Thursday, January 26, 2006

General Site News

At the moment I am just adding the finishing touches to the latest edition of the Sword Buyers Digest Newsletter. It's gonna be a big one - with the full interview with Paul Chen from Cheness Cutlery, announcements on the imminent site overhaul and how to get a 12% to 15% discount off the very best prices for good quality swords online!

It's also gonna be the last newsletter to go out until the site overhaul is complete, so if you haven't already signed up for it - now would be a good time (its going out at 1:00am on the first of February, so there isn't much time..)

The modifications to Sword Buyers Guide will also be starting a little later on today, with the changes being explained with a behind the scenes look at what is going on in a second blog (I'll let you know the link as soon as the newsletter is loaded and ready to go and the changes begin in earnest).

So please excuse the general chaos and the occasional "half dressed" days when SBG may look a little confusing. I am going to be trying to keep these disruptions to a minimum by planning each pages layout in advance and to be honest, because of the way these pages are build, there wont be any blanks or "Under Construction" signs, just a few pages here and there that don't match up with the general look and feel of the rest of the site.

Australia Post Update

My fellow Aussies can breathe a sigh of relief! It looks like the whole "Australia Post refusing to ban overseas shipments of swords" was an overreaction. Turns out there is new legislation that bans "weapons" from being transported overeseas by Australia Post, and by weapons they include gun parts, grenades, bayonets, etc - but in the fine print it specifically says that swords are excempt...

Now its still going to be a bit of a pain for a while as individual postmasters may err on the side of caution and make the wrong decisions, but at least it isn't an overall ban on swords. I was sent the full legislation below for anyone who wants to read it - check it out below if you are feeling bored...! :-)

That's all for now, will be checking back here again shortly...

Paul

REGARDING THE POSTING AND RECEIPT OF FIREARMS AND WEAPONRY TO/FROM OVERSEAS VIA AUSTRALIA POST

Australia Post will no longer accept international postings containing firearms, including all firearm components, or items of weaponry.

Items of weaponry include grenades, mortar shells, canisters, bayonets or items which resemble these articles (including replicas) for carriage to or from Australia.

Customers with import or export permits should be advised that their permits are still valid but that Australia Post will no longer carry these items.

EXCLUSIONS FROM THE DEFINITION OF “ITEMS OF WEAPONRY”

Australia Post will continue to carry items such as knives, daggers, swords, and axes, which have a valid import or export permit where required and are legally permissible to carry into Australia (if inbound) or into the country of destination (if outbound).

PLEASE NOTE: Australian Customs regulations prohibit or restrict many of these items. It is the responsibility of customers importing or exporting these items to make their own enquiries to ensure the goods are acceptable, and to obtain any relevant permits.

Information regarding Customs regulations on knives, firearms and warfare items can be found at 1300 363 263, information@customs.gov.au or www.customs.gov.au.

OTHER CARRIERS

Private carriers may accept these items. Australia Post is unable to recommend which carriers may/may not carry firearms/weaponry to international destinations.

ARTICLES CURRENTLY IN TRANSIT

Articles that may have already been sent from an international destination to Australia will be assessed on a case-by-case basis until the end of January 2006. A longer discretionary period will apply to articles sent by sea mail.

With regard to air-conveyed mail, from 1 February any firearms or items of weaponry detected from an international destination will be returned to sender.

DOMESTIC CARRIAGE

The domestic carriage of firearms and weaponry conditions remains unchanged.

POLICY DECISION

100% of imported mail carried by Australia Post is subject to X-ray, metal detector or sniffer dog screening. Suspect articles detected in Australia or en route by X-ray or metal detectors can cause substantial delay to entire despatches of mail pending security clearance.

Although some countries may accept the delivery of firearms and weapons, it may be necessary for these items (en route) to pass through the postal service of countries where they are prohibited and may be confiscated by customs and reported to police or other authorities. Again, this may cause serious delay to entire despatches of mail.

There is an increasing propensity around the globe for goods to be security screened in transit through airports and other (non-postal) handling points.

With an unacceptable increase in the number of incidents causing serious delays to mail and potentially creating security issues, we have chosen no longer to accept or carry the items which cause these effects.

ADVICE PROVIDED TO INTERNATIONAL POSTAL ADMINISTRATIONS

The following advice has been provided to international postal administration via the Universal Postal Union (UPU):

“The postal administration of AUSTRALIA asks partner administrations to be aware of the following prohibitions effective from January 2006 relating to any article in the international post.

The following goods are prohibited as imports (or in transit) from carriage by post:

(i) articles containing or suspected of containing firearms, weapons or items of weaponry including grenades, mortar shells or canisters, or parts thereof – even if rendered inert;

(ii) articles that resemble or may reasonably be taken for any item in (i) above, including replicas or stage props; and

(iii) any article, whether deleterious or not, that may reasonably be construed by its appearance or make up to constitute a potential security risk to persons or property.

Australia Post would appreciate the co-operation of partner administrations in informing postal users that the items described above are not admitted in the international mail stream to Australia. Should such articles be lodged or posted inadvertently, please do not despatch the postal article concerned to Australia.”

Australia’s entry in the UPU List of Prohibited Articles is being amended to reflect the above-mentioned prohibitions.

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