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Mark Gates




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 02 Jan 2012

Posts: 18

PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2012 8:28 am    Post subject: Hi from the UK         Reply with quote

Hello everyone

I am new to this forum although I created my profile some months ago, I've only just got around to posting something. I live in the UK and over here we have much less choice when it comes to arms and armour. Our government seem tolerant of bladed weapons but I wouldn't like to test our border control by importing swords etc from the states. It seems curved blades are banned in particular japanese katanas. what i find weird is, the UK government ban the relatively harmless stainless steel wall hanger katanas but are happy to legalize the much more lethal carbon bladed katanas.
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

Posts: 483

PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2012 9:01 am    Post subject: Re: Hi from the UK         Reply with quote

Mark Gates wrote:
Our government seem tolerant of bladed weapons but I wouldn't like to test our border control by importing swords etc from the states. .


Hi Mark,

I've imported sharp swords from the US and Europe with no difficulty at all.
If it's not on the list of prohibited weapons (flick knives, balisongs, concealed blades, any curved blade over 50cm etc) then you shouldn't have a problem, other than getting stiffed for import duty.

There's a useful guide here:-
http://ukbladesforum.co.uk/index.php/knives-a...d-the-law-

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Mark Gates




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 02 Jan 2012

Posts: 18

PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2012 9:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Matthew, your link was helpful. Just need to get my head around the hideous shipping costs etc.
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Mark Gates




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 02 Jan 2012

Posts: 18

PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2012 9:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

By the way Matthew, your location states Somerset, apparently we are neighbours, my location is West Wilts.
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Craig Wrenn




Location: Lincoln England
Joined: 07 Jan 2009

Posts: 14

PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2012 10:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Curved blades can be imported if they are made by traditional methods.
Or there are plenty of sword makers in the UK if you fancy having something custom made.

Craig
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Colt Reeves





Joined: 09 Mar 2009

Posts: 466

PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2012 6:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi and welcome.


As I understand it (being a mere observer from the US and all), the ban on cheap katanas is because without pawn shop revolvers as per the US the petty crooks have little else. Said petty crooks are unlikely to go to the expense of buying a traditional high-quality katana, so those are still allowed. Now without the katanas they'll have to use axes and knives I guess.

"Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown.
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.
As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small.
For Iron, Cold Iron, must be master of men all..."
-Cold Iron, Rudyard Kipling
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Joseph Fox




Location: England
Joined: 17 Mar 2009

Posts: 17

PostPosted: Wed 30 May, 2012 12:02 am    Post subject: watch out for HMRC customs         Reply with quote

One thing with importing swords from the USA to the UK is to factor in that HMRC will levy an additional 20% VAT on the declared value of the sword + a handling fee by the courier for this having to be paid. When importing from the EU this shouldn't be a problem, but HMRC are levying customs on anything they can raise cash on right now (currently fighting them to get back 36 because someone forgot to write the word "book" on a customs declaration)

The import VAT was one of my main reasons for shopping at Albion Europe rather than with someone like Arms & Armor - that 20% extra can really hurt on top of shipping costs if you aren't expecting it.
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Julien M




Location: London
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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Posts: 1,055

PostPosted: Wed 30 May, 2012 1:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have imported a fair amount of swords in the UK from the US, having them either shipped or simply by carrying them back from business trip on the plane with me.

VAT is very disuassive indeed, roughtly for a sword I payed 40 on top of a 50$ shipping...which makes most of the low budget offering irrelevant; especially Windlass swords that are poorly distributed in Europe, or insanely overpriced.

Now it does not mean that we have less of a choice on this side of the Atlantic, by far. You just have to look elsewhere and discard some of the cheaper big Brands (Windlass, valiant etc) and favor local smiths (armour class, tod stuff, owen bush, castle keep, st georges armoury) or pick one of the many Eastern makers. You won't loose in the trade for sure quality wise, and the price won't be so far off with the addition of VAT and shipping.

Hanwei is very well distributed as well, and you can get these at a very cheap price (the knight shop is as efficient at slashing price as KOA really, especially as far as the Hanwei tinker line is concerned).

As far as the legislation is concerned, I believe I know the drill, but on an everyday basis I'm still unsure of some practical implcations. I regularily go to Owen Bush forge that is 10 minutes away from my place to work on projects, carrying a bunch of sharp blades, pommels and guards in a fishing rod bag. What would happen if I was to be stopped on the way by the police? I'm not so sure given the increased emphasis on fighting knife crime (I saw a guy getting 12 month of jail for hanging around with a kitchen knife on road wars the other day, and that made me wonder about these thigns...). I also have a dynasty forge katana, and I am not sure if I could resell it without issues in the UK.

