US Customs Agents love good Puer?


One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

Postby Trioxin » Oct 8th, '08, 14:26

I've yet to have a shipment inspected. Guess they don't find us hicks in the midwest to be much of a threat to national security. I have however had a lost shipment from Yunnan Sourcing (which was replaced, no questions asked). Maybe I have such impeccable taste they didn't want to give mine up.
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Postby heavydoom » Oct 8th, '08, 14:29

parcels go through x ray machines nowadays. one look at them, you know they are tea leaves, most would think for medicinal purposes. i have yet to have customs open up my pu box.
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Postby wyardley » Oct 8th, '08, 14:37

I think some of it is probably just random, or depends on the person doing the inspection. I'm sure that tea leaves could easily be used to hide drugs (especially since the smell might be able to cover things up), and a brick or cake of tea could possibly have drugs hidden inside.

I believe China had some stricter controls on stuff entering *or* leaving the country during the Olympics - I remember Imen posting on her site about how her olive pit charcoal didn't get through. I think some of those restrictions aren't completely relaxed yet.

Knock on wood, I don't think I've ever had any really intrusive inspections either.

Slightly funny (but unrelated) story - a vendor of Taiwanese teas who imports his own tea through his own company gets hassled by customs a lot. When I was at his shop, I noticed that many things, even pots with a 宜兴中国 chop, or CNNP puer cakes (things that are clearly from China had "Made in Taiwan" stickers on them. When I asked, he said that he had to put those stickers on to prevent customs from hassling him.
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Postby heavydoom » Oct 8th, '08, 14:42

good point about the olympics. paranoia of terrorism ran deep so any stuff coming/going to china must have been more scrutinized for searches.
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Postby uniformsquare » Oct 9th, '08, 07:05

This is really sad to hear. What if you were ordering some really high end stuff when this happens? Damaging and stealing tea is possibly the worst thing you can do, how is this not a crime punishable by death?
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Postby hop_goblin » Oct 9th, '08, 12:38

uniformsquare wrote:This is really sad to hear. What if you were ordering some really high end stuff when this happens? Damaging and stealing tea is possibly the worst thing you can do, how is this not a crime punishable by death?


I am not there yet thinking that they are stealing tea for personal enjoyment. I believe that if we have grams missing, they are testing it. Yes, I agree with you. Tearing into a beeng or tong or what have you will certainly detract from the price.
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Re: US Customs Agents love good Puer?

Postby AllanK » Jun 5th, '14, 22:39

I have a delayed shipment from Tuocha tea that I wonder if some customs officer is busy drinking now. I was shipped SAL about 50 days ago so it is about 15 days late.

If it is seized by US Customs for unknown reasons, do they have to inform you, or do you just never get the package?
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Re: US Customs Agents love good Puer?

Postby kyarazen » Jun 5th, '14, 22:52

AllanK wrote:I have a delayed shipment from Tuocha tea that I wonder if some customs officer is busy drinking now. I was shipped SAL about 50 days ago so it is about 15 days late.

If it is seized by US Customs for unknown reasons, do they have to inform you, or do you just never get the package?


strangely, i had a package to a good friend in the states containing like 200-300grams of tea, was untrackable for almost a month and just yesterday it showed up on usps tracking pending delivery..

i wonder too, if the us customs was trying to see if there was any pot or weed in the package.
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Re: US Customs Agents love good Puer?

Postby quikstep » Jun 6th, '14, 06:43

kyarazen wrote:
AllanK wrote:I have a delayed shipment from Tuocha tea that I wonder if some customs officer is busy drinking now. I was shipped SAL about 50 days ago so it is about 15 days late.

If it is seized by US Customs for unknown reasons, do they have to inform you, or do you just never get the package?


strangely, i had a package to a good friend in the states containing like 200-300grams of tea, was untrackable for almost a month and just yesterday it showed up on usps tracking pending delivery..

i wonder too, if the us customs was trying to see if there was any pot or weed in the package.


this is in fact true that the malaysian customs did find weed packed as puerh tea being sent to malaysia!
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Re: US Customs Agents love good Puer?

Postby TomVerlain » Jun 6th, '14, 06:46

my package is late too. In my case, arrived shanghai airport 5/2 and has not been seen since.

Here is a tracking link, in case you don't have it. It has more info than the USPS search.

http://intmail.183.com.cn/icc-itemtraceen.jsp
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Re: US Customs Agents love good Puer?

Postby AllanK » Jun 6th, '14, 12:22

I am wondering if one item in my package set off customs, a small 100g Puerh packed in bamboo. They might decide they have to open this.
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Re: US Customs Agents love good Puer?

Postby kyarazen » Jun 6th, '14, 12:47

quikstep wrote:this is in fact true that the malaysian customs did find weed packed as puerh tea being sent to malaysia!


haha! they should have added some opium to make the pu-erh more addictive :P
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Re: US Customs Agents love good Puer?

Postby solananl » Jun 6th, '14, 12:52

A few years back I had a package from Yunnan Sourcing opened by Dutch customs for the first and - hopefully - the last time. They broke open a tong of mini cakes, destroyed 3 of the mini cakes by pulverizing them and they unwrapped and broke a couple of full size cakes in half. The bottom of the box was filled with tea. When I filed a complaint at the postal services you get the standard reply that it cannot be determined whether the damage took place in shipment or by the customs officer. Right. I would rather have they took a small piece to run some tests on - I suppose you could drench tea in some forbidden substance - but leave the rest unharmed. The destruction just seemed so useless. Anyway, Scott replaced the destroyed cakes for me. Great service.
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Re: US Customs Agents love good Puer?

Postby AllanK » Jun 6th, '14, 21:30

solananl wrote:A few years back I had a package from Yunnan Sourcing opened by Dutch customs for the first and - hopefully - the last time. They broke open a tong of mini cakes, destroyed 3 of the mini cakes by pulverizing them and they unwrapped and broke a couple of full size cakes in half. The bottom of the box was filled with tea. When I filed a complaint at the postal services you get the standard reply that it cannot be determined whether the damage took place in shipment or by the customs officer. Right. I would rather have they took a small piece to run some tests on - I suppose you could drench tea in some forbidden substance - but leave the rest unharmed. The destruction just seemed so useless. Anyway, Scott replaced the destroyed cakes for me. Great service.

Hopefully I will not have to find out if Tuocha Tea's service is as good as Scott at Yunnan Sourcing. But at this point either they put it on a ship instead of a plane (the people at Tuocha Tea think this is what happened) or it is held up in customs. On the other hand it could simply be sitting in that black hole known as the ISC, US Postal Customs. Because it would not be scanned there I may never know.
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Re: US Customs Agents love good Puer?

Postby AllanK » Jun 12th, '14, 18:45

Has anyone had any problem with the shipment of Puerh packed in bamboo tubes? One of these was in my shipment and I fear that this is why I haven't received a shipment that should have arrived 25 or 30 days ago. Customs may think it drugs or even could think it a pipe bomb on an xray scanner.
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