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Balikbayan Box inspections


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There was a thread a little while back about one the guys on the forum having his BB dissected by Homeland Security. Well, it looks like they are inspecting every box! Hope this big brother crap doesn't spread to the rest of the world. This only effects the US. Have a look at this artical:

 

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SkyMan

Why, oh, why does Homeland Security care what's leaving the country? As long as it isn't radioactive or infectious, what's it matter?

Edited by SkyMan
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They think we are possibly shipping AK-47s to Bin Laden, And then he will use them in Iraq. The problem with that thinking is Bin Laden and his boys already have weapons up the ying yang and if they happen to run out of bullets, they just head over to Iran. its a lot closer.

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richard90027

Whats the problem with ceramic Tableware and food items ? We all send food items.

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musicman666

They think we are possibly shipping AK-47s to Bin Laden, And then he will use them in Iraq. The problem with that thinking is Bin Laden and his boys already have weapons up the ying yang and if they happen to run out of bullets, they just head over to Iran. its a lot closer.

 

if that was the case then why not just xray only?

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1. Its too easy

2. It makes sense

3. Some TSA agents would not have a job.

4. Its too easy

5. See 3/5

 

 

They think we are possibly shipping AK-47s to Bin Laden, And then he will use them in Iraq. The problem with that thinking is Bin Laden and his boys already have weapons up the ying yang and if they happen to run out of bullets, they just head over to Iran. its a lot closer.

 

if that was the case then why not just xray only?

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$2400 to inspect a full container of BB boxes? *cough*ahem*cough* BS. Particularly with the 2-3 week "inspection" time. Unless of course the DHS is now paying pilipino wages.

 

Even if they could scan an entire container at once it sure as hell would cost more than $2400.

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Stranded Shipscook

It may come as a surprise to some of you, but this is not new at all. (Although not directly related to the Article, but still interesting)

 

I was in the Express Forwarding Business since 1979 and it was / is common practise to inspect EVERY shipment of private citizen (companies too, if they were suspected to be "liberal" in their shipping policies to say Construction sites offices abroad.) Please not also, that i am NOT defending this Practise, I just tell you, so please do not attack ME :-)

 

This went like that (without your knowledge,but you agreed when signing the Shipping documents)

 

During 1979 - 1985:

Ground Courier picks up your shipments and brings it to his Operations Office warehouse.

Guys at the Warehouse have box cutter knifes and slit everything open and snoop through your stuff looking for "counterfits".

If nothing found according to their "manuals" they seal it with tapes. The tapes look somewhat official like "Open for Customs Inspection".

If something found the customers service calls the shipper and return p*orn Magazines, perishables, Guns and ammo or whatever to him.

 

As i was Operations Supervisor at DHL for a few months too, i was in charge of that process and can not deny that it was pretty entertaining....

Discretion don't allowed me to say what we found, but let your imagination play the full spectrum or human deviations from standard norms.

I can say, however, that we found at least 3 or 4 times a year things, where we actually had to call the Police. Drugs ! From co-employees in the US i know that they had an eternal problems with Firearms or ammunition. Disguised and hidden, so the shipper KNEW what he was doing!

 

Sometimes the Postal or Police authorities came by and looked together with us, which slowed the process down enormously to the point that we missed the cutoff times for departure flights.

 

from 1990 until 1998 i had my own little company and did not inspect the shipments at first because i always thought this is too indiscreet and i was just co-loading anyway.

I quickly stopped that, because the whole shipment was returned to me without customer service calling and i lost a day in transit to the effect of an unsatisfied customer.

But according to some sources inside the business they have not changed the procedures since 1979 although they now use X-ray scanners too.

 

 

WHY they do all this:

 

a.) it slows down an entire customs clearance at the destination when ONE shipment has been found with "counterfits", because the authorities will then inspect ALL shipments.

b.) Since in the old days the shipments are accompanied by a living courier, it is a bit problematic for those, because according to law, the person with the excessbaggage is held liable at first. At least until the Company attorneys bail him out of the slammer. No joke, it happened a lot !

c.) if the forwarders, in this case DHL are found to be forwarding a lot of those items, they will simply be inspected ALWAYS, which is deadly i logistics, cause it sometimes takes days to clear customs. And that would be not in your interest either, right.

 

 

Why normal forwarders don't do that

because the clear ALL shipments individually on BEHALF of a customer and therefore are not held liable, while the express forwarders (and the Balikbayan Operators) consolidate and clear all shipments in their names, which simplifies and speeds the process and makes it cheaper also.

