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Guidelines for Dispatches of Valuables by Post or Carrier

Transporting jewellery can be a complicated affair. All parties need to establish an acceptable method of carriage and establish the Shipping Terms and Conditions and who is responsible in the event of loss.

Jewellery can apply to precious and semi-precious stones, gold, silver or watches. Tolerances have been built into your insurance policy to allow for this fact. The problems begin to occur when these become inadequate. Generally this arises because the unit cost of items in each parcel are inexpensive and the weight of the parcel exceeds that which the Post Office will accept for Special Delivery the service which they recommend for transporting valuables. It may be because deliver has been promised for the next working day.

The acceptable methods of carriage, which may be covered by your Jeweller's Block Policy, are:

  • Special Delivery formerly known as Registered Post
  • Airfreight subject to at least 25% declared value for carriage. This means that the Airline's liability for loss or damage is uplifted from their standard terms so that they will be liable or responsible to pay up to 25% of any loss or damage
  • Datapost or Compensation Parcel Fee Post - providing the value of any single item contained within the parcel does not exceed £150.00 and subject to the value of any one parcel not exceeding £2,500.00.
  • Armoured Carrier such as Brink's Matt and Malca Amitt who have established runs between the major international jewellery and diamond centres or the services provided by Securicor or Group 4 in the UK that are often used by the Assay Offices.

Certain clients do have special requirements and these need to be individually considered. The number of carrier and courier services has grown considerably in recent years and they are all keen to compete for your business. Unfortunately none of them offer an adequate level of compensation. They do not claim to be carriers of valuables and generally exclude any compensation completely.

In our experience of the commonly used worldwide couriers only one (excluding the Royal Mail Overseas Special Delivery) will carry jewellery knowingly and provide you with the option to buy some additional insurance or compensation over and above their basic terms and conditions. This is FedEx who at this time will pay up to US$500 providing value is declared on the air waybill in the "Total Declared Value For Carriage" box which is placed adjacent to the "Declared Value For Customs Duty" box.

By special arrangement and subject to certain conditions limited cover is available for the transportation of valuables by carriers such as FedEx. Details of these arrangements are available on request.

At all times Policyholders should avoid the use of descriptions such as jewellery or precious stones which are an obvious attraction. Providing the harmonised customs tariff code correct and accurate It is permissible to describe the contents of the parcel obliquely.

We are happy to discuss your requirements ensure that you call us before you commence using any carrier unless you are sure that they already fall within the scope of your policy.

There are a number of traditional ways to express who has title and therefore resposibility to insure thw goods when they leave supplies premises.  A synopsis of each is described below:

Shipping Terms and Conditions

"Ex Works"

If you specify or request an ex works price then the goods are your resposibility the moment they leave the suppliers factory, title to the goods is yours, and so you must arrange your own insurance cover.  As the supplier has no further cost to include his ex works price will naturally be his best selling price.

"FOB" or Free on Board

Title to the goods does not become yours until the goods are loaded onto the ship or aircraft, specifically over the ship's rail or in the case of Aircraft into the Aircraft Hold. Therefore the supplier will arrange insurance for the transit from the supplying factory until loaded on to the ship or aircraft. The customer will then have title to the goods and so will arrange insurance say FOB to a specified Port or Airport.

"CIF" or Cost, Insurance and Freight

When these terms are specified you have requested an inclusive price for the goods to be delivered to you. Title does not revert to the purchaser until you have received the goods. You may specify your own address, a warehouse or even a Port or Airport in your country. In the latter case you will be responsible for the transit insurance in respect of the last leg of the journey from the airport or port to your own premises.

"C and F" or Cost and Freight

Some purchasers prefer to leave the carriage arrangements to the supplier however in the event of loss they prefer to negotiate any claims with their own people, believing that they have better powers of negotiation and generally more control. In such a case the instruction would be expressed as "C and F". Title will revert to the customer when the goods leave the suppliers premises or as otherwise specified.

With valuables such as jewellery it is often better to leave the problems of insurance and type of carrier to the supplier.  Often goods will be ordered and dispatched from overseas and the purchaser will not be responsible until collection and the home airport.


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