How do I ship booze from Ohio to Australia?
December 30, 2011 2:55 PM   Subscribe

How can I ship vodka to Australia from Ohio?!? I know the USPS won't ship hooch, but is there ANYONE that will. I'm trying to send some locally-made vodka to a very special lady in Sydney, but it's starting to look dire. HELP!
posted by Capt.DooDooFace to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
i've shipped booze through USPS by declaring them as flavored vinegars.
posted by nadawi at 3:01 PM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

In general, it's easier for the producer or a licensed seller of alcohol to ship than it will be for you. They may even already be familiar with the process.

Failing that, FedEx would be your best legal bet. Lying on the customs form can get you a hefty penalty if you're caught, either by US or AUS customs.
posted by DaveP at 3:24 PM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

It's not vodka, it's an ethanol solvent. This is probably terrible advice though.
posted by feloniousmonk at 4:00 PM on December 30, 2011

The laws are set up on the assumption of receiver-pull, rather than sender-push, so she would be liable for import duties and would have to pay them herself (even if reimbursed or pre-paid by yourself), which would rather spoil the surprise. Do you have a mutual friend or relative in Australia who could act as the nominal importer?

IMO the ideal solution would be to give it to someone you trust who is flying from the USA to Australia, let them take it in as a duty-free gift, and then have them post or courier it to your friend. However failing that an Australian co-conspirator would be able to resolve it.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:06 PM on December 30, 2011

Do not lie on a customs form. The best idea is to see if the local producer can do it - FedEx for instance only takes wine from licensed producers. The second-best idea is to fly it there on your person (or with someone already going.)
posted by SMPA at 4:08 PM on December 30, 2011

From the Customs website:

"Tobacco and alcohol products

If the goods you imported are tobacco and/or alcohol products with a value of A$1,000 or less, you will be sent a tax invoice by Customs and Border Protection.

The information sent to you will provide payment advice, follow those directions carefully. Once payment is received from you, Customs and Border Protection will advise Australia Post to deliver your goods. If the goods have a value of more than A$1,000 then you must lodge an import declaration if you want the goods delivered to you.

If you prefer not to pay the duty and GST and you want the goods returned to sender, you should contact Australia Post on 13 13 18."

As for getting it here from your end, I have no clue. We've shipped stuff overseas (smokes and booze) to the US heaps of times using regular old Australia Post. It seems weird that America Post (or whatever) wouldn't just take it provided it's wrapped up properly.
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:33 PM on December 30, 2011

(Really though, there are specialist booze places in most major Australian cities that will have whatever magical vodka you're thinking of sending, even if it's that crazy Dan Ackroyd one. Do you have a mutual friend in Australia you could just send some money to, and have them buy the plonk locally?)
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:34 PM on December 30, 2011

Not "plonk", "gear". Plonk is wine.
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:35 PM on December 30, 2011

Response by poster: Dahlia, the whole point is that it's made in Columbus. She's coming here in April, so I'm sending her a "Columbus care package!" Watershed Vodka and Buckeye Vodka are probably not available in AU...
posted by Capt.DooDooFace at 9:47 PM on December 30, 2011

Watershed Vodka and Buckeye Vodka are probably not available in AU...

I'd wager Nicks would import whatever you asked them to, and deal with all of that shipping and customs malarkey. I've friends who've done it with beers. They are in Melbourne, but they do deliver to backwaters like Sydney.

Alternatively King and Godfree would probably do the same, though their site is inaccessable to me just now, and I don't know if they ship to the boondocks.
posted by pompomtom at 1:14 AM on December 31, 2011

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