importing a hussar sabre

Post your questions or seek advice on anything relating to swords

Moderators: Big Lazy, Moderators

User avatar
Joghurt
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat May 03, 2014 3:16 pm

importing a hussar sabre

Postby Joghurt » Sun May 04, 2014 8:05 pm

Hi all! Last thread seemed to have disappeared after being initially approved, so im re-posting!

I would like to start a sword collection. The sword i always wanted is a XVII cent. Polish winged hussar sabre. (it is basically something similar to the English 1796 sabre)

As far as i am aware the only way to get one under current legistlation is if it is made by traditional handforged methods.
luckily i found a smith in Poland who forges blades using the same methods and materials (he does replicas for museums etc).

once he makes me a sabre, how can i send to England and prove to the customs that it is handforged? What is tge best legal way to bring it over? Oh and what taxes will i pay?

User avatar
the blade master
Posts: 2929
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 2:46 pm
Location: here there and everywhere

Re: importing a hussar sabre

Postby the blade master » Sun May 04, 2014 9:17 pm

best advice I can give is don't try importing anything yourself its more trouble than its worth try a recognised dealer
like bucks to get one for you as loz will know all the pitfalls that are there explain to loz exactly what you want and
if its possible he wil get you what you want
forum moderator

a wise man can learn more from a foolish answer than a fool can from a wise answer
the only time a fisherman tells the truth is when he calls another fisherman a liar

User avatar
Joghurt
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat May 03, 2014 3:16 pm

Re: importing a hussar sabre

Postby Joghurt » Sun May 04, 2014 11:51 pm

Id definitely be happy to get it through blades uk, if it saves me the trouble of dealing with the customs!
Trouble is that while the sword is common piece in Poland its quite rare in England. And most versions youd get in Poland are just cheap replicas that wont fall into the handmade bracket..

User avatar
Moon
Posts: 2851
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 2:57 pm
Location: In orbit

Re: importing a hussar sabre

Postby Moon » Mon May 05, 2014 10:21 am

As Poland is a member of the EU you won't be liable to pay Duty and VAT on items imported from that country.
Try finding an antique with unquestionable provenance of it being over 100 years old so the legality of importing the sword is null but that may be reflected on the price tag compared to the modern reproduction you're thinking of.
"Wise men speak because they have something to say: fools because they have to say something"...Plato

User avatar
Joghurt
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat May 03, 2014 3:16 pm

Re: importing a hussar sabre

Postby Joghurt » Mon May 05, 2014 11:35 am

If i could get an antique blade I would, but these (in good condition) would cost more than a car!
Why, if a blade is genuinely made to old-time methods and materials and hence legal under current law, is it so hard to get it over here?

User avatar
Moon
Posts: 2851
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 2:57 pm
Location: In orbit

Re: importing a hussar sabre

Postby Moon » Tue May 06, 2014 1:50 pm

Joghurt wrote: If i could get an antique blade I would, but these (in good condition) would cost more than a car!

Yes, they are very expensive, a helluva lot more than I thought initially.
Joghurt wrote:Why, if a blade is genuinely made to old-time methods and materials and hence legal under current law, is it so hard to get it over here?

That's a question that a lot of people here have been asking ever since the law was amended but as I understand it, the onus is now on the importer to prove to the satisfaction of UKBF how various swords were traditionally made in numerous countries during certain historical time periods and that the reproduction to be imported has really been made using the same method, we're pretty much screwed if Customs seize any single edged curved sword with a blade length exceeding 50cm and refuse to release it on appeal - it's not as if you are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, it's more a case of, they are right until you can prove them wrong in a court of law, unfortunately.
"Wise men speak because they have something to say: fools because they have to say something"...Plato

User avatar
Big Lazy
Blades-UK Admin
Posts: 9987
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:00 pm
Location: The Best Midlands
Contact:

Re: importing a hussar sabre

Postby Big Lazy » Tue May 06, 2014 2:08 pm

and by that time your sword may even have been destroyed.
Pimp or die baby!

User avatar
Moon
Posts: 2851
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 2:57 pm
Location: In orbit

Re: importing a hussar sabre

Postby Moon » Tue May 06, 2014 5:23 pm

Big Lazy wrote:and by that time your sword may even have been destroyed.

