Lucasfilm seized my Master Replica props

MikeyX

Well-Known Member
I'd be really really interested to hear what Amy/MR have to say about the claim that only MR are allowed to sell their products outside the US - but I'm not holding my breath.

Customs issues will be dependant largely on country - I could rant for a while about how UK customs have too much power, but that's not really going to do any good. However the bottom line is that in the UK if you have bought something legally, and are prepared to pay the import taxes, as long as it doesn't break any laws then customs are not supposed to stop it. That said - they can do whatever they like in practice.

What really concerns me here is the apparent involvement of LFL....
 

Spiker

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(joatrash @ Apr 26 2006, 11:31 AM) [snapback]1233316[/snapback]</div>
There are probably ways of investigating this without having to hire a lawyer. Consumer representatives, newspapers... and I am fairly certain there are EU offices you can call and ask about what the rules really are. Sure, it may not be much money this time... but the principal of the thing is important to all you guys in Germany. I really hope this turns out in your favor.
[/b]
100% agree .

About the "Only MR may sell products..."-issue:
I don't belive this, i believe that any MR purchase from outside the EU is affected (even from MR itself).
From what i read in the LFLs-attorney letter they seized it because it wasn't purchased here in Germany... which is ridiculous...
*EDIT* i just realized that you could not read the letter. Tim sent it to me therefore i know the concrete content.
 

MikeyX

Well-Known Member
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Spiker @ Apr 26 2006, 12:06 PM) [snapback]1233331[/snapback]</div>
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(joatrash @ Apr 26 2006, 11:31 AM) [snapback]1233316[/snapback]
There are probably ways of investigating this without having to hire a lawyer. Consumer representatives, newspapers... and I am fairly certain there are EU offices you can call and ask about what the rules really are. Sure, it may not be much money this time... but the principal of the thing is important to all you guys in Germany. I really hope this turns out in your favor.
[/b]
100% agree .

About the "Only MR may sell products..."-issue:
I don't belive this, i believe that any MR purchase from outside the EU is affected (even from MR itself).
From what i read in the LFLs-attorney letter they seized it because it wasn't purchased here in Germany... which is ridiculous...
*EDIT* i just realized that you could not read the letter. Tim sent it to me therefore i know the concrete content.
[/b][/quote]
Man I'd like to see that letter. Also this demands some input from MR - I mean surely they must have the contacts within LFL to get this story straight. Also they should express an interest if their products are going to get destroyed when they send them to Germany....
 

Spiker

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Ok, i found something. It will clear the situation somehow (but unfortunaltly does not make it better).

"If products from Non-EU-countries are being imported without the licenseholders agreement they are classified as parallel importation and can already being seized at customs".

German customs got the sabers. They sent them to LFL Germany. LFL Germany let customs seize them while referring to the above stated.

We have here some issues with parallel importations. It all began with cars, which are all over the world cheaper than in Germany. So many people imported cars and that was bad for our economy.
Another issue were/are US region 1 DVDs. Most movies start here in cinemas 3 months after the US-start. So many people bought US code 1 DVDs to look the movies while they are being shown at our theatres. Bad for our cinemas, bad for our DVD-sales.
I can understand those issues because these are major issues.

But that LFL uses this right on 2 MR mini-lightsabers is just annoying. Who do they want to protect ? These 5 little Star Wars Merchandise Dealers who trade with this kind of stuff here in Germany ?
That must be a joke, completley....
Or do they want no German Star Wars Fans ? I mean what do they want ???
 

JOATRASH FX

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The big question is how parallel import laws apply to private citizens purchasing for personal use. I just checked a couple of EU info sites, and they state that Parallel imported items are aimed for RESALE. So as long as you're just gonna stick 'em on a shelf, then you should be ok. I'll do some more digging and see what I can find.
 

Ketzer.com

Sr Member
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Spiker @ Apr 26 2006, 01:00 PM) [snapback]1233355[/snapback]</div>
...
"If products from Non-EU-countries are being imported without the licenseholders agreement they are classified as parallel importation and can already being seized at customs".
...
[/b]

Yep, that's what happened. The second letter I got from customs said I did not have permission of the license holder to import these.

Amy from Master Replicas never got back to me.

Tim
 

JRX

Well-Known Member
I'd get suspended for Troll-like Behaviour if I said out loud
what I really think about our German Customs :angry
So I better not - but you can insert any curse and swearing
here that you can think of : " .......................... " ...

I have another question regarding a very similar matter:

What if I bought a "Fan-made" (a good and $$$ one) Vader
Helmet in the US, and want to have it shipped to Germany
without having the "nice" Germany Customs trouble the hell
out of me - How do I best do it ???

- How should it be shipped ???
- How should it be described ???
- How much Value should be on the box ???

... how do I get it at all without any problems ???


anybody who really knows how to do it ??? - :( :( :(

Any help / advices would be great - Thanks - :thumbsup
 

JOATRASH FX

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Ketzer.com @ Apr 26 2006, 02:53 PM) [snapback]1233442[/snapback]</div>
Yep, that's what happened. The second letter I got from customs said I did not have permission of the license holder to import these.

Amy from Master Replicas never got back to me.

