Aduanas - Customs at Airport, can you bring in a natural wood item if it has been sealed and laminated?

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nomad747
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Aduanas - Customs at Airport, can you bring in a natural wood item if it has been sealed and laminated?

Post by nomad747 » Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:48 pm

I understand the restriction against raw wood, but am curious if natural wood items that have been laminated fall under the same restrictions.

My father gave me a very old walking stick passed down to him from his father. Its actually a family heirloom to some extent, but it is also basically just a dead BRANCH from a tree...It has been sealed with polyurethane for years and is capped at the bottom with a rubber foot.

Last time I entered border at the airport I asked the border agents in Customs about possibilities and they just kept repeating back "no natural wood items!" Perhaps I just need to heed those words at face value...but I know there was some language issues in my ability to explain specifically that the raw wood has been sealed entirely for decades. The only true threat to any ecosystem would be if the wood was cut into now and the original dead wood had also been infected by some parasites capable of surviving more than 40 years while completely sealed off from the environment - and I am not immediately aware of anything!

I have hesitated bringing it with me to test it because of fear it could be confiscated and we lose it forever.
Just wondering if anyone else has experience with bringing in "unprocessed" but laminated natural wood into Chile?

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Re: Aduanas - Customs at Airport, can you bring in a natural wood item if it has been sealed and laminated?

Post by Donnybrook2 » Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:03 pm

I have certainly brought in a walking stick on two separate occasions. They were in my suitcase and no one looked inside after it went through the x-ray. Maybe you could limp a bit and use it for its designed purpose?

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Re: Aduanas - Customs at Airport, can you bring in a natural wood item if it has been sealed and laminated?

Post by olafboswijk » Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:03 am

if you really cherish the stick, don't risk it because SAG officers are usually not the brightest and they will tell you again 'no natural wood items', even if it is totally ridiculous. if you do really want to bring it, I would try to disguise it or put in a bag with a pair of ski's or something similar. the customs checks are usually quite flaky at the airport in my experience.

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Re: Aduanas - Customs at Airport, can you bring in a natural wood item if it has been sealed and laminated?

Post by admin » Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:52 am

In theory, yes you can bring it in.

Now SAG agent might get stupid about it. You might then have to contest the siezure and you are off to the beucratic circus.
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Re: Aduanas - Customs at Airport, can you bring in a natural wood item if it has been sealed and laminated?

Post by nomad747 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:59 pm

Donnybrook2 wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:03 pm
I have certainly brought in a walking stick on two separate occasions. They were in my suitcase and no one looked inside after it went through the x-ray. Maybe you could limp a bit and use it for its designed purpose?
:lol:

This one is a bit long to stuff in any typical suitcase (almost 1.5 meters) and even if I paid for special baggage fares, it will definitely trigger the "plant material" color on the xray screens when I come through. Its design is more of a trekking stick at that height, so limping would be bit of a stretch too :lol:

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Re: Aduanas - Customs at Airport, can you bring in a natural wood item if it has been sealed and laminated?

Post by nomad747 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:00 pm

admin wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:52 am
In theory, yes you can bring it in.

Now SAG agent might get stupid about it. You might then have to contest the siezure and you are off to the beucratic circus.
Looking like I may need to just leave this with family in the states, but do you think "shipping" it here would bring the same risk.

Leaving it behind will break my heart and probably means it will gather dust in a basement and risk getting thrown out with some future years "spring clean-up" activities :|

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Re: Aduanas - Customs at Airport, can you bring in a natural wood item if it has been sealed and laminated?

Post by proger » Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:09 pm

don't think you'll have problems.
I've entered guitars with exotic woods(roosewood, ebony, maple...) and some separate guitar parts wood only with no fuss. but then again, its about luck.
ALWAYS classified it as a present and of course if you can bring its yourself to get 100% success.

dont think you need to let important piece like yours to be left alone in some basement. that will be sad. good luck

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Re: Aduanas - Customs at Airport, can you bring in a natural wood item if it has been sealed and laminated?

Post by nomad747 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:10 pm

olafboswijk wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:03 am
if you really cherish the stick, don't risk it because SAG officers are usually not the brightest and they will tell you again 'no natural wood items', even if it is totally ridiculous. if you do really want to bring it, I would try to disguise it or put in a bag with a pair of ski's or something similar. the customs checks are usually quite flaky at the airport in my experience.
I agree...I have imported my pet cat twice and they only glance in her cage, say something like "pretty kitty" and then move me along....they don't even glance at all the extensive paperwork required before boarding, or even ask me to remove her to scan the cage or bedding (if I could break the stick down somehow, I could just put it in her cage or tape it along the sides, :lol: ).