That's something to consider too.
I haven't read of anybody who's taken a case to court yet, I believe it costs about £1500 just to have it heard and the chances of 'Joe Public' winning a case, getting a sword released by UKBF (if it hasn't been destroyed) and being awarded court costs are almost zero IMHO.
"Wise men speak because they have something to say: fools because they have to say something"...Plato

User avatar
Joghurt
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat May 03, 2014 3:16 pm

Re: importing a hussar sabre

Postby Joghurt » Tue May 06, 2014 6:45 pm

Moon wrote: Yes, they are very expensive, a helluva lot more than I thought initially.


Well there is one sabre I'd not mind too much, but it was made from 1932-1939, and even then a well kept one that you'd want to display can cost well over £1000. And it is still illegal!

Anyhow, a court case, getting a blade held/destroyed is something I really want to avoid. I called the customs helpline today, and they seem to be just as confused about what constitutes as 'proof' that the sword was traditionally made. The guy said that as long as there is some certificate from the manufacturer and contact info, and the blade looks obviously handmade it should be ok. They cannot however specify which certificate is good and which one is bad etc.. At the moment it all seems like a huge gamble, where no-one, us or them know what to do about this law :s

Has anyone of u guys ever succeeded importing a sword like this? What certificates did it have with it?

Incidentally I talked to another smith who sent a replica to UK recently that I am very sure is banned under the law (and it had no paperwork with it) and yet it went through ok.. how confusing!

User avatar
Big Lazy
Blades-UK Admin
Posts: 9987
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:00 pm
Location: The Best Midlands
Contact:

Re: importing a hussar sabre

Postby Big Lazy » Tue May 06, 2014 8:25 pm

Customs usually only check the package for documents that show the contents and costs of contents and work out the fees from that. If the seller doesn't put such info on the box then odds are it will get trough... but you take the risk.

I recently ordered something from America a while back through ebay, and asked them to put the contents value at just $10. That way you wont get charged any fees, but again you take the risk.
Pimp or die baby!

User avatar
Joghurt
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat May 03, 2014 3:16 pm

Re: importing a hussar sabre

Postby Joghurt » Tue May 06, 2014 9:22 pm

Big Lazy wrote:Customs usually only check the package for documents that show the contents and costs of contents and work out the fees from that. If the seller doesn't put such info on the box then odds are it will get trough... but you take the risk.

I recently ordered something from America a while back through ebay, and asked them to put the contents value at just $10. That way you wont get charged any fees, but again you take the risk.


Tempting, very tempting! I see youre trying to sway to me the dark side ;)

I will try talking to the 'boss' of blades uk and see if anything can be arranged that way..(i am curious on his take on this problem) If not i will probably go with your advice, and try and get a certificate from the smith in case it does get stopped!

User avatar
Moon
Posts: 2851
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 2:57 pm
Location: In orbit

Re: importing a hussar sabre

Postby Moon » Tue May 06, 2014 10:41 pm

There are a couple of UKBF Officers who post on British Blades forum who openly admit that they are just as confused as we are regarding what's legal or not when it comes to swords and the unofficial stance appears to be something like - ' If it looks like it could be illegal, seize it and let Joe Public appeal to their seniors for it's release' - some may well be released upon appeal, I really don't know as the only ones that we get to read about are those that aren't after some poor sods have lost their money but escaped being charged with a criminal offence, I haven't read of the latter yet but it can happen apparently. :|
"Wise men speak because they have something to say: fools because they have to say something"...Plato

User avatar
Joghurt
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat May 03, 2014 3:16 pm

Re: importing a hussar sabre

Postby Joghurt » Sat May 10, 2014 10:59 am

Hopefully a clear certificate from the manufacturer, and the fact that it is hand forged will be enough.

This brings me to possibly my final question.

For anyone who has a handforged blade, I assume it came with a certificate or some paperwork that proves it. Would someone be so kind and scan it, or at least tell me what it says? I'd like to know what kinda wording is ok.

User avatar
the blade master
Posts: 2929
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 2:46 pm
Location: here there and everywhere

Re: importing a hussar sabre

Postby the blade master » Sat May 10, 2014 12:16 pm

the so called certificate of authenticity that comes with most swords is 99.9% Chinese
which could say anything not much help there except the model no and the years of
experience of the smith that made it in english
forum moderator

a wise man can learn more from a foolish answer than a fool can from a wise answer
the only time a fisherman tells the truth is when he calls another fisherman a liar

User avatar
Joghurt
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat May 03, 2014 3:16 pm

Re: importing a hussar sabre

Postby Joghurt » Sat May 10, 2014 4:17 pm

So they just take it at face value? The more I read about this law the more ridiculous it seems...


Return to “Advice & Questions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest