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#2039813 - 02/26/13 07:17 PM Shipping a Piano Internationally  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 172
fj_s Offline
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fj_s  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 172
Singapore
Hi everyone!

I'm moving back from Boston to Singapore in June, and need to ship my 1917 Steinway A back home. The complication is that it has ivory keys.

Does anyone have recommendations for movers/shippers that would ship pianos overseas, and has experience with documentation required for such a move?


In progress

Beethoven: Op 109, Op 110
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#2039864 - 02/26/13 09:06 PM Re: Shipping a Piano Internationally [Re: fj_s]  
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Rich Galassini Offline
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Rich Galassini  Offline
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Philadelphia/South Jersey
Unfortunately, shipping an item through customs like a piano with ivory keytops is somewhere between quite difficult to impossible.

There is a ban on shipping ivory. I ship pianos internationally regularly and I do not attempt shipping ivory keytops. If there is a way it is not cheap or easy.


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Check out the Science Channel's "How Its Made" featuring our piano restoration:
http://www.cunninghampiano.com/how-its-made/
#2039873 - 02/26/13 09:19 PM Re: Shipping a Piano Internationally [Re: Rich Galassini]  
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Scott Hamlin Offline
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Scott Hamlin  Offline
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Wow - great topic!

This page has some info you may find useful...
good luck!
Importing Pianos - Ivory

#2039904 - 02/26/13 10:47 PM Re: Shipping a Piano Internationally [Re: fj_s]  
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Supply Offline
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Supply  Offline
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Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
I just recently learned that clients of mine have received the CITES permission to bring in a 1970s piano with ivory keys from Europe. I didn't think that was possible. Go figure...

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#2040106 - 02/27/13 11:46 AM Re: Shipping a Piano Internationally [Re: fj_s]  
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Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
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Nash. Piano Rescue  Offline
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East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
Getting permission is the easy part. The hard part lies in the one hot shot custom inspector that could be out there. The one who secretly goes to PETA meetings. I've got paperwork in my office of a piano being shipped ( not by us) from California to Oklahoma City OK and being confiscated at Arizona Agricultural Inspection Station and held there. The carrier had all the paperwork but the inspector simply said... " I don't care" take it off the truck or you can stay here too" So like I said getting documents is one thing and the actual inspection is another thing


J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
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#2040181 - 02/27/13 01:59 PM Re: Shipping a Piano Internationally [Re: fj_s]  
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Supply Offline
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Supply  Offline
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Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
You are probably correct, a lot can depend on the official's position on the individual case. But one would think that the proper documentation should over-rule a lower-down's arbitrary (ab)use of power.

#2040825 - 02/28/13 02:48 PM Re: Shipping a Piano Internationally [Re: fj_s]  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 172
fj_s Offline
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fj_s  Offline
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Posts: 172
Singapore
Thanks all!

I'm going to call a local company that has contacted me on this thread; however if there are other recommendations in the Boston area please PM me as well.

It's a very personal piano with a story, which is why I would really like to bring it back with me to Singapore.


In progress

Beethoven: Op 109, Op 110
#2040951 - 02/28/13 06:07 PM Re: Shipping a Piano Internationally [Re: fj_s]  
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Numerian Offline
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Numerian  Offline
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Wait four years. Under most country codes the piano becomes an antique if it is older than a century, and can be shipped internationally with ivory keys.


#2041053 - 02/28/13 09:42 PM Re: Shipping a Piano Internationally [Re: fj_s]  
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fj_s Offline
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Singapore
Thanks! That may be a last resort. I'm hoping my move qualifies as a personal effects move exemption under CITES, since I am moving home. smile Thanks all, and I'll share my experience in 4 months after my move is completed!


In progress

Beethoven: Op 109, Op 110
#2042227 - 03/03/13 08:40 AM Re: Shipping a Piano Internationally [Re: Nash. Piano Rescue]  
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Derulux Offline
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Derulux  Offline
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Philadelphia
Originally Posted by Nash. Piano Rescue
Getting permission is the easy part. The hard part lies in the one hot shot custom inspector that could be out there. The one who secretly goes to PETA meetings. I've got paperwork in my office of a piano being shipped ( not by us) from California to Oklahoma City OK and being confiscated at Arizona Agricultural Inspection Station and held there. The carrier had all the paperwork but the inspector simply said... " I don't care" take it off the truck or you can stay here too" So like I said getting documents is one thing and the actual inspection is another thing

Arizona is probably the single worst state in the union with regards to personal rights violations (though most are usually due to police--we have "Miranda Rights" because of Arizona State Troopers). That being said, if you had all the paperwork, I would have that guy's job and nothing short. Find a reason for an expensive lawsuit. You'll get your piano back, and that guy will be gone.


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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