.

I contacted their customs agent, but since she only dealt with Canada, she gave me the name of a broker in the US. I contacted that broker. He said that they were really only used for cargo and freight. His suggestion was to contact DHL. He said that DHL would take care of all the paperwork, make sure all of the duties were paid, etc. And while DHL is not huge in the USA, they are worldwide, mores than FedEx or UPS. I contacted DHL, told them what it was, and gave them the weight and approximate dimensions (8kg, and 80x40x50cm). The quote they gave me was $900. After my recovery in the hospital for the heart attack they gave me, they explained that they only do 3 day shipping, and not slower means, which is why it was so expensive. They recommended calling local broker. I had already called a broker, so they recommended checking out the prices for UPS and FedEx. I did. FedEx was $885, and UPS was $778. Thats more than the item cost, and that was NOT for 3 day or any kind of priority shipping. That was for ground service! The artist had told me that the Austrian Postal Service had quoted him around 40 Euros to ship it to the USA!

I started reading a LOT of customs documents and websites. I found a list of US Customs brokers near me via the CBP.gov website and called a couple. They all seemed to recommend FedEx or UPS :( When I asked them if I did it via regular post what customs documents would I need, they had no idea.

So I read some more. I took notes. Those notes will be posted as part 4 in this series. Remember they are my notes, so at times they may not make any sense to you. I also made phone calls to the US Customs Office and the Customs Office within the US Postal Service (1-800-ask-usps). The key points gained from these calls will be in part 5 of this series.

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