Cheers,

J

edit: I did forget to mention Albion Europe in the mix, that will save you the hassle of importing from the US. Shame on me.


Last edited by Julien M on Fri 01 Jun, 2012 2:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: 10 Nov 2009

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 793

PostPosted: Wed 30 May, 2012 3:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello to you too Mark and welcome to the forum!
"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Lee O'Hagan




Location: Northamptonshire,England
Joined: 30 Sep 2003
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 507

PostPosted: Thu 31 May, 2012 12:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julien M wrote:
I have imported a fair amount of swords in the UK from the US, having them either shipped or simply by carrying them back from business trip on the plane with me.

VAT is very disuassive indeed, roughtly for a sword I payed 40 on top of a 50$ shipping...which makes most of the low budget offering irrelevant; especially Windlass swords that are poorly distributed in Europe, or insanely overpriced.

Now it does not mean that we have less of a choice on this side of the Atlantic, by far. You just have to look elsewhere and discard some of the cheaper big Brands (Windlass, valiant etc) and favor local smiths (armour class, tod stuff, owen bush, castle keep, st georges armoury) or pick one of the many Eastern makers. You won't loose in the trade for sure quality wise, and the price won't be so far off with the addition of VAT and shipping.

Hanwei is very well distributed as well, and you can get these at a very cheap price (the knight shop is as efficient at slashing price as KOA really, especially as far as the Hanwei tinker line is concerned).

As far as the legislation is concerned, I believe I know the drill, but on an everyday basis I'm still unsure of some practical implcations. I regularily go to Owen Bush forge that is 10 minutes away from my place to work on projects, carrying a bunch of sharp blades, pommels and guards in a fishing rod bag. What would happen if I was to be stopped on the way by the police? I'm not so sure given the increased emphasis on fighting knife crime (I saw a guy getting 12 month of jail for hanging around with a kitchen knife on road wars the other day, and that made me wonder about these thigns...). I also have a dynasty forge katana, and I am not sure if I could resell it without issues in the UK.

Cheers,

J


Hi Mark,
The above from Julien pretty much covers everything imo,lol,plenty of top class maker's here already,
excellent reply J,
J,
for your concern's,you should have no issue's even if stopped,as your a responsible chap going about his hobby-work,no issue's,it's the idiot fringe that demonise us all,
also,
as to selling your katana,deal face to face if poss,or at least get a signed disclaimer and age clarification,
i've sold a couple of curvie's 50cm+ home and abroad,no issue's.
two mins after the curved law was passed,the stainless steel makers rubbed their hands and said,all straight blade katana's,
well we'll see two more units per sheet pattern cut i expect,
i'm still seeing all the typical hilt pattern's,but with straight blade's,and if anything,they are now cheaper,
Oh,and welcome Mark,Wink
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Mark Gates




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 02 Jan 2012

Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sat 09 Jun, 2012 3:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks very much for the advice and the welcome. Although my original post was concerned with the importation of curved blade swords, my real passion is with European pieces. I have 3 katanas in my collection but find them all rather samey in appearance etc.

My European collection is slowly growing but the quality is somewhat poor compared to the higher end swords many have displayed on this forum. What I'm looking for is to step up a bit and go for something mid priced, around the 200 to 300 mark ($309 to $464). I'm looking at a Windlass 15th century long sword (187 in UK). Does anyone have any experience of this sword? Ive heard they are "whippy" whether thats a reason not to buy one is unclear to me.

Regards

Mark
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Sat 09 Jun, 2012 4:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Windlass 15th century longsword is one of the best longswords in that price range. Handles good, it's durable and in my opinion looks very good.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 09 Jun, 2012 5:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Gates wrote:
I'm looking at a Windlass 15th century long sword (187 in UK). Does anyone have any experience of this sword? Ive heard they are "whippy" whether thats a reason not to buy one is unclear to me.

Regards

Mark


Check this out: Review: Windlass Steelcrafts 15th Century Longsword.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Ryan S.





