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Shipping to USA from France

I am ordering a guitar from France to my home in the USA. Does anyone have any experience with this? What is the best way to get it to me? FedEx is extremely expensive (like $500 Euro), but France Post is a lot cheaper, but aren't here customs etc that become painful?

Thanks in advance!


  • edited April 2017
    I assume you also ordered a hard guitar case to protect the guitar? It is absolutely necessary.
    France Post (Colissimo) takes about a week depending on where in the USA you are. (for me, it took 5 business days plus 2 weekend days). Its track change system works but they don't provide update at every step. By the time the package arrives in the USA, USPS becomes the carrier.
    You can still track your package in USPS system but you need to change the first 2 letters of your tracking number. Colissimo uses CC (or C-something). Change them to EA, EB, EC, etc for the USPS until a gives you a positive result.

    Oh, the biggest issue for me was Colissimo did not give me the delivery date, so I did not know which specific date it would arrive. Fortunately I had it ship to my work address where there was always someone there to receive shipment.
  • LewisChang.....how much did it end up costing for shipping and the customs fee for your guitar? Im drooling over a Mazaud guitar right now.
  • BonesBones Moderator
    I bought one from i think it was gypsyguitars.de or something like that. No biggie as I recall. I can check back if you want.
  • jonpowljonpowl Santa Cruz, CA✭✭✭ Dupont MD-100, Cigano GJ-10
    edited April 2017
    Since the guitar is being shipped to a non EU country, you should not have to pay the 10% VAT. The VAT may cover the cost of shipping, taxes, etc.
  • @richter4208 around $180 (price set by the guitar maker).
  • Right you wouldn't pay the VAT but would have to pay customs fees I'm guessing. @Lewischang....so $180 for shipping and no extra for customs? Thanks! Hard to track down real world numbers from people, this may help lots of folks looking to direct order from europe.
  • @richter4208 ya the shipping fee was set by my luthier. They are professionals and therefore probably have better rates than individuals. But different luthiers probably have different rates (and insurance cost).

  • psychebillypsychebilly Kentucky, USA
    The shipping cost is the least of your worries...if your guitar has a rosewood bridge, you need to understand the new CITES regulations.

    I'm a guitar tech, and the company I work for ships the guitars we build internationally. On 2 January, 2017, new regulations from CITES went into effect, heavily regulating the import/export of rosewood (and other woods like ebony already regulated). We just spent 4 MONTHS of hurdle-jumping getting our CITES certificates lined out, and we were one of the first to get one. Now there is a bottleneck of hundreds (thousands?) of other companies trying to scramble to get theirs. Just make sure the company you are buying from has their ducks in a row as far as CITES reg's are concerned.

    If not, customs agents can and will seize your guitar and have the option of not returning it should the guitar have no paperwork/CITES certificates. These regulations are new, and not 'grandfathered' in to the previous regulations concerning ebony, brazilian rosewood, etc. Now it's ALL rosewood and it's variants.

    Might not be an issue if your builder already knows this and has got his new CITES cert's, but I'm just sayin'...

    Good Luck.
    Creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.
  • Thanks for the replies. Question, did you have to pay customs in the USA?
  • BalkanSoul I sent you a message. See inbox. Thx
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