I am worried about triggering the x-rays "plant material" alert on the screen during the scan if I attempt to carry it with skis or special baggage :roll:

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Re: Aduanas - Customs at Airport, can you bring in a natural wood item if it has been sealed and laminated?

Post by nomad747 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:19 pm

proger wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:09 pm
don't think you'll have problems.
I've entered guitars with exotic woods(roosewood, ebony, maple...) and some separate guitar parts wood only with no fuss. but then again, its about luck.
ALWAYS classified it as a present and of course if you can bring its yourself to get 100% success.

dont think you need to let important piece like yours to be left alone in some basement. that will be sad. good luck
Yea, my problem is that the stick is literally just a branch from a tree, dipped in polyurethane...I know if the wood has been" processed or manufactured wood, its OK, but if it just looks like raw material, it grabs their attention. I had 2 small bamboo drinking straws confiscated a few years ago and those were packed away in my baggage....when they opened my bag, they skipped over all the items I would have expected them to look at, like liquor and cigarrettes and a rather significant stash of small electronics, and went right for those straws. Not a significant loss cost wise, but I had to forfeit them and the memory stays with me for sure!

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Re: Aduanas - Customs at Airport, can you bring in a natural wood item if it has been sealed and laminated?

Post by proger » Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:07 pm

you should pack it in a smart different way like a souvenir .
for example ive ordered for some chilenos olive branches from mount of the olives in Jerusalem, they come in a plastic rapped present like and very hard to identify as wood at all, you have to be creative my friend.
its obvious they will take out your bamboo sticks just sitting in your bag waiting to be banned.

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Re: Aduanas - Customs at Airport, can you bring in a natural wood item if it has been sealed and laminated?

Post by nomad747 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:04 pm

proger wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:07 pm
you should pack it in a smart different way like a souvenir .
for example ive ordered for some chilenos olive branches from mount of the olives in Jerusalem, they come in a plastic rapped present like and very hard to identify as wood at all, you have to be creative my friend.
its obvious they will take out your bamboo sticks just sitting in your bag waiting to be banned.
I like your repackaging suggestion for sure....but I think it really depends on what kind of morning the agent has had - good or bad :lol:

My bamboo straws were in a package from the vendor - mylar wrapping with a clearly "manufactured" cardboard hanger stapled at the top and everything - I didn't just throw some wood pieces into my bag. I tried to argue the clearly manufactured state of the wood and it's gift/souvenir status...but it did not matter, they said it lacked "certification as a treated wood" and was considered raw plant material as a result. But, on another entry from Japan, I had definite "raw plant material" in the form of little dead trees and dried branches that I actually expected a confrontation about. They were small items meant to be used in crafts, but with no manufacturer packaging or anything, I just wrapped them in some paper bag material, but I was let through after just a quick response about it being a souvenir - thinking that agent must have been in good spirits while the former was had a miserable morning :lol:

The airport scanner does identify organic material with the colour orange....so if its shape looks like a plant or a stick to the person viewing it on the screen, its probable they will inspect further...if inorganic material is piled on top, which produces a blue colour, the scanner will show a "greenish" colour and its left to the discretion of the inspector whether or not to look at it closer. In a technical sense, the packaging (whether organic or inorganic) is irrelevant to the machine producing the results.

But YEA....since my stick is indeed "laminated" and shiny when looked at, I DO like your disguised package idea!! I can make it look like a recently "purchased" item...maybe affixing a label to it or something....my thinking is that I might get lucky again with the "purchased as a souvenir" argument.....hmmmm :)

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Re: Aduanas - Customs at Airport, can you bring in a natural wood item if it has been sealed and laminated?

Post by nomad747 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:10 pm

Thanks so much for the input everyone!
It will be quite some time before I am able to attempt it, but its been on my mind for years. Always too afraid to try. But when I do come back with it, I'll post an update to let you know how it went!

Hopefully I am successful to skip any bureaucratic nonsense - oh wait, did I forget where I am??? :lol: :lol: :lol:

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