Joined: 04 May 2012

Posts: 132

PostPosted: Sat 09 Jun, 2012 11:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the policy is meant to differentiate between legal and illegal uses, and I would hope that is how the police enforce it. I have heard in the US you can get in trouble for having a filleting knife in your car, but not if you have a fishing rod as well. Odd as it is, it is better for you to conceal your weapons, and when transporting them, and make them inaccessible.
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Lee O'Hagan




Location: Northamptonshire,England
Joined: 30 Sep 2003
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 507

PostPosted: Sun 10 Jun, 2012 11:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Last time i looked,over here windlass were within 50.00 of full custom with some makers and del tin around the same,the nice del tins actually notably more expensive than a few brit custom makers,
quality difference,=huge,
if your already looking at 2-3 hundred,i'd say email or phone a few of the brit makers to ask,
also in the second hand market you'd get something nice at those figure's,
shame your not looking for a nice single hander,lol,

As to the importation,
nowadays,a notable hassle,
i've had hand made blades returned to sender,customs seem to view any and all katana as not importable,unless you you put in alot of time pre warning them etc,
the one i had returned i expected the usuall postcard,but nada,ended up return or destroy,had to cover return post and re-return post,when the blade was completely legal according to the actuall rule's,
had no issue's with other curved blade's,only the tag word katana,
if your importing,
pre plan,pre contact,label all over handmade, try and get someone in custom's as a one to one contact etc,
makes it all easier,
have link's stored on your comp to forward to prove it's handmade,have a covering letter enclosed inside and outside the box etc, it all help's.
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Mark Gates




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 02 Jan 2012

Posts: 18

PostPosted: Mon 11 Jun, 2012 12:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Lee

Thanks for your insight on importing, it seems not everyone has had hassle free experiences. Its not just Customs throwing their uneducated weight around that puts me off importing blades, its also the duty and at 20% plus shipping (even thats taxed). I imported a diamond ring last year for my wife and as expected it cost me 70 in duty, so the cost to import say a high end A&A sword would be about the same if not more.

When all is said and done, the UK government simply do not want us to own anything other than a butter knife. My intention is therefore to follow some good advice and talk to some custom makers. By the way Lee, what is this nice single hander you dropped the biggest of hints at?

Mark
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Lee O'Hagan




Location: Northamptonshire,England
Joined: 30 Sep 2003
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Posts: 507

PostPosted: Mon 11 Jun, 2012 1:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You picked out my second biggest pet hate,tax on the carriage charge,
the first being the 8.00+ charge to actually collect the parcel,

lol,
the huge hint,Happy
why sir that would be a nice custom Tinker sword,for the record,
but if it'd be of interest shoot me a pm,no worrie's. Cool

but back on track,
UK wise, i've had great experience's with St George armoury,Castlekeep,
armour class do some nice stuff,
Todds stuff do some fine ware's. and of late Owen Bush has had a few more swords out in the market,good guy,great product,
plenty of great makers to provide all you need within the EU,
more depends on taste and budget,
but having imported more than i should,it's a shame when a good deal gets hammered through custom's with no actuall ryhme or reason,
paid more charges on a sub thousand dollar item than +thousand,
actually depends with customs if they work out the tax in or $, so good and bad experience's,Happy
the above with all paperwork correct,no silliness involved,
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Ryan S.





Joined: 04 May 2012

Posts: 132

PostPosted: Mon 11 Jun, 2012 1:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Gates wrote:

Thanks for your insight on importing, it seems not everyone has had hassle free experiences. Its not just Customs throwing their uneducated weight around that puts me off importing blades, its also the duty and at 20% plus shipping (even thats taxed). I imported a diamond ring last year for my wife and as expected it cost me 70 in duty, so the cost to import say a high end A&A sword would be about the same if not more.
Mark


you should do like we yanks did in 1773, and throw that ice into the harbor. Big Grin
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Fri 15 Jun, 2012 9:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

200-300 quid? That's some serious money! At that price point I'd rather suggest a Hanwei Tinker Bastard Sword or Longsword--or even an Albion Squire Line bastard sword.
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Mark Gates




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 02 Jan 2012

Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sun 17 Jun, 2012 2:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette

I already have a couple of Tinker swords, a bastard and great sword. As it goes, I really like the look of the Windlass 15th century long sword and hey the bonus is I'll have change.

Ok I have had a look at Castle Keep and I have noticed Rob Miller uses EN45 steel. I must be honest here I'm a little concerned about the use of this steel purely based upon the three Barnett swords I own. Barnett also uses EN45 steel and they are so heavy it requires a few sessions at the gym just to pick them up Wink In addition, one of them has been sharpened and although not quite katana sharp, it has shown great resilience but the blade chips far too easily.

My question is, has anyone got a sword from Castle Keep made from EN45? Could you share your thoughts on them.

I'm aware Rob does damascus blades but as we all know you might as well double the price.

Mark
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