Shipping packages from US to Italy
I will be moving to Italy soon.
What is the best method of shipping personal items to myself from the US to Italy? I want to ship a TV and a computer. I have heard that Poste Italiano is horrible and completely unreliable. How about DHL, Fedex or UPS? Or can I bring it with me on the plane? I am afraid with the later option that the airlines will not treat the package well.
A little off the topic, but why on earth would you bother bringing a TV from the US to Italy? It won't work there, unless you're in range of a US military base - and even then you'll only get the Military channel. US televisions work off a different broadcast standard (NTSC). Italy is, I believe on PAL - plus the channel assignments are "locked in." In most of Europe you need to set up your channels based on what signals are available where you are - or from your cable or satellite provider.
As far as the computer is concerned - talk to a local packaging and mailbox store. They may well know the best way to ship small items to Italy. I know I used one when shipping items to France and they did a super job. The smaller shipment (actually quite large - 5 paintings) went through a shipper like UPS only not the "overnight service." Arrived in great condition only a week after they were sent.
Oh, and be very sure that you indicate on the customs paperwork that this is a used computer you have owned for some period of time. Otherwise you're very likely to be hit with VAT on the declared value of the shipment plus the shipping cost!
I would agree that you have to pay attention to your shipping method to avoid any hassles later on.
I think that you would be better to leave the TV at home and get one when you arrive in Italy. As for the computer, correctly completed customs forms are a MUST...
We were unfortunate enough to be fined by the 'dogana' because a supplier in the US underdeclared the value of some goods being shipped to us (Entirely without our knowledge.) When custom's contacted us when the goods landed in Italy we told them the correct value of the goods and forwarded documentation etc to prove this. Despite our complete innocence and total co-operation, we were still fined over €600!
Maybe it is better to download everything from your computer on to an external hard drive and hand carry it on the plane when you come over. :confused2:
The only way I'd suggest to ship things from USA to Italy is by Fedex. Always mark the package as "personal effects" (it has to say those exact words.)
This is the only service and way I've found to ensure that the items arrive within a few days and that they aren't held in customs. Any other service/options and you may never get your items.
That being said... I would never suggest anyone send anything to Italy that you can just buy here. A tv would cost at least $200 to send, and you can buy one here for that or not much more (plus the USA one won't work here anyway most likely.)
Same deal for the computer, it's just not worth sending one. By the time you pay for reliable shipping, you can just buy one, and this way you'll avoid all the headaches.
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