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Old 10.12.2008, 15:44
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Can't ship chocolate to U.S.?

A friend just told me that she tried to ship some chocolate from Switzerland to the U.S. and her packages were returned by U.S. customs. Anyone else hear of this happening? How in the heck am I supposed to mail chocolates to friends in the U.S. for x-mas?!?

thanks!
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Old 10.12.2008, 15:47
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Re: Can't ship chocolate to U.S.?

try these

http://www.spruengli.ch/Shop/schokoladen-geschenke.php

I have not been through the site but it looks like they will send stuff
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Old 10.12.2008, 15:51
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Re: Can't ship chocolate to U.S.?

I'd heard that from someone else recently, too, but haven't looked into it further (e.g., USPS, Homeland Security sites) to confirm. But based on your friend's experience, I guess it's true. Was there a sticker or letter with the returned package explaining why?

I know the post office won't ship things like fragrances (because of the alcohol and additives, they're considered hazardous materials), but why the chocolate restriction?

Maybe try UPS.

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A friend just told me that she tried to ship some chocolate from Switzerland to the U.S. and her packages were returned by U.S. customs. Anyone else hear of this happening? How in the heck am I supposed to mail chocolates to friends in the U.S. for x-mas?!?

thanks!
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Old 10.12.2008, 15:52
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Re: Can't ship chocolate to U.S.?

I heard that you weren't supposed to, so instead of writing "chocolate" on the mailing slip to declare for customs I just wrote "gifts" along with whatever else I was sending. It's made it every time.
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Old 10.12.2008, 16:15
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Re: Can't ship chocolate to U.S.?

I wonder if the chocolates had alcohol in them? Candy with alcohol can not be brought/sent to the US.

And apparently Kinder Eggs can't be sent becuase the toys inside the eggs don't comply with safety regs (or some such).
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Old 10.12.2008, 16:21
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Re: Can't ship chocolate to U.S.?

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I wonder if the chocolates had alcohol in them? Candy with alcohol can not be brought/sent to the US.
I was wondering the same thing or if the Customs were concerned that the chocolates were being used to smuggle drugs (it does happen).

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And apparently Kinder Eggs can't be sent becuase the toys inside the eggs don't comply with safety regs (or some such).
Indeed!

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/...03202008_4.xml

Odd that they'd be so vigilant about the Kinder Eggs, yet allow all the sh*t from China and Mexico that's contaminated with lead. The mind reels
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Old 10.12.2008, 16:28
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Re: Can't ship chocolate to U.S.?

Ok. & now it seems that if you are sending any food to the US you need to "provide prior notice", ie. inform the FDA that you are sending the package 5 days prior to it being mailed....... yup.... Since June of 2004.

See here:
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/pnmail.html

Down at the bottom the table says that this type of person to person shipment, the requirement is not usually enforced. I guess your friend was unlucky that her package was intercepted by someone who decided to enforce the rules or maybe now they are enforcing the rules.

EDIT: Apparently after reading more, the whole enforcement of this seems arbitrary.
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Old 10.12.2008, 16:39
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Re: Can't ship chocolate to U.S.?

On the customs declaration, write "unsolicited Christmas Gift" . Chocolate has has been prohibited for a while now. Write instead "candy". Apparently you can hide explosives in chocolate (go figure ). On the other hand , Sprüngli is allowed to send it on your behalf thru FedEx. They are obliged to write a detailed description on the invoice. When sending chocolates through a courier service you need to declare its form (bars, squares etc) and its milk content etc.
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Old 10.12.2008, 16:39
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Re: Can't ship chocolate to U.S.?

The last time I sent 2 boxes of Cailler chocolates (the praline ones, maybe about 400-500 grams each, not sure anymore but I bought them in Coop) to my best friend in South Carolina was on January 2008. She received it without porblems 3 weeks after I sent them via the local Post office from here. I just had to fill out the normal customs declaration form (green slip) and that was it. Didn't pay that much either.

P.S.
I have also sent some in NY and Canada in 2007 without having any problems or having had to declare / report anything. Just had to fill this green form in all of these instances. And yes, I declared them all as gifts and mentioned they were chocolates.
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Old 10.12.2008, 16:51
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Re: Can't ship chocolate to U.S.?

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On the customs declaration, write "unsolicited Christmas Gift" . Chocolate has has been prohibited for a while now. Write instead "candy". Apparently you can hide explosives in chocolate (go figure ). On the other hand , Sprüngli is allowed to send it on your behalf thru FedEx. They are obliged to write a detailed description on the invoice. When sending chocolates through a courier service you need to declare its form (bars, squares etc) and its milk content etc.
Chocolate is not specifically prohibited. If you read my post ALL food stuff (including candy) should technically be declared prior to it being sent BUT the enforcement of this rule seems to be more or less strict/arbitrary, etc.

