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Guitars Getting Confiscated

posted Apr 16, 2014 16:03:22 by MichaelWamback
Wanted to post this as a sticky topic for now.

One of our members recently had their Chibson confiscated by Customs in New York. A second member had a Chibson bounce from Chicago to LA Customs, which is also a bit unusual.

While these may be isolated incidents, they may also be the beginning of a more vigorous crackdown on the importation of counterfeit goods by US Customs.

We will update this topic as new information becomes available. But you may wish to consider this risk when placing an order for a replica guitar if you live in the United States and discuss the possibility of the guitar getting confiscated with the seller when you purchase. In particular, you may wish to have them specify what their policy is if your guitar does end up getting confiscated. In most cases, sellers have offered a full refund, or to make and ship a new guitar.

There should be no risk of confiscation if you have ordered a guitar with an altered headstock shape and your own logo. This will apply only to guitars that break trademark laws.
[Last edited Apr 19, 2014 17:02:53]
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
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82 replies
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SteveTebble said Apr 19, 2014 16:26:52
I also suggested on another thread (can't find it now!) that as well as getting the seller to omit the Gibson logo and truss rod cover (both subjects of Gibson copyright) you could also ask them not to put 'MADE IN USA' on the back. I'd go so far as to leave the serial number off also, then when the guitar is safely in your possession, you can stamp what you like on there.
God give me patience ... but I want it NOW!!
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littlericky325 said Apr 19, 2014 20:03:06
Don't forget the "case candy" they typically include. Warranty forms and owners manuals.

I'm confused as to what's happened to my DG335. It went to customs the other day. The first time that's happened, this being the third guitar I've had delivered.

I just checked and it was released today:

2014-04-14 17:25:00 CHANGLE Posting
2014-04-14 18:48:29 CHANGLE Despatch from Sorting Center
2014-04-14 21:17:25 WEIFANG Arrival at Sorting Center
2014-04-14 21:32:51 WEIFANG Despatch from Sorting Center
2014-04-15 15:31:50 JINAN Arrival at Sorting Center
2014-04-15 15:35:05 JINAN Despatch from Sorting Center
2014-04-16 19:42:41 BEIJING Arrival at Sorting Center
2014-04-16 22:06:17 BEIJING Despatch from Sorting Center
2014-04-18 03:16:00 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA NEW YORK Arrival at Sorting Center
2014-04-18 03:17:00 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA NEW YORK Handed over to Customs
2014-04-19 06:29:00 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA NEW YORK Released from Customs
2014-04-19 10:47:00 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 117xx Arrival at Delivery Office
2014-04-19 11:03:00 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 117xx Attempted delivery

I had it delivered to work so I suppose they'll deliver it on Monday.

When I originally ordered the guitar I asked if I could get it in a different color and have the logo left off. ZJason said it was a stock guitar and built already but he could build another. Having the problem with Sara Lee with my custom order last time I said it was fine I'd take it as it was. The guitar didn't ship for a few weeks though. Perhaps he left the logo off? We'll find out Monday.
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ChibsonsandMore said Apr 19, 2014 22:50:55
That's happened on every single delivery I've got through NYC.

I'd say all your other shipments went through customs as well, just maybe they didn't scan it so it never showed up that they did.
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ChibsonsandMore said Apr 20, 2014 04:19:22
Update on mine (this is the green burst PRS with my logo on the headstock, shipped inside of a hard case):

Mine passed through New York City customs tonight at about 9PM.

2014-04-16 17:04:00 CHANGLE Posting
2014-04-16 18:55:49 CHANGLE Despatch from Sorting Center
2014-04-16 19:36:50 WEIFANG Arrival at Sorting Center
2014-04-16 21:16:12 WEIFANG Despatch from Sorting Center
2014-04-17 14:53:51 JINAN Arrival at Sorting Center
2014-04-17 15:08:44 JINAN Despatch from Sorting Center
2014-04-18 20:51:21 BEIJING Arrival at Sorting Center
2014-04-18 22:54:19 BEIJING Despatch from Sorting Center

EMS tracking hasn't updated but USPS has:

April 19, 2014 , 8:56 pm
Processed Through Sort Facility
ISC NEW YORK NY(USPS)

April 19, 2014 , 9:00 pm
Processed through USPS Sort Facility
XXXXXX, NY 11xxx
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ChibsonsandMore said Apr 21, 2014 14:21:56
Just another update on mine: It's out for delivery today. I'll post back here if it was opened and inspected by customs. If not, then assume it came through without a scratch!
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littlericky said Apr 21, 2014 16:46:41
Mine was delivered this morning. Customs never opened the box. I ended up owing $31 to customs though, I never had that before.

So looks like it was never "confiscated"
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ChibsonsandMore said Apr 21, 2014 17:32:23
Guitar arrived fine. Customs did not open the box at all and no fees this time.
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drew said Apr 21, 2014 17:34:20
^ How is the Customs fee presented/dealt with? Do you get a bill, or does the delivery man require payment on the spot, or what?
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ChibsonsandMore said Apr 21, 2014 17:42:12
In the USA: The USPS will deliver a card that says "You owe the amount $xx.xx" and you can pay the postman the next day or take it to the post office to pay.

I believe in England it is almost the same with ParcelForce.
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MichaelWamback said Apr 21, 2014 22:57:19
Can you guys also note which country you're in. It's helpful in tracking these things. Of course, we are mainly interested in the US at the moment, since that's where the recent issues were. As CGS mentioned, confiscations rumors in the UK and Germany haven't been confirmed, and nobody in here has reported any issues other than Chicago and New York.

I realize that guitars with your own logos are more likely to get clearance than straight up trademark infringement, but it is definitely helpful to know whether the box appears to have been opened or otherwise inspected. If they are taking a peak inside, it shows that they are on the lookout.
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
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ChibsonsandMore said Apr 22, 2014 01:56:07
As I noted above: Mine was not opened at all. I'm in the eastern part of the USA, came through New York City ISC. Arrived without any trouble, and no taxes to be paid.

Mine was shipped in a hardcase.
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littlericky325 said Apr 22, 2014 10:55:57
I'm in NY, US. Package wasn't opened. NOT shipped in a hardcase. I did owe customs $31. That didn't happen with either of the 2 other guitars from Ali. As mentioned this was the first guitar who's tracking said "handed to Customs". I also shipped this c/o a business address which was something I hadn't dome before
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RussGreer said Apr 22, 2014 14:20:20
Mine shows to of cleared customs in SF after 7 hours, should be delivered tomorrow....
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577-Jersey said May 04, 2014 14:02:21
After the big seizure how are things going,,
I would like to order one and live in NJ,,might sit back and wait a bit to see how things are flowing.If I do order one will get a custom logo for sure,,I don't see any issues as long as my own logo is on it.

Thanks guys :)
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TomS. said May 04, 2014 14:16:19
Tom G,
I just received my tracking number today so my guitar should be coming through this week or so. I will keep you guys posted. Also for the record, my guitar has a customized logo, no Gibson branding etc.

Edit: I forgot to mention, I am on the east coast U.S.
[Last edited May 04, 2014 14:17:32]
This is my Chibson. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
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