Importing Help Thread (WGC, RSOV, etc.)

Discussion in 'General Airsoft Discussion' started by Savior, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. Savior

    Savior New Member

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    First post; apologies if wrong place for this.

    I've been lurking various Airsoft forums for weeks searching for help guides/in-depth advice threads on importing Airsoft guns from abroad into the United States, specifically into New York state, with no luck.

    This began when I embarked on a quest to find a Cyma CM030 g18c in the Tan colored version from any store or online retailer in the US with no dice. The only suppliers I found in stock were the Hong Kong based RSOV.com and wgcshop.com.

    While I was excited to finally get my hands on the highly rated AEP at such a low price, I decided to do a little research on importing airsoft guns from HK, but didn't get very far as too many buyers came from different states/regions/countries with varying experiences.



    Here is some information I picked up along the way. (I have no way of confirming if any of this is still correct as some of this "advice" came from threads as far back as 2004, or from dubious sources)
    • Airsoft guns have as of late become a target of particular interest for additional scrutiny by US customs
    • Guns under a certain weight (I've heard anywhere from 1 to 5 pounds) are not given as much scrutiny inside their packages, and have a greater success rate of getting to their customers stateside
    • It is advisable to tell the company you are ordering from to either ship the gun you are ordering in multiple parts or with their trades removed, and a blaze orange tip glued/painted on
    • It is advisable to have the gun shipped with "1Joule AIRSOFT TOY" or something similar on the box itself
    • You may be charged additional fees, including various importing fees, taxes or duties, and your gun may be held for several months by customs.
    • Certain retailers are on "blacklist", and will have any packages shipped by them automatically set aside for stringent inspection/destruction/confiscation
    • Items like AEP's and parts including pistons and springs are more likely to make it through customs as their unique profiles will not arouse suspicion during scans. For this reason, importing a full-metal AEG is ill-advised.

    What I am most worried about are the importing fees (I have no experience whatsoever in importing goods from overseas, and do not even know how the various shipping companies operate in regards to international/interstate shipping) or the possibility of having my gun confiscated during inspection.

    TL;DR:

    Basically, I am looking for anyone who has ordered a Cyma CM030 or similar size AEP/GBB/Anything from overseas, especially using sites like RSOV or WGC into the state of New York to tell me if they had any problems getting their orders, or to explain to me how duties and import fees work (After all, getting a CM030 for around $50 directly from China doesn't really work if it gets slapped with anything that pushes it over $100, in which case I'd be better off waiting an eternity for stateside retailers to restock.)

    If anyone has any other suggestions/advice/experience in ordering from overseas, that information is welcome too! Just please try to keep in mind the specific laws change from state to state, so please remember to post where you are from.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  2. thatoneguy

    thatoneguy New Member

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    Most of the time, you get your trademarks scraped off. There's always the small chance of getting your gun seized but that is rather rare. If you poke around I'm sure you could find a used one. Actually I'm fairly sure I saw a CYMA G18 AEP in this sites classifieds. Let me see if I can get you a link.
     

  3. Knief

    Knief Moderator Staff Member

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    A lot of that is either exaggerated or complete crap all together. Ordering from Hong Kong isn't nearly as scary as it seems, and unless you're ordering a silencer, you have a very high chance of your product coming through fine.

    All guns without licensed trademarks need have their trademarks removed "permanently." "Permanent" doesn't actually have to mean permanent, though. Some retailers, like WGCshop, will dremel out trademarks, which obvious is permanent. But some places, like Ehobbyasia and UNCompany, cover the trademarks with a hard putty that you can often remove with a little elbow grease. I don't know what method RSOV uses. You should email them to ask if you want to order from them. I'd just order from Ehobby if they carry your chosen gun.

    All airsoft guns must have blaze orange tips. Any decent retailer (WGC, Redwolf, Ehobby, UNC, Den Trinity, and others) does this automatically, but again, you should email a place like RSOV to make sure they do as well.

    You may get charged a duty fee. For a CYMA pistol, it won't be much. Some retailers will offer to claim a lower percentage of the value of the gun to reduce your potential duty fee. If your chosen retailer does that, go with a 75% claim. It could save you some cash and isn't very conspicuous.

    No retailers are really black listed. This is a rumor that's been going around since I started playing airsoft over a decade ago. Whenever two people order from one place and both get their guns seized, they start yelling "blacklist!" Don't sweat it.

