legal transportation of knives and other small kitchen utensils.

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by maximilian heim, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. maximilian heim

    maximilian heim

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    Culinary Student
    Hello everybody, just that you know, this is my first post. :)

    I come from australia but have been working in germany gaining experience as an international apprentice chef. I have decided that I like germany and want to stay. The problem is that the knives (and other utensils) at work are... 'not my prefered style'.

     I have a very nice (and expensive) set of knives back in Australia. I plan on visiting and I want to know if and how it would be possible to bring my knives back to germany with me. I have an aluminium toolbox that is lockable.

    The cheaper the option the better, as I am still an apprentice and so I'm still earning pittence.

    Any help or information would be very much appreciated. :)
  2. berndy


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    Retired Chef
    I would check with the airline you are using to fly from Australia to Germany .

    It most likely will be fine if you keep it in your checked Luggage.

    Viel Glueck.
  3. thatchairlady


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    Home Cook
    Agree with other poster.  Call the airliine, tell them what you want to do, and seek their advice.  Even if someone else says "this" is what they did... airline & TSA will have final call.  Ya don't want things confiscated!?!
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I Just Like Food
    Laws vary by location, so you'll need to look into the specifics for your country and carrier.

    That said, using the US as a model, putting valuables in your checked luggage is a recipe for theft. Luggage is routinely searched by people not associated with the airline. So the airline will deny liability for your loss. The searchers will blame the airline.

    In the US, you must use a TSA approved luggage lock. The searchers have a key that unlocks these locks so they can search and then relock the luggage. The one recourse you have have as a passenger is to be present when your luggage is searched then lock it yourself with a lock of your choice. Your luggage is then tagged as searched and your lock should remain untampered with. Take a picture when they open it and when they have closed it.

    Nevertheless, if the knives are valuable, insure it. Your pictures will help you with your claim if they are lost, stolen or damaged.

    Or you can ship them to yourself via a postal service, which would be my choice. I know Australia has wacky laws regarding knives so this might be problematic, but where they're work tools, you probably have some exemption that applies. Germany is pretty strict on knife laws too, but you'll fill out a form for the destination that should cover that.
  5. duckfat


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    Retired Chef
    Like others my information is based on a US model. When traveling by air with weapons the easiest thing to do is have your bag pre-inspected. This is actually required for firearms but that's another issue. Once that is done you get your bag pre-tagged and you don't have to use a TSA lock which is worthless as nearly every one that works with a ramp badge at the airport has a key along with every thief. This will allow you to use a real lock.

    While airline carriers can not really offer a lot of help with this as it is government regulated you can buy insurance direct from your carrier for your checked bag so no matter what happens to your bag you will be insured. Our domestic carriers often cap that insurance at 5K which is usually around $50 one way. Pay for the up charge with AMX or another credit card that may offer you additional protection as well if you go that route. When you do this your bags are often tagged and hand delivered at the carousel.

    In the US it is also wise to fill out a customs form before you leave and bring back items so you can show proof of ownership. There is nothing worse than paying tax on items you already own. I have no idea how that would translate to Germany.

    I will tell you that I spent a few years working for a legacy airline and Frankfurt International had more problems with theft on the ground than any other International airport I dealt with. As phatch suggested shipping may be a very good option to consider but be sure to look into customs rules for Germany and shipper regulations first.