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Shipping modular overseas to yourself
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author Shipping modular overseas to yourself
Hey guys I'm going to be in another country for a year and want to bring my 6U euro system. I don't think it will be possible to bring it on the plane and will be a bit stressful knowing its with me over the hectic flight and arrival. I was thinking of having someone ship it to me once i get to the destination. Has anyone done this? I am worried about the fact that I will have to declare the actual value to be able to insure the package and then get slammed with duty since it is so expensive. I really don't want to pay tax on my own personal belongings, but i can't risk shipping something so expensive without full insurance. The country is japan specifically. Hopefully someone has experience with this. I couldn't find much searching google as far as this goes.
No direct experience with personal items internationally when relocating but I used to work professionally setting up and writing software for commercial international shipping so the subject interests me. cool Here's a couple things I looked up out of curiosity.

Edited from
Either you use a service from an international moving company or an international shipping company (Freight Forwarders, NVOCCs and VOCCs) or simply carry your goods in the trunk of your car across the border, your freight will always be a subject to destination charges.

When paying destination country's customs duty (as a part of destination charges), non-commercial international shipments containing household goods or personal effects that are not for sale may be allowed to enter most countries without or with not-significant duties or taxes. However, such international shipments must comply with destination countries regulations on importing household goods and personal effects. Those import regulations may be quite complicated.

In order to avoid "surprises" with your international shipment at the destination, if you ship household goods or personal effects oversea, we suggest that before you make any arrangements on your international shipment, contact a local Consulate or Embassy of the country where your goods will be shipped to. Ask them about special regulations, restrictions or charges (duty and/or taxes) that may occur on your international shipment when your goods will reach its destination.

See if you can obtain from the consulate a letter of relocation, or a letter that duty exceptions are granted on your international shipment. These shipping documents can be issued by the consulate before you are involved in the international shipping of household goods or personal effects. Having such documents in advance may be extremely helpful at a time of recovery of your goods at the destination.

You may also request customs duty and tax estimation from a Customs Broker in your destination country before making any arrangements on your international shipment. Most likely you will be asked to pay a fee on this service. However, if you are uncertain then it should worth your money and time.

If you use service from an international moving company, then always try to obtain as many details related to your your shipment as possible in advance. I.e. before your goods are submitted to the international shipping.

From :
If you are moving to Japan permanently, you may import both personal effects (clothing, jewelry, toiletries) and household effects (furniture, rugs, linens, bedding, dishes, other furnishings) free of duty and tax if:
Goods have been in your possession for one year
Shipment arrives within six months of your entry into Japan
You are present in Japan at time of clearance (but you do not have to be present at customs)
If the Declaration Form is not completed and certified by customs officials upon arrival, your goods may be subject to duties and taxes
Keep receipts (with English translation) for any new items (duty and tax may apply)
Muff McMuff
If you really want to take it i would take it with you on the flight. Nearly all flights across the pacific from the USA allow two pieces of hold luggage at 23kg each. Possibly more in business class.

I have been to Japan a few times and its the only place that has always stopped me at customs and had a good look what was in my bags. Even checking the toothpaste. But having personal items is no crime so i would not be worried taking a eurorack synth to Japan for a year.
Xerox your invoices so when you bring it back into the country you can prove you did not buy it overseas and don’t owe any duty.
make sure it physically fits in the baggage cage they make you check your carryon in for size

there's length width and height limits and if you exceed any of them you can't carry-on

some domestic flights make you stow your carryon with the checked baggage if the plane fills but I've never heard of that happening on an international
You can try these guys - they're a moving & car shipping company that delivers in Japan. No experience with them myself, but my uncle has used them to ship furniture to Japan before (from US).
Am also moving overseas, and I'm downsizing into a 7U to do it.

Your 6U should be fine.. I think. depending on how it's made.

I am making an Intellijel7U case, specifically because their case is durable and has a lid that covers all the modules, and they also make a gig-bag that is overhead-bin compatible. The plan is to carry-on my 7U and never let it out of my sight. :-)
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