No more US-Mocs for Europe from now on...

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No more US-Mocs for Europe from now on...

Postby LPS-in-Germany » Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:30 pm

It is the worst happened to me since I collect LPS.
I bought two MOCs on US ebay weeks ago. The Lil' Magic Drinkin' Filly plus the Guinea Pigs.
Additionally I ordered a bunch of vintage Playmobil sets for my daughter's Christmas presents.
All of those were shipped to Joey and he was friendly enough to ship the whole stuff in one package to Germany.

On Tuesday I had mail from the local customs authorities asking me to pick up my box. I was happy it arrived safe and sound, so I made it to them yesterday. Well, long story short: I left the small office WITHOUT anything. :cry: :cry: :cry:
The import of "new" products without the famous CE-mark on packaging is not allowed anymore, and yes, the US versions don't have this seal on their boxes / backcards. I was flashed and closed to tears. Thanking God all of the playmobil boxes had this "CE"-mark on them. Guess what - I was not allowed to take them with me as well. Reason: They were in one box with those LPS sets. I am still speechless of so much desinterest and so much arbitrariness and lawlessness.

When life sucks and you're only searching for some luck and light by collecting toys, not even this is possible because it seems that people want to see you down!!! In this case even innocent children get punished for nothing...
Ladies from Europe: Be aware of buying MOCs!!
"Now I'm not looking for an absolution, forgiveness for the things I do - but before you come to any conclusions,
try walking in my shoes, try walking in my shoes
"

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Re: No more US-Mocs for Europe from now on...

Postby Nina:) » Fri Oct 09, 2015 2:50 am

Thats sooooo bad ;( ;( ;(
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Re: No more US-Mocs for Europe from now on...

Postby Waylah » Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:32 pm

I don't understand. This is crazy and horrible and I will fight this. What will happen to the package? Will it be sent back to Joey?

Surely there is some way it can be made clear that this is an historical item, and not really 'new'?

I don't want to give up on this. Do you specifically collect MOCs or are you most interested in the toys? Do you collect loose packaging? Here's what I'm thinking:

If it is sent back to Joey, he can open (super carefully) the two MOCs and then send you the playmobils and the pony and guinea pigs, which will then be 'used' and not 'new', and if you collect back-cards, those too, and if you don't collect back cards, you can sell them and Joey can send them to whoever buy them.

Or if you don't want to do that, Joey can send back to you the playmobil only, and you can sell the LPS, so at least you would get your money back. I know you paid a lot for them, and I'm pretty sure I was the second-top bidder on both of those, so I feel responsible. I'm prepared to pay you what you paid for them.

I just can't stand to think that they are there, in your city, for you, and they won't let you have them. Can you find online the official rules regarding CE? There might be some clause there that excludes products made more than X years ago?

We WILL make this right. *determined face*
***Open for trade!*** looking for: 1993 case collar, mail-order puppies basket handle, and boxes and back cards

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Re: No more US-Mocs for Europe from now on...

Postby katze016 » Fri Oct 09, 2015 8:05 pm

I'm so sorry, Cora. That is just awful!!

I'm with Waylah on this. There has got to be some way to differentiate between a collectible and a toy intended for a child to play with, and we'll find it. If you can direct us to any official documents or webpages regarding customs regulations in Germany I'd be happy to help read through all the fine print.

Don't give up hope! We'll get this figured out.
"All I want to do is dance, until I fall into the undiscovered depths of my mind." ~ unknown
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Re: No more US-Mocs for Europe from now on...

Postby Alie » Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:12 am

I'm very sorry for you Cora. It's so unfair another stupid regulations. :(
Every time I feel incredulous as if they invent new just to complicate still more.
Thank you for having warned other buyers.
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Re: No more US-Mocs for Europe from now on...

Postby LPS-in-Germany » Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:07 am

Thank you ladies, for all your kind words...

First of all: I received a call from our local customs authorities earlier this morning. They told me I was (THANKING GOD) able to pick up all the Playmobil items for Aline & Tessa. This was quite great news as it was an expensive thing to buy all those vintage sets with box!!!

DSCN0226.JPG


I had also an LPS necklace, plate, bowl and both LPS MOCs in the box. I was also able to keep the plate & the bowl. The necklace and both MOCs are on their way back to Joey right now. I had to learn so many things since past Wednesday :evil: :evil:

Kate: There is one way to differentiate between a collectible and a toy intended for a child to play with. The package must appear that its content is just for people ages 14 and up! It must also point out that it's NOT a toy to play with. And .... :lol: :lol: :lol: all warnings must be written in GERMAN!! (I assumed, we were all one, here in Europe!? Well - only sometimes...)