    It's generally less illegal to import parts with unlicensed trademarks. If your chosen retailer has the option for you to do that and it would make you feel more comfortable, go for it. It will usually cost you twice as much in shipping. Since you're ordering from HK, that's a lot of money, especially on a cheap pistol. I wouldn't do it. Expected value of that option is far too low. Think of it this way. If it's a $50 pistol and it costs you an additional $20 to ship it in two parts, you're saying that you think there's a 40% chance or greater that your gun will get seized. I would say that there isn't. But that's just an example. Take the extra shipping cost incurred by shipping it twice and divide it by the cost of the gun. That gives you a percentage. If you think that the chance of your gun getting seized is higher than that percentage, then you should do it that way. If you think the chance of your gun getting seized is lower than that percentage, then you should not do it that way.
     
  4. Savior

    Savior New Member

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    Interesting. I've used some online tools to calculate the total cost, including shipping and duties, to still be far less than the $100-$120 that Amazon, the only retailer with the CYMA cm030 in stock, charges for it.

    What I don't get is how that duty fee will be charged:
    After I pay the company, (lets say WGC) The $50 for the gun and the $20 for EMS Worldwide express shipping, how does the duty charge factor in? Will I be receiving a bill in the mail a few weeks after the package arrives? Before? Or will I have to pay some courier stateside (UPS, USPS, Fedex, etc)? And who will that bill be made out to and what are the payment options? (Will I have to go down to the local customs office and pay in cash? Money order? Credit card? ...I'd like to avoid paypal)

    If anyone else has any experience importing their guns from HK into NY, feel free to chime in with your thoughts!
     
  5. Sparky_D

    Sparky_D Moderator Staff Member

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    Pierce County
    In all my ordering overseas (several thousand dollars over the last 8+ years) I have never had to pay a Duty Fee.

    I have never even had a package opened for inspection.

    The companies that do business with the US know what they need to do to get orders through US Customs and most reputible shops guarantee successful processing. Check their FAQ and shipping web pages for details.


    You shouldn't have to worry about unlicensed trademarks on a CM030, as there are none.
     
  6. Knief

    Knief Moderator Staff Member

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    It's either with the package or after the fact, I've heard it coming both ways. You're paying federal taxes for importing a product, so you're not paying your courier, you're paying The Man. I'm assuming that you'll have to write a check or purchase a money order and mail it in. I've never been hit with a duty fee myself.
     
  7. Savior

    Savior New Member

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    Thanks for the quick responses guys!

    Again, I'm getting mixed messages here and elsewhere, especially since peoples orders and locations are all different, which of course results in different results. I've heard reviews from people who ordered full trade Tokyo Marui AEPs with no problems but have had items like CYMA CM122's confiscated by customs... It really seems like a crapshoot to me, which is why I'm looking for anyone who has specifically ordered and successfully received a Cyma cm030, from any HK retailer (WGC, RSOV, Uncompany, etc), shipped to New York.

    If anyone has this specific experience, or is thinking about ordering a cm030 from HK soon, please feel free to post about it, as I will be monitoring this thread religiously.
     
  8. Knief

    Knief Moderator Staff Member

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    The thing is, it's totally a crapshoot. Customs doesn't inspect most of what comes through the borders. And if your package is nabbed, what happens to it is entirely dependent on the customs agent, his knowledge of importing airsoft guns, his willingness to look up what he doesn't know, and whether or not he just found out that his wife is nailing the dude next door. I've seen people get guns through customs that didn't have tue orange tip and were covered in unlicensed trademarks. I've also seen entire orders seized because of one minor thing being out of compliance. And here's the kicker--those both happened to the same dude.

    Your specific gun and your location don't matter very much. The best way you can protect yourself is to ask that your gun have the tip pai ted orange, all trademarks covered, and don't buy a silencer. Outside of that, you're left up to the whims of your agent. But don't worry, the chances of seizure if you follow those rules is exceedingly rare.
     
  9. Savior

    Savior New Member

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    "Unfortunately, we live in a post 9/11 world where overzealous and uninformed customs officials will jump at any chance to confiscate anything and everything that seems like a threat to their hysterical minds, even if it turns out to be little more than a toy. If you get a letter from the customs bureau, get ready to retain a lawyer and take out a loan."

    The above was taken from another advice forum. It's sad that things like this scare off potential new players and strangle the sport here in the US by limiting supply. If only people could be more informed and less ignorant... But while I'm wishing I may as well ask for a unicorn and a trillion dollars.
     
  10. Knief

    Knief Moderator Staff Member

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    Don't worry, that scary quote is entirely ridiculous. Whichever forum that is, you should probably stop reading it. Or at least ignore the guy who wrote that pile of crap. You're not going to jail for buying an airsoft gun. I'ts good odds that customs won't open the box at all. If they do, it's good odds that they'll wave it on through anyway. If they don't, you're out $50 plus shipping. It's really not the end of the world. You're putting far too much thought into something that doesn't require it.
     
  11. Sparky_D

    Sparky_D Moderator Staff Member

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    Most of my purchases have been while living in this "Post 9/11" world.

    As Knief implied, it's much ado about nothing...