Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Receiving items from overseas

chemrox - 6-12-2021 at 13:33

I ordered some hard to find teas from a vendor in China. After taking two months to get to a USA port of entry (LA) my package was opened and inspected. Not only was the box opened but one of the professionally packaged and labeled containers was opened as well. I wonder whether the issue was China, a dog with a poorly trained nose or ongoing enablement of the gangs and regulatory industries. It was a small shipment. The box was 2 x 4.25 x 6.5 in inches. What a waste of time and money.
I posted this as an alert. I used to buy a lot of reagents from China. I was cheated a couple of times but never searched.

Jenks - 6-12-2021 at 16:20

That is strange. I receive items from China, occasionally chemicals, regularly through ebay and they are never opened, no matter how phony the customs declaration looks. The two things that come to mind is that either your package was leaking, or at least smelled of chemical, or maybe the sending address flagged something.

j_sum1 - 6-12-2021 at 23:17

I have had highly scented things opened and inspected before. I suspect the dog went nuts and they had to investigate.

Ubya - 7-12-2021 at 05:47

Strong scent and the appearence of loose ground leaves.
They might have thought your package was weed camouflaged as tea.

Sounds dumb i know, but i once bought from a member of this board a hand operated centrifuge, it was shipped in a shoe box with the original price tag(150-ish dollars), and once at the post office they asked me why the declared value of the package was different from the price tag on the shoebox. Mind you, it was a metal centrifuge of about 5-6 pounds, anyone with 3 functioning braincells would have understood that there weren't shoes in the box...

[Edited on 7-12-2021 by Ubya]

aab18011 - 7-12-2021 at 12:43

Funny, I ordered PCl5 from Ukraine, which is notorious with customs due to drug manufacture in the Slavic regions. The package was labeled "Фотографическая развитя", which means Photographic development. The package came sealed in like 10 layers of plastic, tape, etc. The customs checked it, but never opened it. Not sure if the excessive packaging had anything to do with the lack of inspection.

I have ordered teas before from UK and Russian/Poland, and only once did they check my box. If I recall, I think the bag of tea was cut open on accident during the original packaging (it looked like someone accidentally sliced with a box cutter). Upon arrival, each box in the package was open and resealed with crude tape. If this is the case, then I agree that the smell was the only issue. I can't imagine [they'd] want to just open up packages all day, as I bet its time consuming to do so.

macckone - 9-12-2021 at 10:55

A US perspective.
All natural plant matter is supposed to be inspected for pests and blight.
Chemicals and equipment are seldom inspected but food stuffs are supposed to be inspected.
In my experience food items occasionally aren't inspected but they more often are inspected.
This includes shipments from Hawaii and Puerto Rico as well as Guam, basically anywhere that isn't mainland USA.

Shipments to other countries are probably going to have similar experiences.
Within the EU, you probably won't get inspected but cross water and things change.