In general: They don't care about if a toy is used, or new. As long as it has not the CE-mark on packaging we're not allowed to import it. When there's no packaging at all, you can forget bringing it home immediately. By way of summary, this stupid lady told me that I can stop collecting from today on. After I came home I checked the internet for more information about the rules I violated (Ohhhhhhh myyy, we still must think that I talk about TOYS!!). I found an article telling that toys, produced before 20.07.2011, are excluded from this special regulation (2009/48/EG). I was confused and called the Düsseldorf district government (where the customs authorities provided my box for its examination). Long story short: It was a friendly guy but he couldn't tell me anything new. Problems will arise if I try importing LPS toys from outside the EU. He is independent of the customs authorities and counseled me trying it out and see what happens.

That's what I'll do: No risk, no fun. Not all packages get the "all round" service like this one ;)
I have already consulted Nina - she wants to try receiving the box for me. I guess I was just unlucky - this terrible woman disliked me from the beginning since I entered the room. After she had checked the invoice, she criticized that there was no article-name on it. As I showed her, that there WAS an article-name, it seemed to me she felt caught. At this moment, I should have known she would cause problems... :evil: :evil:

Waylah - the items will stay as MOCs for now. Normally I am just interested in the backcard, but of course I prefer a MOC. If shipping to Nina fails as well, I'd love to sell those sets to you (without the backcards since I need them for my own).

For now I still hope it works :( :(

Alie - It would be interesting to know if France authorities are that picky as well. Do you have any experiences?
"Now I'm not looking for an absolution, forgiveness for the things I do - but before you come to any conclusions,
try walking in my shoes, try walking in my shoes
"

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Re: No more US-Mocs for Europe from now on...

Postby loves toys » Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:55 pm

Not really sure if this would work or not, but what if we made CE-mark stickers and put in on the items, if possible on the plastic so that it could be removed once you receive it? I know it's not ideal, but maybe it would work? But hopefully Nina will receive it with no problems!
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Re: No more US-Mocs for Europe from now on...

Postby TequilaMockingbird » Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:58 pm

Yeah. If you have a scan I can print them and stick them on. These rules are so bogus. I hope this never happens in the US. Land of the free! Lol
You can't change your destiny, so change your attitude!
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Re: No more US-Mocs for Europe from now on...

Postby Waylah » Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:34 am

Ha, I was thinking that too.
Here are stickers you can buy to label products. I think the stickers might help it reach Nina.
http://www.safety-label.co.uk/collections/ce-labels
***Open for trade!*** looking for: 1993 case collar, mail-order puppies basket handle, and boxes and back cards

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Re: No more US-Mocs for Europe from now on...

Postby LPS-in-Germany » Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:37 am

Well, faced to the fact it turned out that not only the CE-mark was the problem, we shouldn't risk to get caught in cheating ;) (Also all warnings have to be printed in German on the boxes)
The producer is responsable for marking the boxes with the CE-mark. If we did it instead and the customs officers would notice...oh myyyyyyyy...I am not sure what would happen :o :shock: :lol:

I am a "funloving child"...and I have done a lot to get what I want during the past few years of collecting LPS. I just think that I am through with our local customs authorities here. They have an eye on me, why I decided to let everything ship to Nina for the moment.

I am so thankful that I am rather complete with my collection. Thinking about how much money I spent on US-ebay and how many, many packages have been arrived during this period of time is making me dizzy. The man from the district government told me I should be happy with what I have. Rules for imports will become more stricter within the next years. :? :?

Did it happen that anybody of you US-people have picked up a box from Germany at the customs authorities?
"Now I'm not looking for an absolution, forgiveness for the things I do - but before you come to any conclusions,
try walking in my shoes, try walking in my shoes
"

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Re: No more US-Mocs for Europe from now on...

Postby Waylah » Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:49 am

Here in Australia I have only ever had a parcel checked by customs two times. But it was then just sent on directly to me. This was only to check if it contained anything dangerous, like illegal weapons. (I suspect the magnets sometimes set off the alarms). Our customs only care about things like that, and especially any environmental risks, like wood that might contain bugs. Because we're on an island, any pests we don't have here, we would like to keep out. But we don't have customs caring about commercial products, CE marks, and there are no import fees unless the item is worth more than $1000. So we're pretty lucky.
At our new house here, the parcels are delivered early in the morning while we're still home, which is great, because at the old house, they would come in the middle of the day when we were out, and then take the parcel back to the post office so I'd have to find the time to collect it.
***Open for trade!*** looking for: 1993 case collar, mail-order puppies basket handle, and boxes and back cards

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Re: No more US-Mocs for Europe from now on...

Postby twincheckers » Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:55 am

I don't think they monitor the mail all that well in the US... When you ship using certain services, they ask if you're sending anything "liquid, fragile, perishable, or hazardous." MANY times, my parents who live cross country have sent perishable things and MANY times I've sent nail polish or other liquids. All we have to do is say "no" to the question. I've been getting international packages for 8 years now and I've never had a problem, never had to pick it up, never had it get opened at customs, nothing.

