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Thread: why would customs open up my package?

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    Default why would customs open up my package?

    I just received a package that had been inspected by customs. It had the green customs tape on it. They opened up the package inside the package but that's it. They didn't take anything or leave a note. Nothing. To me it was clear what was in the package. Why would customs let it go through? This kind of concerns me.


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    Quote Originally Posted by mlo View Post
    I just received a package that had been inspected by customs. It had the green customs tape on it. They opened up the package inside the package but that's it. They didn't take anything or leave a note. Nothing. To me it was clear what was in the package. Why would customs let it go through? This kind of concerns me.
    Well you didn't say what country you're in, where you received the package. It's possible that for whatever reason, they were looking for something else, and not interested in the specific product(s) you were receiving. It has been reported in these forums that some countries' customs may open the package, and if it's narcotic, they pass it over to the narcotics authority, but if it's other types of medicines, they pass it to the food/drug agency. I think customs is mainly looking to ensure that any owed duties are paid. If that's the case for you, it sounds like either the quantity or type of material you received may not have been of interest to either authority. Or maybe they were too busy that day with other "bigger fish". Hard to speculate further given the limited information you provided. I guess you can just count yourself lucky this time.

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    I'm in the States.

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    i guess it had something to do with the FDAs personal use policy or whatever its called.

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    Hey, it had nothing to do with that. If it was drugs, they could have seized it, unless it was non-controlled, and there was a prescription from a licensed U.S. physician after a f2f encounter. Even then, if they wanted to be *******s, they could've seized it. They can do anything they want with those packages. They don't have to let anything in, especially if they deem it potentially harmful or dangerous! And well they should, for that is their job, customs and border protection. To protect us---even from ourselves.

    Having said that, you provided too little info to speculate as to the real reason behind them letting it go. I assume since you're here to talk about it that there was no controlled delivery, which would've been a possibility. But magician I think hit the nail on the head---count yourself lucky this time.

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    Your right QVC1212 they don' t have to let anything in, but at the same time they kind of have to in order to keep commerce alive. Its up to CBP and the FDA to either let a drug enter the US, controlled or otherwise. If you read the FDAs description of the policy I mentioned you would see that it can and probably did have something to do with it. Heres a link Frequently Asked Questions About Drugs

    Nobody on here could provide the real reason why a CBP agent in Florida inspected my package unless you are said agent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlo View Post
    I'm in the States.
    I suppose by that, and for the sake of the subsequent discussion, that you mean The United States of America.

    ...Rather than one of the many other countries of the World having numerous states, such as Republic of India (28 States & 7 Union Territories), or Federal Republic of Germany (16 States), or Federal Republic of Nigeria (36 States), or even the United Mexican States (31 States). I'm just acknowledging the wide readership potential of these forums, and avoiding assumptions.

    QVC1212 seems to be very well informed on these issues; I note that some of the interweb pharmacies (such as ProgressiveRx.com) did include copies of my prescription in the package; if your purchase was for a prescription drug and your seller included your prescription, then perhaps as QVC1212 said, customs just let it thru. I suppose they wouldn't necessarily have to if you were buying a generic form of a drug still under patent protection, or if it was a clear counterfeit, or if they just wanted to be mean.
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    Magician have you ever referred to the Republic of India as the States? I don't think Germans refer to Germany as the States its more of a way Brits refer to the United States and since has been taken over by westerners to refer to the US. Type in, "The States" in a Google search and the first four or five results are about the US.

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    In all the time I have been ordering overseas and online (10+ years), I've only received a customs letter once, in 1999, ironically for a medication I had a prescription for.

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    @Magician
    "QVC1212 seems to be very well informed on these issues"

    By the way, I am not a CBP agent, LOL. I have been doing iop since 2007 and on average two orders/month since late 2008, having racked up 3 love letters, so I can make a lot of inferences about things. Someone else wrote "unless you are said agent" which also seemed to imply that. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, I dunno.

    @gingerbaby You've been ordering online for 10 years and only received one love letter? Just one? I'm floored. How is that possible? What is your secret? How many vendors have you used, and dare I ask, what are they (though you're by no means required to answer that last one)????

