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Here's a conundrum for you with customs. We have customers from all over the world send us saxophones to work on / overhaul. If they value the saxophone, mostly SBAs and Mark VIs, at $5000 (hypothetical number as it can go MUCH higher) then WE have to pay duties on that just to get the horn to work on it. We then value it the same way going back and he has to pay duties on it again. All just to get a saxophone overhauled. How is that fair? No one is buying anything ... Just one musician who cares so much about his craft that he wants to send his horn to get some of the best work he can done and it will potentially cost him an extra $1500 dollars in fees.

Not necessarily advocating evading customs here, but working in this business and seeing how customs works, there certainly is a LOT of room for improvement in my opinion.

Also, don't let anyone in customs know that your vintage sax has mother of pearl on it! You can't ship MOP into the U.S. anymore without going through the US FISH AND WILD LIFE SERVICES "You must be licensed with us and pay user fees for each shipment if you commercially import or export." That is a direct quote. To ship it "you must import or
export your shipment through one of our designated ports, declare your shipment to us, and receive clearance from us for your shipment." Once again ... NOT cool. All new Yamaha's and other saxophones have switched to fake MOP because of this stuff. The laws are crazy in many ways and can make it near impossible to simply get a sax worked on or sold. So if you think fudging customs numbers makes you a crook, I hope you are registering with the FWS and paying their fees to ship your horn too.

Work requires me to deal with this stuff daily and I'm always learning about these crazy laws intended for certain things, but end up affecting others unintentionally! I need to read and study as much as possible, but it's SOOO much stuff :)
 

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Here's a conundrum for you with customs. We have customers from all over the world send us saxophones to work on / overhaul. If they value the saxophone, mostly SBAs and Mark VIs, at $5000 (hypothetical number) then WE have to pay duties on that just to get the horn to work on it. We then value it the same way going back and he has to pay duties on it again. All just to get a saxophone overhauled. How is that fair? No one is buying anything ... Just one musician who cares so much about his craft that he wants to send his horn to get some of the best work he can done and it will potentially cost him an extra $1500 dollars in fees.
This issue sounds very familiar - but I recall a conversation about being able to get a refund upon return of the instrument, as long as the serial number is logged when it enters a different customs zone. I’ll respond to you if I can find that info.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
This issue sounds very familiar - but I recall a conversation about being able to get a refund upon return of the instrument, as long as the serial number is logged when it enters a different customs zone. I’ll respond to you if I can find that info.
I've heard of this, but I'm sure that getting that refund takes a LONG time. Plus it's hard to tell customers they have to pay $500 plus dollars and can get that refunded later. We can't afford to do that! Tough situation for sure.

Check out my MOP paragraph. Just edited and added it as I had to deal with that lately.
 

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