Of course USPS would have to actually keep track of packages and scan them consistently... oh, and put the right tracking labels on the boxes in order to start monitoring what's shipped....

(On a somewhat related note, my boyfriend starts his new job...as a postal worker.... on Monday... Ironic given how negatively I talk about USPS.... 8-) :lol: )

The whole thing sucks, Cora. Hopefully Nina can receive them for you with no problem.
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Re: No more US-Mocs for Europe from now on...

Postby LPS-in-Germany » Fri Oct 16, 2015 2:13 pm

Oh my, you're lucky ones...
The problem we have - and why our customs behavior totally variates from yours - is that the german government makes money on every single delivery.

If an item has value up to 21€, they don't ask anything (they're so kind, aren't they?! :shock: ). If its value is 22€ and more (up to 150€) they ask 19% value added tax on the items and at the end - when an item is 150€ and more, they ask the 19% tax PLUS an item-specific customs fee. This calculation additionally includes the costs for shipping! During these 3 years I still couldn't find out any structure. I have received packages with an amount for shipping of about 55$. This is always well visibly written on the boxes. Normally I must have payed taxes on it which I didn't...

At the customs office it works like this:
They ask you if you're waiting on a package. They always eye you distrustful when you say "no, it must be a gift". For that I reason I prefer to pay taxes on less sums than coming into question for a gift. Then you give them the invoice which is obligatory. It's nearly impossible being allowed to keep an item without a bill. Then they give you a box cutter and advise you opening the box. In front of their eyes you have to unpack everything (except for MOCs - I even had to unpack a MIB one day). If the content looks like a gift you might be lucky (as far as the rest goes conform with the dozens of foolish european rules).
"My" stupid customs lady made such a drama out of the whole thing that all of her collegues noticed me and the fact I collect toys. They will never let me pick up a package again - I am sure.

Well - for the moment I hope that Nina will be able to receive the things for me without any problems... :?
"Now I'm not looking for an absolution, forgiveness for the things I do - but before you come to any conclusions,
try walking in my shoes, try walking in my shoes
"

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Re: No more US-Mocs for Europe from now on...

Postby Waylah » Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:55 pm

Oh wow, it's like they treat you as a criminal just for receiving a parcel!
I will make a special note to make sure I always gift-wrap anything I send to Germany.
***Open for trade!*** looking for: 1993 case collar, mail-order puppies basket handle, and boxes and back cards

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Re: No more US-Mocs for Europe from now on...

Postby LPS-in-Germany » Tue Nov 24, 2015 3:06 pm

The gift method only has a chance when it is coincidentally christmas again. Then you only have to pay attention that the content of the box also looks like a gift. A personal note or somethign like that is necessary then...

During the other months I try to make it look like a purchase of low valued items.

Well - since my items returned back to Joey I can finally enter my LPS room without having a bad feeling. It's fun again because I know they are safe! Now we will try it a 2nd time and the whole thing will be shipped to Nina. I still have to find out how rules in Great Britian are...the security hints on boxes mustn't be written in german but in english which is great. And between the states of Europe you can ship whatever you want without any customs authorities would check it...

Please, cross fingers for me that their last journey will be successfull!!!
"Now I'm not looking for an absolution, forgiveness for the things I do - but before you come to any conclusions,
try walking in my shoes, try walking in my shoes
"

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Re: No more US-Mocs for Europe from now on...

Postby LPS-in-Germany » Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:57 am

Problem has been solved - FINALLY!!!!!!!

Joey shipped everything to Nina and it went through directly. No need for her to pick it up at the customs authorities! It arrived safe and sound today...

:) A perfect delayed Christmas gift!!!
"Now I'm not looking for an absolution, forgiveness for the things I do - but before you come to any conclusions,
try walking in my shoes, try walking in my shoes
"

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Re: No more US-Mocs for Europe from now on...

Postby Tosh » Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:28 pm

This is such a crazy story, I hadn't read about it until now :o I'm so sorry you had to deal with all that!!! I'm glad everything seems to have worked out now, but wow!! Soooo thankful that you and Nina were able to coordinate to get your sets! What a nice Christmas present for you :D
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Re: No more US-Mocs for Europe from now on...

Postby katze016 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:50 pm

:thumbup: Yay!! I'm glad you get to start the new year on a good note.
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Re: No more US-Mocs for Europe from now on...

Postby Waylah » Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:09 am

That is GREAT NEWS! So happy to hear you got it through, finally! Your customs experience sounded horrible; I hop you never have to deal with those people again. So glad they finally came through. :D
***Open for trade!*** looking for: 1993 case collar, mail-order puppies basket handle, and boxes and back cards

Wish list:http://www.vintagelpsforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=5339
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Re: No more US-Mocs for Europe from now on...

Postby Nina:) » Sun Jan 03, 2016 5:41 am

Oh yes thats Really a Great Christmas Gift :)!!
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