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    ohhh my bad QVC1212 I wasn't implying that you were a CBP agent. I was just saying that the only person who would actually know what happened to my package at customs would be the CBP agent who handled it.

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    Technically, that's true. But my buddy SWIM, who has written software for these guys and actually watched Customs inspections at JFK would tell you many times, if they look at it, compare it with their glossy picture booklet of "the bad", and don't see a match, they'll tape it and send it on -- Even though what they are SUPPOSED to do is send it over to the FDA for testing to see what it is.

    Good enough for government work, and all that rot.

    Wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by mlo View Post
    ohhh my bad QVC1212 I wasn't implying that you were a CBP agent. I was just saying that the only person who would actually know what happened to my package at customs would be the CBP agent who handled it.
    Gone is the soldier, gone to the wars...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlo View Post
    I just received a package that had been inspected by customs. It had the green customs tape on it. They opened up the package inside the package but that's it. They didn't take anything or leave a note. Nothing. To me it was clear what was in the package. Why would customs let it go through? This kind of concerns me.
    They open the package because that is what Customs does. They open packages and suitcases and whatever else they want to open.
    No one is sending you a personal message. LE does not work like that. If you were in trouble or someone was coming to get you you would know it by now.
    They may confiscate the odd package here or there but they are really looking for the big stuff. The dealers, or weapons or whatever.
    Your name and address do not get loaded in some data base for later scrutiny. They sent it on because it passed muster, not because you are being set up.
    It is a numbers game. I think if you could see pictures of the voluminous mountains of packages that enter this country, every day, at just one POE you would relax.
    It simply CAN NOT be done. Getting scrutinized is not a process. It is a contact sport and when it happens you will know it. But, it likely never will because you are not what they are fishing for...
    The Mexican postal system is getting better all the time...
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    Thanks @GTOTemgesic, I know what customs does I just thought it was weird they didn't take the contents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QVC1212 View Post
    @Magician
    "QVC1212 seems to be very well informed on these issues"

    By the way, I am not a CBP agent, LOL. I have been doing iop since 2007 and on average two orders/month since late 2008, having racked up 3 love letters, so I can make a lot of inferences about things. Someone else wrote "unless you are said agent" which also seemed to imply that. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, I dunno.
    @QVC1212 Yes, actually, you took my comment the wrong way, and I apologize for giving the impression of an accusation. I was merely acknowledging your apparent expertise and did not mean to imply anything beyond that. Per Occam's Razor, I merely meant what I said, and nothing more complicated than that. The banana is just a banana this time.

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    @Magician - Someone pointed out to me that I have an overactive imagination. This is true. It's all good!

