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Bye-bye USA! [Updated: and Hello!]

Posted by Dave Bull at 7:44 AM, November 17, 2010 [Permalink]

A few minutes ago, I made the following change to the subscription page for my Mystique series of prints:

"Notice: effective immediately, I am no long able to accept new subscriptions to this series from collectors based in the USA. The TSA and DHS (don't you love those acronyms) are enforcing new restrictions on air cargo, and in response to these, the Japanese Post Office has suspended acceptance of packages heavier than 16 ounces for the US from 'non-trusted' sources. That includes me.

"Individual prints are small and light enough to 'fly under the radar', but the storage/display box is not, so a subscription sans box would be possible (if you were willing to build one yourself.) I have no idea how long these restrictions will be in place. Believe me, I am sorry!"

Thank you TSA! I guess this is in response to all those package bombs that we Japanese have been sending over there! I mean, some of my prints are bombs, but I didn't mean you to take it like this!

Note for current collectors: don't panic ... your prints will continue arriving as scheduled. The new restrictions are on packages over 16 ounces, and your monthly print package is under that level ...

[Update: as described below, a 'work-around' to the situation has been handed to me by a friend/collector over in the US. In short, I'll ship some cases in bulk via sea freight, and they will be sent out to new collectors by US domestic parcel carrier.]


Following comment posted by: Dave on November 17, 2010 1:57 PM

About the 'non-trusted' thing ... It seems (nothing is quite clear on this) that air cargo from verified and trusted senders is being allowed through by the TSA. The post office here does have a kind of 'verification' system whereby shippers are allowed to pay later for postage, etc., but I am not eligible to be part of that, not being a large company ... bonded, guaranteed, etc.

Following comment posted by: Jan on November 17, 2010 11:36 PM

Customers living near the Canadian border may be able to set up a PO box in Canada - unless it applies here too.

Following comment posted by: Margaret on November 18, 2010 1:13 AM

This is so awful. Perhaps you might ask Metafilter to see if someone can come up with a solution to the shipping problem? How much does the package with the box weigh?

I assume that you get a fair number of your subscriptions from the US.

Following comment posted by: Dave on November 18, 2010 2:15 PM

... ask MetaFilter ...

Well, at the moment I wouldn't dare bring up anything TSA related over there, that's for sure! The wider 'scanner' situation seems to be taking over ...

But in any case, a solution of sorts has been presented to me, in the form of an offer from a long-time friend (and collector) in the US. I'll be preparing a 'bulk shipment' of pre-packaged cases, each one with the 1st print included, and will send them to her via sea freight. Once they are ready at her place, it should be a relatively simple matter for her to wait for my instructions, and then when a new collector signs on, to slap on a label and send one out. Subsequent single-print shipments will go directly from here. It'll add another layer of costs, but can't be helped ...

Friends! Mankind's best invention! :-)

a fair number of your subscriptions from the US

At present, it is 62 out of the current total of 125, which is interestingly an almost mathematically exact 50%. Japanese addresses make up 40 (including a few foreign residents here), leaving 23 for other places around the globe (mostly in Europe, but a couple in Asia).

Following comment posted by: Ken Morgan on November 19, 2010 11:09 PM

If you need an address for the East Coast, you can add me to your list.

Following comment posted by: Mark Mason on November 20, 2010 7:42 AM

Hi Dave,
It sounds like you've got a friendly workaround arranged which is good.
I was going to offer a similar option shipping out from the UK if it would have helped.

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