I have sent numerous packages of INERT cartridges to various countries in Europe in the last 3-4 years with NO problems. I have always put “INERT CARTRIDGES” on the customs form. Yesterday I tried to send a package to Spain. The clerk refused to accept the package, even though I assured him that ALL the cartridges were INERT. I asked him for a copy of the ruling that said it was not mailable. He referred me to the following section of the International Mail Manual, effective 4 Jan. 2010
Please note that this ruling ONLY applies to EXPORT, not Import through the U.S. mail system, nor does it prevent shipping within the U.S. of Inert Ammo. However, also note that the ruling is based on a Universal Postal Union ruling as follows:
[color=#4000FF]Consistent with Proposals 20.15.2 and 20.15.6adopted by the 24th Congress of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in Geneva Switzerland on July 23August 12, 2008,that amend Article 15 of the UPU Convention, we are revising Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, International Mail Manual (IMM[supreg]) to make replica and inert explosive devices and counterfeit and pirated items nonmailable. [/color]
There are only 4 countries that do not abide by the UPU rules for international mail, and none of those are countries you are going to be shipping from. So, this rule effectually stops ALL International shipments of ALL cartridges, inert or not.
You MIGHT get away with shipping empty cartridges by declaring them as “Brass Tubes”, etc. But if they happen to X-Ray or open the package, you can then be nailed for a false customs statement.
I questioned the clerk on the following section:
[color=#8040FF]Consistent with Proposal 20.15.2, this prohibition is intended to apply to devices that were originally[/color] [color=#FF0040]designed for military or combat use[/color] [color=#8040FF](including training) and is also extended to replicas of such items. Specific items include replica and inert explosive devices and military ordnance, such as grenades, [/color] [color=#FF0040]ammunition[/color] [color=#8040FF], shells and the like.
I pointed out that I thought the ruling applied ONLY to military cartridges, not hunting cartridges. At that point he called the Post Master who said that in his opinion, it applied to ALL ammunition. So, I suppose there is some wiggle room depending on the interpretation of the local post office.
Also note, there is NO wording, as in the older State Dept. ruling that has been discussed here before, about holes in the case and/or bullet etc. making the cartridges unusable.
So, it appears to me that they have finally found a way to put an end to the International shipment of ammunition of any description or condition.