Bad news for collectors trading cartridges with people from the US:
As a reaction to the explosive devices being shipped from Yemen to the U.S. on October 29th 2010, the TSA has expanded a ban on airmail packages weighing more than 499 grams from being transported in the cargo-belly of U.S.-bound passenger flights.
As a consequence the Austrian and many other European postal services have ceased to accept any packets weighing more than 499 grams for shipping into the U.S. as of December 15th 2010. Unfortunately the Austrian postal service (and probably all other European postal services) also no longer offer any surface mail (sea freight) for overseas shippments.
No restrictions like these apply to true cargo airplanes that do not carry any passengers. However, small countries like Austrian do not operate any cargo airplanes and ever since used passenger airliners for the transportation of their cargo.
The only way for me now to ship any packets into the U.S. is the German cargo service DHL. However, I know that DHL X-rays their packets before they are allowed on their cargo airplanes. This has resulted in some packets containing cartridges being returned to the sender and having a note on them saying that the packet contains “prohibited items”.
Also, DHL is VERY expensive, a 2kg packet costs as much as 100 US $ !!!
As long as the TSA is not going to change its tight (stupid) security policy, it woun’t be possible to send any cartridges into the US any more.
Any European collector having a solution to this problem?