Message from discussion HELP w/ taking a knife to another country (TANZANIA)
From: t...@aol.com (Trn0)
Subject: Re: HELP w/ taking a knife to another country (TANZANIA)
Organization: AOL http://www.aol.com
In article <7c9fh5$nc...@earth.superlink.net>, devr...@saturn.superlink.net
>My friend is going to be heading off to the peace corps next fall, and I
>was thinking of giving him a decent SAK or multi-tool, or a nice basic
>utilitarian knife as a going away present. Anyone know what kind of
>difficulties/hassles bringing it into the country might cause? Any
>recommendation for what is easiest? Or where to dig up specific info?
I'd suggest a multi-tool. Mine is a SOG paratool, went with me to the villages
in Russia last summer and pretty much everywhere else in the USA I've gone in
the last 2 years or so.
Re. getting it into the country:
1. Take two of *exactly* the same thing. If the customs inspector gets hinky
about letting them into the country, you can let him keep one as a gift. (Btw,
usu. when the inspector gets hinky, it's b/c he *wants* to keep one of, or part
of, whatever it is as a gift. Treat it like you would haggling in the market
-- argue him down to something you can afford, then give it to him. But be more
subtle than you would in a market. You can't afford to piss him off.) If you
get them both in, and they're paratools, you can cannibalize one for parts if
you have to -- they're very easy to take apart.
2. Of course, it's in your checked baggage, which is securely locked, duct
taped across any zippers or openings, and *NOT* at all expensive-looking. This
has nothing at all to do with customs, and everything to do with getting your
baggage back intact before you get to customs.
3. Contact the US Customs service and whatever Tanzanian authorities you can
get hold of and find out what the laws are, but don't expect them to be
observed, and don't get upset when they aren't. (i.e. If it's legal to bring
in, and the customs official is telling you he can't let you bring it in, don't
quote the law at him. He won't care -- he *is* the law. Now, if you happen to
personally know someone important in his government, you can ask to call that
person and see if this little misunderstanding can be straightened out. But
you'd better have the right phone number.) In most of these places, and
increasingly in the US, law enforcement is about relationship, not ideas.