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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000325.txt from 2004/08

Subj: RE: Fwd: Re: [kl] Morrie's contribution
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2004 17:03:33 -0400


I cringe when I think of this horrible ongoing experience with shipping your
new clarinet to Morrie.

I have quite a bit of experience shipping things to him and have done so
many times.

You are correct in that FedEx should be used. Yes, it is more expensive to
ship via FedEx, but in the long run it will be worth every penny. I have
shipped things to Morrie using International Priority and Morrie actually
got it the next day, late in the day. Sometimes he would get it the second
day due to the time that the package arrived in customs. You can also use
International Economy which takes a few days.

When sending anything to Morrie from the U.S. use FedEx International Air
Waybill. This is a different and large form than for domestic use.

There is additional information that will need to be notated on this airbill
in block # 3 which refers to information required by customs. One of those
is the harmonized code for what you are shipping. You can look up this code
on the FedEx web site.

In addition to this special air waybill, you will need to fill out a
commercial invoice which is required by Canadian customs in order to clear
the shipment. If you don't do this, you shipment will sit in customs limbo.
Again, the FedEx website can provide a downloadable form and instructions on
how to fill this out.

Finally, the most important thing that you need to notate on this commercial
invoice is that this instrument is "For Repair Only - No Commercial Value"
"Warranty Repair". This is the magic phrase that gets you through customs
faster than you can normally get through and when you shipment is released
for delivery will not require that Morrie pay any customs duty as this is
not being imported, but only for repair and return.

When giving the actual dollar value of the clarinet, you should give some
dollar value as I tried to put zero and this delayed this one shipment for
me by a day. Always show at least $1.00 in value. Morrie usually shows a
little more, but it is always less than $50.00.

Whenever you plan on shipping anything to Morrie, talk to his wonderful
secretary Susan Jaffe. She can give you good advice and tell you how to fill
out the paperwork also. Here is her direct e-mail address:

I would also recommend that nothing be sent to Morrie without discussing
what you are sending and why. If you don't want to pay for a long distance
phone call, at the very least send him an e-mail. I have talked to Morrie by
phone and he loves to talk (if you get my drift), My phone bill ended up
costing more than the shipping charge, but it was well worth the money just
to talk with him personally.

By the way, if your package should get delayed by customs, just call FedEx
International and they will work to find out what the delay is and get it
released. That's their job and it's included in the shipping charge, nothing
extra. I did have one shipment which was delayed (see my mention of putting
zero for a dollar value) and FedEx submitted a corrected notation to change
the value to $1.00 which got it released within 12 hours.

I hope this helps anyone else interested in this thread.

Tom Henson
Houston, Texas

Andy said << Correction.... that's mid-JUNE that I sent the instrument

--- Andy Raibeck <> wrote:

> Nancy, thanks for posting this on Tom's behalf, what a great story. It
> says a lot about Morrie and Tom as well.
> For anyone who sends clarinets to Morrie from the US: whatever you do,
> do NOT use USPS. Use FedEx instead. Apparently Backun Musical Services
> and FedEx have some kind of arrangement that facilitates the customs
> process. I sent my newly acquired Patricola 'A' clarinet to him via
> USPS, and it got stuck in customs waiting for Backun to fill out some
> forms and pay exhorbitant import taxes.
> Backun wouldn't do it (understandably so, since this is going in for
> repair only, then coming back to me). Supposedly when shipped via
> FedEx, this nonsense isn't even an issue. I sent the instrument out in
> mid-July, and am *still* waiting for the customs broker to return it
> to me. Right now, I am trying to figure out whether I should simply
> report it as stolen, as getting the broker to return any calls or
> provide useful information is fruitless... Even if I get it back, I
> hope it hasn't been damaged from sitting in whatever environment they
> are keeping it in...

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