Herewith, Tom Deaver's instructions on packing and shipping flutes:
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 2002 22:33:09 +0900
Competently made shakuhachi are quite durable and have been known to survive a three story drop onto a concrete slab and then being run over by a car with only minor surface damage. No shakuhachi that has been delivered from here has ever been reported damaged during transit.
Suggestion: Wrap each piece of the flute in a half sheet of newspaper, put them in a plastic bag and squeeze out the air, wrap that in another two sheets of newspaper and, finally, wrap tightly in one layer of cardboard and tape closed. As long as the shakuhachi doesn't move around in it's container it will arrive anywhere, even on the moon, just fine.
Always mark the country of origin as Japan to avoid import taxes.
Even if there is no blank space on your local postal form for country of origin. Write it somewhere on the shipping label. These taxes can be recovered, but it's a hassle and takes a bit of time.