WOW, check this out: List of Prohibitions for Italy. Yeah, that means you CANNOT ship these items to Italy, PERIOD. I'm not sure if my follow focus fits into any of these categories, but it sure doesn't give me a good feeling picturing the Italian customs guys ripping thru the package, cluess as to what it is, and ultimately deciding it's NOT going through...
I'm not sure if that link will work because I had to go thru the ordering process so here's the list:
Albums of any kind (of photographs, postcards, postage stamps, etc.).
Arms and weapons.
Articles of platinum or gold; jewelry; and other valuable articles unless sent as insured Priority Mail International parcels.
Artificial flowers and fruits and accessories for them.
Bells and other musical instruments and parts thereof.
Cartridge caps; cartridges.
Clocks and supplies for clocks.
Compound medicaments and medicines.
Coral mounted in any way.
Ether and chloroform.
Exposed photographic and cinematographic films.
Footwear of any kind.
Haberdashery and sewn articles of any kind, including trimmings and lace; handkerchiefs; scarves; shawls, needlework including stockings and gloves; bonnets, caps, and hats of any kind.
Hair and articles made of hair.
Lighters and their parts, including lighter flints.
Live bees, leeches, and silkworms.
Live plants and animals.
Nutmeg, vanilla; sea salt, rock salt; saffron.
Parasites and predators of harmful insects.
Perfumery goods of all kinds (except soap).
Playing cards of any kind.
Postage stamps in sealed or unsealed First-Class Mail International shipments.
Ribbons for typewriters.
Roasted or ground coffee and its substitutes; roasted chicory.
Saccharine and all products containing saccharine.
Salted, smoked or otherwise prepared meats; fats; and lard.
Toys not made wholly of wood.
Treated skins and furs.
Weapons of any kind and spare parts for them.
Coins; bank notes; currency notes (paper money); traveler’s checks; jewelry; and other precious or valuable articles must be enclosed in an insured Priority Mail International parcel in order to be mailable to addressees in Italy.
Postage stamps for philatelic purposes are admitted in registered First-Class Mail International shipments on condition that the package bears a completed Form 2976 and the addressee complies with the Italian financial regulations.
A parcel may be addressed to a street address or to a post office box. A local telephone number for the addressee should be provided when the item is addressed to a street address and must be provided when the item is addressed to a post office box.
For Priority Mail International parcels, an invoice, in duplicate, is required for all commercial shipments regardless of value and all personal shipments valued at $300 or more. The invoices must be affixed to the outside of the parcel or may be enclosed in PS Form 2976-E with the customs declaration.
First-Class Mail International shipments may not contain dutiable articles.
Shipments containing books must bear a PS Form 2976.
Many articles are subject to an import license or quantity restrictions. Senders should ascertain from the addressee before mailing whether the articles will be admitted or whether the necessary documents, if required, are held.
Are all international sellers aware of these types of prohibitions? Italy has 131 total: Musical Instruments, postcards, footwear- this ones is my favortie: "Toys not made wholly of wood." And this is just for Italy! What about the rest of the world. Do people even know what they can and can't have sent to their country. Some of these 131 prohibitions are preposterous at best- food and perishable goods, meds, guns etc.- I get it, but hats of any kind?
What about all this stuff being sold all over the world on ebay and amazon. I highly doubt the bigtime power sellers have a disclaimer for each conuntry. Do they?
So, now what do I do? I'm out 2 packages and even if I wanted to FedEx it, there's a good chance they would deem the follow focus prohibited (based on the multiplte photo and video items listed) and NOT let it thru... They haven't contacted either parties so far, so why would they this time?
Oh, and here's the kicker.... The USPS told me I CANNOT get insurance to Italy, PERIOD! I can get tracking but that's it...
Someone please tell me that my only option is to give the guy his money back. I'm losing sleep over it- 75 days is just NOT cool, and certainly not how I run a business. I did ask him a few times, but he said he was OK waiting. Should I just demand he take it back? What else can be done? AHHHHHH!!!