 

I got no knowledge regarding the Homeland Security in the practical way, but i think above explanations are sufficient enough. But i would not bet on it that the companies sometimes hide between this law in order to explain those practises to an understandible upset customer. After all they do invade privacy. (remember the sections with the tape "Opened for Customs Inspection?. This was the tape we used in the office before we shipped and it had nothing to do with customs at all, customs is at the destination!) I can imagine now, many guys use "Opened according to homeland security act..., blablabla )

 

Hope that helped...

Edited by Guenther
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washingtonian88

I understand everyone needs job security and justify an existence but has anyone has any report of anyone sending balikbayan boxes with really dangerous or illegal items?

I would like to read them please....

 

"Used clothing in commercial quantity.." heck, what if someone sends a box with nothing but used clothing for the whole barangay of people and kids? And why has this become prohibited? If someone does send used clothing in an LBC box to resell... well, that person has paid $60 for each box. You think that's commercial amount? Is there any money to be made? And what's the security issue of sending tantamount used clothing? American skin disease to pass on to the Filipino people? Filipinos have great immune system you know. We'll bleach the whole thing, boil it before use. And why would Homeland Security worry about the used clothing sent to the Philippines? What's the security issue? Anyone please shed some light on me.

 

Thank you.

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Just another way for us gov to collect more money peroid. They should worry about whats comming in not out.

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So this is the rest of the story - apparently it isn't just an American thing - it is world wide -

 

 

 

http://www.dhs.gov/y...4331815795.shtm

 

 

 

For Immediate Release

Office of the Press Secretary

Contact: 202-282-8010

 

BRUSSELS

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SkyMan

Damn, and for my next shipment I was going to send my extensive collection of Haitian Animal Hide Drums and a herd of Angus on the hoof. There gooes that plan. I noticed Automobiles are banned but not motorcycles. I'm just sayin.... :lol:

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Stranded Shipscook

I understand everyone needs job security and justify an existence but has anyone has any report of anyone sending balikbayan boxes with really dangerous or illegal items?

I would like to read them please....

 

"Used clothing in commercial quantity.." heck, what if someone sends a box with nothing but used clothing for the whole barangay of people and kids? And why has this become prohibited? If someone does send used clothing in an LBC box to resell... well, that person has paid $60 for each box. You think that's commercial amount? Is there any money to be made? And what's the security issue of sending tantamount used clothing? American skin disease to pass on to the Filipino people? Filipinos have great immune system you know. We'll bleach the whole thing, boil it before use. And why would Homeland Security worry about the used clothing sent to the Philippines? What's the security issue? Anyone please shed some light on me.

 

Thank you.

 

I agree with you, unfortunately those shipments (and Aid shipments in general ) are widely abused by bad elements.

I do not like the homeland security act at all, but as you see on my prior post, the inspection of shipments have always been and will always be due to the ignorance or even sometimes illegal intentions of individuals.

Drugs, Guns, the list is endless. In your example also the wrong declaration of items.

There are multiple examples i had during my active shipping days when even Multinational companies try to sneak items through.

Two example of thousands ; a multinational leading semiconductor company, we all know him, tried to ship 10000 microships of the latest technology to Teheran through the DHL system hidden in a box full of boring manuals.

It was not discovered by the staff, but by German (Export) customs, the value was 112 million US dollars,but the severe part was that those chips were banned from export due to military restrictive.

Another scandal was the shipping of the entire blueprint series of the Leopard II Tank to Israel, also by above mentioned forwarder. (They now build something very alike...)

 

One can not blame DHL for it, who in hell can distinguish Blueprints of a truck from a Tank.(i am talking layman here) but after those dicoveries they had a really really hard time.

 

So we all have to suffer from the faults of others, sad but its a fact of live.

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government more and more wants to interfere with a citizens normal life, whether justified or not. it weakens them, gives them something else to preoccupy their minds. then they wont have time to consider that the government is screwing them bigtime.

 

meanwhile, i doubt it will interfere with the CIA's smuggling operations.

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Just another way for us gov to collect more money peroid. They should worry about whats comming in not out.

 

My 0.02 centavos:

 

There are things that cannot be exported from the U.S. to any or some countries.

 

Use to work for a semiconductor company and every other year we have an Export Compliance Seminar to be updated with new regulations. There were things that we shipped that need special licenses, example is a cyanide plating solution.

 

 

There were times that we missed special approval on some items and had to make a disclosure to the Export Compliance Bureau rathed than being caught. There were companies that were heavily fined for being caught.

 

We were also a CTPAT tier 1 certified company (Customs and Trade Participation Against Terrorism).

 

BTW, Guenther, at one time we were using DHL and met a lot of your co-employees. One was an Swedish I.T. guy, can't remember his name.

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