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A question about customs...

This afternoon, I received a package of tea from a Canadian company, and it appears as though US customs opened the package to examine the contents. It appears that they even opened one of the tins of tea, as the seal is broken and they (customs) taped over the tin with their hard to miss bright green tape.

Should I be worried? I mean… I am just … I guess what is weirding me out about it is that someone opened my tin that wasn’t the vendor of the tea and looked at it, breathed on it… who knows. You know? Am I being overly cautious or Obsessive Compulsive about this?

What would you do?

12 Replies
Cofftea said

Hmmm… I’ve only recieved one package from a Canadian tea co. (TeaFrog) and it was untouched. I’ll keep watching incase this happens to me!

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I dont think that i would be worried about contaminated tea, but i would be perturbed.

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At least you received the package. I am having a harder and harder time shipping to the United States and trusting that my packages will get there. Doesn’t seem to matter how I package them, how I label them or post the invoice on the outside with a big ol’ envelope labeled “INVOICE”. Packages still seem to disappear with USPS. It’s become such a problem that I insure all of them now. It costs me more but it gets me peace of mind. It sucks though because these teas are GOOD! That’s just my rant for the week.

As for customs, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. It’s unfortunate they broke the seal on your tea, but I’m sure they didn’t do anything untoward with it.

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cody said

I had trouble with that when I was doing personal/crafty swaps online… I’ve never had it happen with packages from online retailers, though. It would make me uncomfortable for someone to go through and actually open a tin of tea. I doubt anything happened to it, but… yeah, it would definitely make me uncomfortable.

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Thank you everyone who responded. I appreciate it…I am going to just hope that the tea will be fine. But, yeah, it’s a bit discomforting to think of the tea being opened.

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The only package I have had opened by US Customs was from New Zealand…never had any problems thereafter it leaving inspection…

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Tea-Guy said

I’ve never had issues with customs opening tea related packages. I’ve had them come from all over the world too.

I wouldn’t worry about it though. When they open packages or parsels they’re looking for something specific. If your product had been what they were looking for you’d have found out about it through a knock on the door, not bright green tape.

Nonetheless, it does always weird me out when customs rifles through my stuff.

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Jillian said

If it doesn’t have a customs declaration on it they’ll often open it up – otherwise I can only put it down to paranoia (maybe they think we’re mailing a certain other kind of plant). ;)

Tea-Guy said

Maybe less than a year ago some guy got caught by customs trying to smuggle pot into the States in tea bags.

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yeah, when I finally opened the tin that they opened (it had been taped with their “customs tape”) I noticed that the package inside was still sealed, so I really didn’t have anything to worry about… I probably should have opened the tin first. haha!

Tea-Guy said

Maybe. ;-)

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Lala said

I wanted to bump this thread up. I have been having some problems with customs keeping my packages for extroardinary lengths of time. I have had packages they have opened and checked, but I am wondering if anyone knows why they “keep” the packages for sometimes longer than a week? The packages are always well labelled and have a customs declaration on them. I have had this happen with tea as well as other items. Does anyone have any suggestions or tricks to try to prevent this? The companies that are shipping to me say there is nothing they can do.

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