New topic about shipping "How do you mark ship Inert items"


Does anyone know the facts on shipping inert ammunition (projectiles, ctg cases, fuzes, inert grenades, etc) by UPS, USPS FedEX both domestically and to Europe? How do I send something to England by surface that is inert? What a nightmare it has become. Thanks all.//


I have not had a problem shipping to England - only Russia.

I use the small Priority mail box, which is also for international priority up to 4 pounds. I include a note to customs on the inside explaining how the cartridges were inerted and that they are to be used for research and display purposes (that probably is meaningless to them). I typically drill the rimfire cartridges and remove the powder, then oil the priming. For centerfire, I usually pull the bullet, and tape it to the side of the cartridge. I pack the cartridges in small (2 x 3" and 3 x 4" xip lock bags and tape the bags securely to a piece of cardboard that is sized to just fit inside the box. I position the drilled cartridges in the bags so the hole in the case is clearly visible. I wrap the insert in bubble wrap to fill the empty space in the box so the cartridges can’t move. Once the box is sealed, use wide reinforced paper packing tape (the brown type that you have to moisten) around the three sides of the box (top, and ends) to secure it. The post offivce clerk will usually use the date stamp all arounf the edges of the tape as evidence that the box has not been opened enroute. I always ship by registered mail - costs an extra $11.50, but it ensures the packages are kept secure. On the customs form, indicate that the contents are ‘inert cartridges for research and display’. Again, I have not had a proble with shipments to England.

Good luck


Could anyone confirm how long on average it takes the mail by shipping from US to UK or Europe?


Depends on how it is shipped. By airmail only a few days. By surface mail it can take 6-8 weeks.


Many thanks, sadly i’ve been waiting 16 weeks now for some inert cartridges, I guess i’m never going to see them…


10 days to 2 weeks has been my experience. I think yours has been lost.

Do they actually seize packages? The few that I have had problems with were returned to me.


[quote=“GuyHildebrand”]10 days to 2 weeks has been my experience. I think yours has been lost.

Do they actually seize packages? The few that I have had problems with were returned to me.[/quote]

10 days to 2 weeks I take it that is by air mail? Mine was sent by boat, but may be it’s a row boat!! I’ve never had any problems before, so hopefully they will turn up at some stage, I have heard of inert grenades taking 3+ months.


As they are priority, they should go by air. I believe the slowdown is with customs.


Thank you all. What I gather is:

Domestic :
can use USPS and no requirement to mark as INERT Items… but may help.

Can use UPS or FedEX some may not want to ship … but is legal to do so.

If UPS or FedEX do not miss label… use correct info as to contents.

Use plenty of wrapping and put note inside

To Europe:

Can use USPS

Can request “surface shipment”.

Careful use of wording as to content and do tell truth

Insure contents

Do not need special numbers or labels etc as items are inert not live items

If possible disassemble and wrap individual components or send in two or more packages

Is this about it???


[quote=“GuyHildebrand”]10 days to 2 weeks has been my experience. I think yours has been lost.

Do they actually seize packages? The few that I have had problems with were returned to me.[/quote]

That’s not neccesary, I once had a parcel coming from South Africa which took nine months.
It arrived in good condition and wasn’t opened or checked by costums.
Regards Rene


I sent a couple of aircraft cannon rounds to South Africa in 2009 and they never arrived. They just disappeared.


For CONUS: assuming they are willing to have their finger in that particular ‘cookie jar’, a local law enforcement or EOD tech (in my AO, many bomb techs are FD, not PD) could ‘sign off’ on a particular item as inert/deactivated/etc.

I have done this for some local collectors (no IAA thus far, just military re-enactors) who wished to take every precaution.

I sometimes order inert/display items for training at my agency; I’ll get in touch with that company and see what info they may have.

I can’t imagine the hassles of shipping overseas these days. I sent an inert/mockup/cutaway of a land mine to a friend at the UN that was doing a presentation in the early '90s…that wound up being an un-fun experience.


I just dropped a Northern Ireland bound package of inert 7.92 x 57 and 9mm P cartridges off at the post office. The cost for the small priority box is $12.48 for up to 4 pounds to just about anywhere in the world; registered mail adds another $11.50, and is supposed to ensure that the package is secured enroute. For about $40 worth of cartridges, that’s a lot to have to pay to get them shipped, but it has proven to be fairly reliable and I suspect it is cheaper than the alternatives. I’ll try to remember to report back on the arrival date. In the meantime, I’ll keep my fingers crossed.