Tim
[/b]
Well, if they are going by parallel import laws, I am fairly certain that they apply ONLY if you intend to import for resale. Contact your nearest EU-info office (there are bound to be lots of them in Germany) and start asking questions. Not to defend the Customs people, but it may very well be that they don't know the laws 100% by heart and LFL may not have been told that you imported the items for personal use and thus assumed you were going to sell them.
 

Ketzer.com

Sr Member
as long as it does not say LUCASFILM anywhere on the helmet, you should be safe. If the two mini sabers had been shipped without a box, they would have gone thru.

I did tell the attorney that these were in no way intented for resale.

Tim
 

GeneralMayhem

Sr Member
We had the same situation with a customer who bought our Lord Of The Rings Elven Warrior armor. They didn't want us to put an invoice in the package that said it was anything other than a gift so he wouldn't have to pay the import taxes. He wound up getting his armor OK, but luckily we're the only ones making the armor at all, so there was no one like Lucasfilm Germany to complain about who gets to import it, and so far everyone from Germany who has ordered from us has gotten their armor without any problems.


~ GM
 

Too Much Garlic

Master Member
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(GeneralMayhem @ Apr 26 2006, 06:30 PM) [snapback]1233497[/snapback]</div>
We had the same situation with a customer who bought our Lord Of The Rings Elven Warrior armor. They didn't want us to put an invoice in the package that said it was anything other than a gift so he wouldn't have to pay the import taxes. He wound up getting his armor OK, but luckily we're the only ones making the armor at all, so there was no one like Lucasfilm Germany to complain about who gets to import it, and so far everyone from Germany who has ordered from us has gotten their armor without any problems.
~ GM
[/b]
Is that just me or is this not the same thing? This buyer simply didn't want to pay import taxes.

Ketzer wasn't even GIVEN that option to pay import taxes to soothe the customs and uphold the law, no, they seized his items because he "wasn't allowed to import them without having gotten permission from LFL".

Two very different issues here.
 

JOATRASH FX

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Indeed, trying to get around paying customs and taxes is definately a completely different issue.
 

Gruson

Well-Known Member
Hmm...so what about Sideshow Star Wars pieces? Would these fall under the same guidlines?

I had someone in Germany buy two expensive items from me and now I am worried about shipping them...
 

Too Much Garlic

Master Member
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Gruson @ Apr 26 2006, 08:43 PM) [snapback]1233580[/snapback]</div>
Hmm...so what about Sideshow Star Wars pieces? Would these fall under the same guidlines?
I had someone in Germany buy two expensive items from me and now I am worried about shipping them...
[/b]
I would think so. It's a gross violation of the law, but apparently the customs can do whatever they want.

I would be real worried too. Just remember to put insurence on the shipment, then you can always file an insurance claim afterwards and hopefully get the money back in that fashion. At least THAT will highligt what happened and the illegality of what the customs did.

Hey Ketzer, maybe that could work... filing an insurance claim for lost goods... would be interesting to see if it worked in this instance.
 

Bug Stomper

Well-Known Member
I think it's a really questionable practice to destroy those items as they are the property of someone else.
If they'd return it to the sender, that'd be ok. Think about it - the same could have happend to a limited edition piece costing several hundred bucks... :cry
However, US customs are not any better: Someone at the Aliens Legacy Board was doing a run of PR slings. He ordered the sling material from overseas and one of the boxes was seized and destroyed because of some nylon import quota that was exceeded.... :confused

Cheers,
Stefan
 

Ketzer.com

Sr Member
As I have stated here a few times before, this is NOT about import taxes.
They never aks me to pay taxes.

The issue here is:

I did not have permission from Lucasfilm to import these two Mini Lightsabers. PEROID.

Tim
 

Peralton

Well-Known Member
A few years back my buddie brought back some Airsoft from Japan (before they could be easily found here). They were seized at LAX customs. They let him come out back and watch as they destroyed them in a hydraulic press. at least he got some entertainment from it.

The reason? The airsoft guns violated copyright because they had the Glock logo.

This is not the same case as these two lightsabers, but it goes to show that it is common practice for customs of all countiries to destroy items on the spot. Right or wrong, there it is.
 

RKW

Sr Member
So how would this law apply to international ebay sales??

Is this directive imposed solely by MR and if so where does MR state that you can't import their products from outside your own country?
 

Ketzer.com

Sr Member
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Peralton @ Apr 26 2006, 09:26 PM) [snapback]1233700[/snapback]</div>
A few years back my buddie brought back some Airsoft from Japan (before they could be easily found here). They were seized at LAX customs. They let him come out back and watch as they destroyed them in a hydraulic press. at least he got some entertainment from it.

The reason? The airsoft guns violated copyright because they had the Glock logo.

This is not the same case as these two lightsabers, but it goes to show that it is common practice for customs of all countiries to destroy items on the spot. Right or wrong, there it is.
[/b]

Cool. At least he got something out of it. They never sent me a picture of the two destroyed sabers.

But I have learned my lesson: no more licensed props for me.
A couple friends of mine here will cancel their Master Replicas orders.

Tim
 

JOATRASH FX

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Come on guys, don't just give up on this. I've made an inquiry about EU import laws that may shed some light. In the meantime, follow up on the leads I suggested. You can beat this thing for all German prop replica fans. :thumbsup
 
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