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Discussion Starter #1
I want to take my Mark VI from the US to visit a friend in Canada, but I remember that years ago, it was very difficult to bring a Selmer into the US if you weren't Selmer, and there were horror stories about people losing their instruments or having them disfigured.

Can anyone tell me if there are still prohibitions against this, or if there are any considerations taking the horn to Canada and getting them back again.

Thanks for any help.
 

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I've never heard from any of my touring pro friends who regularly play in the US have troubles bringing their Selmer's over the boarder and then back again.

Every airline has different policies. The only trouble you may incur is if your horn is extremely valuable. In which case you would probably be safe to purchase the appropriate travel insurance.
 

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If you can't get your Selmer back into the US, feel free to leave it here with me for safe keeping.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Littlewailer: Thank you for the reassurance. But you reminded me of something I forgot to ask: My horn is a tenor, and I'm wondering about airline travel. should I expect to be able to carry it on? I'm pretty sure it's big, old-fashioned, rectangular case won't fit in an overhead. I guess I better call Southwest and find out. Still a little worried about US customs, though. It's always a crap shoot about such things.
 

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I want to take my Mark VI from the US to visit a friend in Canada, but I remember that years ago, it was very difficult to bring a Selmer into the US if you weren't Selmer
Must be all those pesky Yamaha playing customs agents. Darn their jealousy and their cheeky little 82zs!
 

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If you arrive at the Customs Office at the airport before your flight, you can get a little card that is proof that you brought the instrument into a country as opposed to buying it there (which is the difficulty). Mine lives in my case because of this. They mark down the serial number and description, so that in case a custom's agent should question you when returning, you have proof.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think you're onto something, JP. I always thought that both the Canadians and the Japanese had it in for us . . . or maybe for the French. I'm not sure. Maybe it's all them French Canadians. or something.
 

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I think you're onto something, JP. I always thought that both the Canadians and the Japanese had it in for us . . . or maybe for the French. I'm not sure. Maybe it's all them French Canadians. or something.
Well, as a Yamaha playing Canadian, I am sworn to secrecy under the CYPA (Canadian Yamaha Players Alliance) - particularly when I find myself within earshot of Selmer playing Americans. Pardonne-moi.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
David: Thank you. That sounds like it makes sense. I'm actually flying from the west coast to Buffalo NY, and driving across the Peace Bridge (actual name) to Canada. I can get the customs guys at the bridge to get me one of those forms. It also will solve another problem that just occurred to me: I barely remember the guy I bought the horn from, back in about 1976, let alone have a receipt. So i can't even prove it's mine. This ought to work.
 

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Just ask for me when you get to Canada, everyone knows where my house is.

But most international airports have a customs office at point of departure. Take your horn there and you can fill out a form documenting that it's yours and that you're temporarily importing it. Then show the form to customs upon return if there's any problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just ask for me when you get to Canada, everyone knows where my house is.

But most international airports have a customs office at point of departure. Take your horn there and you can fill out a form documenting that it's yours and that you're temporarily importing it. Then show the form to customs upon return if there's any problem.
Even in Ontario?

But thank you for that suggestion (the one about customs). It sounds like a plan.
 

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The big case is basically going to mean you will have to check it underneath. But most airlines have a version of this where you can drop off anything that's too big/ important right as you are boarding the plane. Everything goes on and the cart is there right as you come off the plane.

on air Canada and West Jet it's called Sky Check.

The big case makes me nervous though. Make sure you stuff a fair amount of T-shirts or something similar in there so the horn doesn't move around at all. I specifically got my SKB case (for super cheap) because my horn got a little bumped around one time when I had it in the big box style case without anything else in there. I was young so I blame inexperience.
 

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I've never had a problem. Been all over the world with Selmer (and other types) saxophones. I've performed in Canada dozens of times. I've flown into Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Vancouver and have never been asked about my horn.
 

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Now you see, if you played a Conn there would be no question. Says right on it, "C.G. Conn Ltd, Made in Elkhart, Ind."

I think a shaped case would reliably fit in the overhead of any but the very smallest planes - the big rectangular case, not so much. I recently carried-on a guitar and had no trouble and it's bigger than a tenor sax.
 

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I'd be very wary of using Sky Check service with a horn. The handlers toss those bags around just like any other stowed luggage.
 

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If you arrive at the Customs Office at the airport before your flight, you can get a little card that is proof that you brought the instrument into a country as opposed to buying it there (which is the difficulty). Mine lives in my case because of this. They mark down the serial number and description, so that in case a custom's agent should question you when returning, you have proof.
THIS is really good INFO, thanks Dave.

THIS is really the issue I think the OP was getting at actually (maybe I am wrong). I have heard when bringing a horn back-forth across borders, sometimes a Customs dept. will cast doubt that the horn was your property upon entering the country of destination; therefore they will try to claim you purchased the horn in destination country and are now attempting to bring it back to your home country, claiming it was always yours to evade customs fees for the purchase.

So having some document which shows the sax was already in your possession prior to embarking is probably a very safe thing to do. I would contact the Customs dept. at your airport of departure and ask.

But most international airports have a customs office at point of departure. Take your horn there and you can fill out a form documenting that it's yours and that you're temporarily importing it. Then show the form to customs upon return if there's any problem.
There it is, seems worth the small effort just to cover your #ss....

I've never had a problem. Been all over the world with Selmer (and other types) saxophones. I've performed in Canada dozens of times. I've flown into Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Vancouver and have never been asked about my horn.
This is probably what will happen (i.e. nothing), but better safe than....

Regarding size, I doubt a Tenor can be taken carry-on on any flight, so yeah you are gonna be stuck with making it a piece of luggage....in which case, pack the crap out of it or better yet if you have the $ to burn, buy a very good flight case....expensive, but considering the value of the sax (Selmer or otherwise), not so relatively expensive. Whatever the baggage check method, that case is gonna get tossed at some point, probably a few times...
 

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Regarding size, I doubt a Tenor can be taken carry-on on any flight, so yeah you are gonna be stuck with making it a piece of luggage....in which case, pack the crap out of it or better yet if you have the $ to burn, buy a very good flight case....expensive, but considering the value of the sax (Selmer or otherwise), not so relatively expensive. Whatever the baggage check method, that case is gonna get tossed at some point, probably a few times...
Tenors in contour cases fit easily in the overhead bin - not so for the standard rectangular cases. Even the ProTec XL will fit, but it looks larger to the average flight attendant, so smile a lot.

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...-your-saxophone-(-June-2017)&highlight=flying
 

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If you arrive at the Customs Office at the airport before your flight, you can get a little card that is proof that you brought the instrument into a country as opposed to buying it there (which is the difficulty). Mine lives in my case because of this. They mark down the serial number and description, so that in case a custom's agent should question you when returning, you have proof.
That's the issue, proof you aren't trying to avoid tariffs/taxes.
 
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