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Last week I stayed in Amstersdam for a few days. When I came back to France I realized I forgot a Leatherman multi-tool in the hotel room. I contacted the hotel and they told me they found the multi-tool, but are unable to send it back by the post because it contains a small knife.

Is there a other way to ship it to France?

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    Do you have a local friend who'll be going to Amsterdam in the near future? Or perhaps a commercial courier (DHL, UPS, et al) would carry it. What would the multi-tool cost to replace? May 7 at 15:15
  • Unfortunately I don't have any friends going back to Amsterdam. I'll search about commercial courier. This multi-tool has a sentimental value and will be difficult to replace.
    – Adrien G
    May 8 at 10:29
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    Perhaps you have a friend in the Netherlands, who could retrive your tool from the hotel and hold it until you return to visit again. May 8 at 14:18
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    A Leatherman tool is perfectly legal to sell, own and use in the Netherlands as it is not classified as a weapon. It can therefore also be sent by post, or as a parcel within the EU. That is reflected in the terms and conditions of the principle dutch postal agency, PostNL. Those do not prohibit international shipping of knives. rates
    – Rob
    May 9 at 8:01

1 Answer 1

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Try harder to convince them to mail it to you.

Really, whoever told you/them they can't send it by post is mistaken. As Rob pointed out in the comments, these tools are not regulated at all in the Netherlands. You can easily order one online and have it sent to you. (You can also order an entire set of kitchen knives and PostNL won't have any trouble delivering it.)

The PostNL list of items prohibited in international mail doesn't ban knives in general, only those that are "weapons" as defined by the relevant Dutch Arms and Ammunition act (the English version of that list is perhaps a little ambiguous but the Dutch version is not. It clearly says "Weapons that fall under the Arms and Ammunition act" (translation mine).

The relevant bit of that act (Wet wapens en munitie) which defines what is a weapon is Article 2:

Categorie I

  • 1°. stiletto’s, valmessen en vlindermessen;
  • 2°. andere opvouwbare messen, indien:
  • a. het lemmet meer dan een snijkant heeft; of
  • b. de lengte in opengevouwen toestand langer dan 28 cm is;

Categorie III

  • 3°. werpmessen;

Categorie IV

  • 1°. blanke wapens waarvan het lemmet meer dan een snijkant heeft, voor zover zij niet vallen onder categorie I;
  • 2°. degens, zwaarden, sabels en bajonetten;

My (mostly literal) translation:

Category I

    1. stilettos, switchblades, butterfly knives
    1. other folding knives, in case:
  • a. the blade has more than one cutting edge, or
  • b. the length in the unfolded state is greater than 28 cm

Category III

    1. throwing knives;

Category IV

    1. cold weapons having a blade with more than one cutting edge, unless they fall under Category I;
    1. swords, sabres, bayonets

IANAL, but I would say your Leatherman clearly does not fall under this definition, thus it is not a weapon controlled by this act (if it was, you would likely have trouble getting it into the country in the first place), and thus it is permitted in international mail.

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  • That covers the Dutch side, but does La Poste have any qualms about knives?
    – jdouglas
    May 10 at 16:40
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    @jdouglas No idea, but I wouldn't think so. The PostNL list of restrictions does have a section with additional restrictions for individual countries at the bottom and France isn't there.
    – TooTea
    May 10 at 18:26

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