See my link above.
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Old 10.12.2008, 19:04
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Re: Can't ship chocolate to U.S.?

I've received shipments in the U.S. from Caillier without a problem, but I do recall finding it curious that the customs declaration didn't say chocolate.
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Old 10.12.2008, 19:09
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Re: Can't ship chocolate to U.S.?

I've shipped chocolate to the States quite a few times. Although, one time the package was received with the note inside and no Chocolate (they took it out and re-sealed the package) I always declare the item as a "Gift"
Good Luck!
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Old 10.12.2008, 19:32
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Re: Can't ship chocolate to U.S.?

I can't find it now, but a few years back I picked up a notice from the post office that said you can't ship over a certain amount of chocolate. I think this year I'll try the suggestion above and just say 'Gifts'.
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Old 11.12.2008, 10:07
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Re: Can't ship chocolate to U.S.?

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Ok. & now it seems that if you are sending any food to the US you need to "provide prior notice", ie. inform the FDA that you are sending the package 5 days prior to it being mailed....... yup.... Since June of 2004.

See here:
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/pnmail.html

Down at the bottom the table says that this type of person to person shipment, the requirement is not usually enforced. I guess your friend was unlucky that her package was intercepted by someone who decided to enforce the rules or maybe now they are enforcing the rules.

EDIT: Apparently after reading more, the whole enforcement of this seems arbitrary.
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Chocolate is not specifically prohibited. If you read my post ALL food stuff (including candy) should technically be declared prior to it being sent BUT the enforcement of this rule seems to be more or less strict/arbitrary, etc.

See my link above.
Thanks for the help everyone! After digging around online, it looks like this is the 'legal' way to go. What a hassle... hopefully the chocolate makes it there after going through all this pre-declaration stuff.
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Old 11.12.2008, 10:28
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Re: Can't ship chocolate to U.S.?

Hey has anybody had chocolate problems when bringing it in person into the US (at the airport customs)? I've been itching to buy my annual 20 kilos of swiss chocolate to bring back to the states when I go home for christmas. Last year I filled out a custom form on the plane and declared "food" or whatever option was appropriate. The customs official looked at it and asked if it was chocolate (he must have known the plane that had arrived was from zurich) and I said yes, and immediately let me through.

But have things changed in the last year maybe?

It would be a real bummer to know the customs officials are enjoying eating my swiss chocolate.
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Old 11.12.2008, 12:14
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Re: Can't ship chocolate to U.S.?

WOW. After looking at all these documents, I really cannot complain about the swiss being so strict! Thanks for all the info!
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Old 11.12.2008, 12:28
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Re: Can't ship chocolate to U.S.?

I've brought chocolate with me many times when I traveled to the US, and even wrote "chocolate" on the declaration form, and was never questioned or stopped. Also, my mom was here a couple of months ago for a visit (October) and bought a ton of chocolate to take home, and had no problems either.

So, I guess you'll be safe loading up for the trip home for Christmas

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Hey has anybody had chocolate problems when bringing it in person into the US (at the airport customs)? I've been itching to buy my annual 20 kilos of swiss chocolate to bring back to the states when I go home for christmas. Last year I filled out a custom form on the plane and declared "food" or whatever option was appropriate. The customs official looked at it and asked if it was chocolate (he must have known the plane that had arrived was from zurich) and I said yes, and immediately let me through.

But have things changed in the last year maybe?

It would be a real bummer to know the customs officials are enjoying eating my swiss chocolate.
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Old 11.12.2008, 19:11
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Re: Can't ship chocolate to U.S.?

i just got back from holidays in the US a week ago, and i took heaps of chocolates with me, filled out the form, said i had food, they asked what and i told them it was swiss chocolates. they just waved me through. didn't even check my suitcase.
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Old 11.12.2008, 23:01
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Re: Can't ship chocolate to U.S.?

This is great! I never knew I was pushing the envelope with my chocolate "smuggling" habits...

Last Christmas, I brought home 2 bags of liqueur-filled chocolates, although I didn't really know what they were. Well, when my family and I settled in for some candy on Christmas day, we discovered that they were liqueur-filled -- right in front of the cousin just out of rehab who's not supposed to have any alcohol... Now I can add to the debacle that I even broke the law bringing them into the country.

By the way, even within the U.S., you don't want to tell the postal worker that you're shipping something edible like chocolate. They tend to overreact and insist on next-day shipping or the like.
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Old 11.12.2008, 23:07
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Re: Can't ship chocolate to U.S.?

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A friend just told me that she tried to ship some chocolate from Switzerland to the U.S. and her packages were returned by U.S. customs. Anyone else hear of this happening? How in the heck am I supposed to mail chocolates to friends in the U.S. for x-mas?!?

thanks!
How much were you trying to send?
I've sent 1kg no problem many times... oh wait... to Canada. Maybe that's it.
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