    And I have much to learn from other members such as yourself, whose input I value very much. No matter how much time you have under your belt, you cannot possibly stay current on iop's without others' experiences and input.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlo View Post
    Thanks @GTOTemgesic, I know what customs does I just thought it was weird they didn't take the contents.
    I could be wrong, but the issue has been raised here and elsewhere, and it's my understanding that in the United States of America, "First Class Mail" (but not "priority" or "parcel post" or "express mail") is constitutionally protected as private property against unwarranted search and seizure, and requires a court order/search warrant to open. Perhaps incoming international first class mail is exempt from that, I don't kow. But just like a personal automobile, if there are external signs that the first class mail item may contain contraband or illegal material (external powders, imprints, etcetera) or it's leaking some unknown substance, then it can be opened without a warrant. I also believe that such a warrant is more easily obtained for future items after it's established that the recipient or sender has a history of such mailings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magician View Post
    I could be wrong, but the issue has been raised here and elsewhere, and it's my understanding that in the United States of America, "First Class Mail" (but not "priority" or "parcel post" or "express mail") is constitutionally protected as private property against unwarranted search and seizure, and requires a court order/search warrant to open. Perhaps incoming international first class mail is exempt from that, I don't kow. But just like a personal automobile, if there are external signs that the first class mail item may contain contraband or illegal material (external powders, imprints, etcetera) or it's leaking some unknown substance, then it can be opened without a warrant. I also believe that such a warrant is more easily obtained for future items after it's established that the recipient or sender has a history of such mailings.
    Can you even being to imagine what it would take to create a data base of information like you are proposing? Not to mention what it would take to actually run it? It is not done, CAN NOT be done and will never be done. EVER.
    Seriously people. The DEA, Customs or any flavor of cop does NOT work like that. This is not a cat and mouse game. They may play cat and mouse games with the big guys. But not with some dork sitting at his computer and stalking his mailman in Iowa. It is a full contact sport and when you have been contacted you will know it.
    Anything else is just paranoid worrying and a real waste of your time and energy.
    Mail that has not yet entered the States is not subject to search and seizure law. That is why all activities like that are done just outside of the official border. That border really existing where ever the customs facility is located.
    For example, leaving the Bahamas, and officially reentering America is done in the Bahamian airport before you even get on the plane. So once you sit down with your dixie cup of Sprite and your bag of nuts you are already in America.
    Same goes for mail. They open it on the legally defined outside of the border, regardless of where that is. The Nassau airport or some mail processing facility in New Jersey.
    And, until it is in your hands it is not yours. So you have double reason for ZERO expectation of privacy.
    It is a numbers game folks. They know that, why donīt you?

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    "The Nassau airport or some mail processing facility in New Jersey."

    There is no port of entry (POE) in New Jersey that I am aware of. There is JFK International in New York, Miami, San Francisco and for Fedex a place in Kentucky (or Tennessee, can't remember which, but it's where flights come in directly from out of country). I think that's it. All of my international mail has come through one of those four places, never anywhere else. Now it could be because of the origin, but it's more likely because there are only a few ports of entry. Something you could research.

    Also, @GTOTemgesic - I don't want to step on any toes, but a lot of your comments are speculative. Unless you happen to be a lawyer, or something else qualifies you as an expert.

    Whoops my bad. I just looked it up and
    "There are 327 official ports of entry in the United States and 15 Preclearance offices in Canada and the Caribbean"
    U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Contacts
    That was the dumbest post I ever made.

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    You do not have to be a lawyer to know this kind of stuff. It is public information. Anyone with a brain, too much time and a computer can look it up.
    The comment about New Jersey was made out of hand. A reference to the subject, not an actual place. The point of the post was not a study in the physical location of customs facilities. Rather how the system functions in general.
    Americans are very myopic. They also tend to have greater faith in their governments ability to, or interest in, destroying you. There is not someone who sits around at the customs office going through packages of pills from Pakistan bound for Champaign, Illinois. And then involve local law enforcement in a sting. And think of the warrants and court time and on and on. It is silly. If you think about it in terms of logistics and what it would take to pull that off. How many actors there would have to be in that farce. How much money it would cost. The time, the need for inter agency cooperation. It is mind boggling and that, my friends, is why it does not happen.
    And for what? So Homer Homeowner can get dragged into court to be prosecuted for a crime that he will get a small fine and maybe probation for?
    WILL NOT HAPPEN. Does not happen. Ever.
    If anyone can post a real story about a person getting set up on a home delivery of medication of dubious origins I will eat my hat.
    I would spend way less time worrying about stuff like that and way more time worrying about finding a reliable, affordable supplier. But, thats just me. And what the hell do I know anyway? I am not a lawyer. Just a dumb Mexican nurse practitioner running her mouth....

    *This post was auto-merged. The following text was added 4 minutes after the last post:*

    And for further illumination. When I say it is a numbers game I mean in terms of it being confiscated.
    Not in terms of some complicated, 100 plus person, prohibitively expensive sting operation involving your mail man that will never happen in a million years because it is not realistic.
    Too expensive, too complicated, too much cooperation needed and on and on and on. And they donīt really care about you. You the end consumer. They want to find the guy that is supplying the suppliers supplier. NOT YOU.
    Seriously.
    Last edited by GTOTemgesic; 12-22-2010 at 07:18 PM.


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