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Francois d'Auzon

Location: USA, Virginia
Joined: 12 Jul 2019

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2021 4:20 am    Post subject: Traveling with a Sword         Reply with quote

Hi all. I'm presently looking for someone to commission a sword with. I believe I may have found someone in the Czech Republic that I would like to do this (be absolutely thrilled with, in fact), but he has said he is not allowed to mail his products overseas by customs. He mentioned the possibility of sending it uninsured via another local company that makes wall hangers, who can send their goods overseas, but generally recommended against this due to the uncertainty/risk of theft/general package loss/etc.

So... does anyone have any experience (or general awareness) of if one can travel overseas from the Czech Republic to the United States, with a sharp sword (securely stored) in their checked airline luggage?

I took a quick look at the US Transportation Security Administrations site:

... and that would seem to indicate it is permissible.

That said, I'm really hesitant to commission a sword this expensive (to say nothing of the cost involved in flying over to pick it up), without being 100% certain I could bring it back with me. Obviously, I would contact the TSA directly as well, along with individual airlines before hand. However, the production time on the sword would be 1-2 years, and it's entirely possible that airline or governmental policy could change within that time.... so I'm pretty nervous about the idea of doing this. But I truly can't seem to find anyone else who could make me something of comparable quality and design.

Any thoughts?
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T. Kew

Location: London, UK
Joined: 21 Apr 2012

Posts: 254

PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2021 4:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In general, flying with sharp swords is fine as long as they're securely locked away and they aren't legally restricted at either end of the journey. I've never personally imported one into the US, but I've exported a couple in my checked baggage and it's never been a problem. TSA don't care - sharp objects in checked baggage aren't a problem for them. Customs only care if it's expensive enough they have to charge you import duty. Unless you're travelling to one of the very few countries which legally restrict swords, you shouldn't have a problem.

Note that "weapons" in airline speak basically always means "guns". Getting onto that paperwork is a giant nightmare all round, so try to avoid it if you possibly can - it's a historical reproduction, or a piece of art, or a piece of sports equipment, or something.

HEMA fencer and coach, New Cross Historical Fencing
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Peter Lyon
Industry Professional

Location: New Zealand
Joined: 20 Nov 2006
Reading list: 39 books

Posts: 249

PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2021 9:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A major point with packaging is that the sword must not present any danger to baggage handlers - so the sword should be secured WITHIN the sword case so it can't punch through if the case is dropped. There is a thing called the Two Meter rule I use (don't know if it is official) - the package must be designed to take a 2 meter drop onto concrete at any angle without risk of damage to the sword or of it punching through. Internal dividers to support the cross could be a good thing.
Still hammering away
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