Ship Tips - Did you know...?

Did you know... that it is not legal to ship alcohol or tobacco products, or weapons, within the United States, unless the shipper is in possession of a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms to do such shipping? Want to ship a bottle of wine to your best friend for a special occasion? Check with the store where you bought the wine, and ask them about shipping it... most spirits stores have licenses to ship their products. The same thing holds true with tobacco retailers, and weapons dealers, many of which have licenses for their specific items. The cost of the licenses to ship these products (as much as $10,000 per year) is prohibitive for small businesses to purchase.

All packages are x-rayed as they are sorted, to determine whether there is any prohibited or dangerous material inside.

Did you know... that many countries have restrictions on items that can be shipped into their country? For example:

   - no cameras to Nepal (for religious reasons... so no one can capture the "essence" of their religions leaders)

   - no binoculars, cameras, or laptops to Iraq (for safety reasons... to prevent them from falling into hands of various factions to be used in warfare)

   - no linen to Guyana (for economic reasons... to avoid competition with local products)

   - packages to Russia must be shipped from a business to a business (not sure why)... nothing is admitted if addressed to an individual

   - many countries require import duties or taxes on goods valued over a certain dollar amount... these taxes are usually paid by the recipient

Regulations can change daily. Tim's Mail Place references an 850-page online manual to be certain that all items shipped can legally be received at the destination.



Did you know... that the kind of tape you use on a package may affect how or when it is delivered? Scotch Tape and Masking Tape will both come unstuck if they get wet, and the package can come open or the label come off completely. Duct Tape ("Duck Tape") used on anyone's package frequently peels up along the side or end, and another package or letter can stick to this rolled-up area and become a tag-along to some place it doesn't want to go, causing a delay in delivery. For best results, use some type of package-sealing tape (clear, strapping, or brown paper )... or just bring it in to Tim's Mail Place, and we'll seal it for you with material suited for the job.

The questions we ask.

By Law, we must ask if your package contains "liquids, perfumes, batteries, or any other dangerous goods." You'll hear this question at just about every shipping facility, and we don't mean anything personal or intrusive. It's just that for the safety of the passengers riding on aircraft carrying your boxes, we need to ask.

If your item contains a small electronic item with only a few batteries contained inside the device, that is usually okay. Packages of batteries, or loose batteries MUST be shipped via ground service (we use Post Office Ground, FedEx Ground, or LoneStar Overnight). This ensures that the charge held by the batteries cannot ignite any fumes or vapors and cause a fire or explosion on board an airliner (and yes, it has happened).

Liquids and perfumes can become problems when subjected to the differing air pressure and temperatures while being shipped. Again, ground transportation is indicated for these items.

"Other dangerous goods" can include (but are not limited to) dry ice, poorly-packed articles that may poke through packages and become a hazard to people handling them, aerosol cans (hair spray and the like), and even plants (that can contain harmful insects or have traits that can be detrimental to an area that has never seen them before... think 'kudzu').

Everything we do is to get your package to its destination intact,  while following all appropriate laws and regulations to keep things safe for everyone travelling on the same aircraft as your package.

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