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Tony Collins

Brexit. Crossing borders with professional equipment

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Good luck with that. A carnet costs £325/year. Thanks, Boris.

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21 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Good luck with that. A carnet costs £325/year. Thanks, Boris.

And that is per item.

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Say you're a hobbyist and show them your Instagram account?

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Nobody ever mistakes me for a professional 😃

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34 minutes ago, Tony Collins said:

And that is per item.

AFAICS it's on total value of goods, but still alarming. Plus a security bond on top. A deal-breaker.

 

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Years ago I was undertaking a major long-term project in Ireland, before the Republic was in the EU. I had to have a carnet listing all the equipment which had to have a page for every border crossing I made. Each page, officially, had to be stamped and retained by the border customs after checking all my equipment to ensure I hadn't sold any of it north or south. Very often over the many trips I made I was crossing the border so many times I ran out of pages and not once did any customs officer check the mountain of equipment I was carrying in the car. They would usually take a glance at the long list on the carnet and either just wave me through or stamp it without checking. Of course, this was all at the height of the troubles so they had other worries at border crossings. 

 

I crossed the border one time on a sunday afternoon and stopped at the republic side to be checked and a sleepy customs officer just waved me through. I asked if I should check in across the road on the British side and he said, "no need, they don't open on sundays". 

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I wonder who thinks this is a good idea.

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2 hours ago, spacecadet said:

I wonder who thinks this is a good idea.

Boris 😉

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I'm looking forward to a fistfight at the border. If that doesn't happen, I may go to Hong Kong.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Tony Collins said:

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Having travelled the world with expensive equipment (laser interferometer system) which often needed carnets, I can say that I NEVER needed a carnet for my business laptop and SLR camera. In fact, even when travelling with carnets I found in some cases they were an expensive waste of time and money as they were not always accepted and I had to pay duty (in cash) anyway to get through customs (e.g on entry into Japan). IMHO a better way , if you're carrying a DSLR and laptop, and you definitely aren't leaving it in the country, is to state (if asked) that it's a camera and laptop for personal use. If you have more gear (which definitely doesn't look brand new) , try carrying paperwork that lists the items and their serial nos. and states value for customs = $0 or a low figure. IMHO carnets are a total PITA!

 

Disclaimer - but don't blame me if the above is bad advice. It's just my experience.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman

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Obviously been lucky in the countries I've visited, but never had a problem regarding traveling with 2 DSLR bodies, sometimes a film body too, a handful of lenses, a laptop, battery chargers, and at least two portable HDDs. Having tatty looking non-label camera straps and scratched and worn stickers on lens hoods, plus a few bits of untidy looking tape here and there on camera bodies does make it all look well and truly "used" . . . and, I'm assured, less desirable for thieves :)

 

I used to present Australian customs with a detailed list of camera gear, with serial numbers, approx date of purchase etc., but haven't done that now for the past decade or more. Would that change if I was to travel again to the UK?

 

What about Estonia and Istanbul, the next two places on my itinerary?

 

DD

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I never had a problem with my cameras and laptop. Nobody asked for anything but I did carry my receipts showing I purchased them in the US and often years before my travel.

 

Paulette

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I suspect the reality is that these items are so commonplace that borders would grind to a halt if details were checked. Carrying three bodies plus lenses and GoPro etc might excite some interest. I always carry my Royal Photographic Society membership card as an "alibi". Carriers of long lenses should perhaps carry a bird spotting book?

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To show my Yankee ignorance, what is a carnet?

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Hi Betty

 

A carnet is a passport for goods.

 

regards

 

Jon

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3 hours ago, Jon Lewis said:

Hi Betty

 

A carnet is a passport for goods.

 

regards

 

Jon

Thank you Jon. I spent entirely too much time guessing what it meant. 😊

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11 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

I'm looking forward to a fistfight at the border. If that doesn't happen, I may go to Hong Kong.

Looking for a rumble, Ed? :D

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I had no clue and traveled to places like Russia and Estonia with two DSLR's, several lenses, a laptop and a couple of hard drives. Only issue I ever had was going through security from Sweden via Iceland to the US - they X-rayed one of my hard drive several times and kept inspecting it, before they finally passed it through - with all the work from an 11- day trip I was getting nervous. Never had an issue with my equipment and never thought to bring copies of my receipts. 

 

Any particular countries where they are so picky? Russian customs spent over an hour looking carefully at our US passports...so slowly that it got unnerving  (there were 14 of us traveling together - first time I ever did a tour) but never checked anyone's equipment and I had all my camera stuff on me in two camera bags ... as did several others.  They never even looked in any of the bags either on the way in or out. 

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2 hours ago, Marianne said:

I had no clue and traveled to places like Russia and Estonia with two DSLR's, several lenses, a laptop and a couple of hard drives. Only issue I ever had was going through security from Sweden via Iceland to the US - they X-rayed one of my hard drive several times and kept inspecting it, before they finally passed it through - with all the work from an 11- day trip I was getting nervous. Never had an issue with my equipment and never thought to bring copies of my receipts. 

 

Any particular countries where they are so picky? Russian customs spent over an hour looking carefully at our US passports...so slowly that it got unnerving  (there were 14 of us traveling together - first time I ever did a tour) but never checked anyone's equipment and I had all my camera stuff on me in two camera bags ... as did several others.  They never even looked in any of the bags either on the way in or out. 

 

Thankyou Marianne. We appear to travel very similarly equipped :)

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16 hours ago, dustydingo said:

Obviously been lucky in the countries I've visited, but never had a problem regarding traveling with 2 DSLR bodies, sometimes a film body too, a handful of lenses, a laptop, battery chargers, and at least two portable HDDs. Having tatty looking non-label camera straps and scratched and worn stickers on lens hoods, plus a few bits of untidy looking tape here and there on camera bodies does make it all look well and truly "used" . . . and, I'm assured, less desirable for thieves :)

 

I used to present Australian customs with a detailed list of camera gear, with serial numbers, approx date of purchase etc., but haven't done that now for the past decade or more. Would that change if I was to travel again to the UK?

 

What about Estonia and Istanbul, the next two places on my itinerary?

 

DD

Looking at your list, did you have any question/issues in China & Vietnam at customs?  Most of my gear looks 'used' as well... 

In & out of the US & Canada several times, I never had any issues. 
UK to Ireland several times, never bother to check bags most of the time, just walk straight through. 

One ferry trip back from Netherlands, myself & OH bought Dutch bikes, cycled off ferry soon as the ramp was down and disturbed customs guy who was reading his paper in the booth, feet up, "morning" I called as we cycled past, he jumped up "oh ferries arrived then he said" 😁

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11 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

To show my Yankee ignorance, what is a carnet?

 

Betty,

in Spain carnet is the word referred to the driving license, just for your information 😂

 

Stefano

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Posted (edited)

Bon dia, Stevano.  I have no carnet . . . but I have a NY State NON-drivers license.  I also have a valid EU (Irish) passport.  If I were to have a border problem, it would be coming back into the UK after Brexit. 

 

In the film era, I had some serious problems moving cameras and film across borders. I've been okay so far traveling with all my digital stuff. Especially in Spain. 😅

Edited by Ed Rooney

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An addendum to my previous post about my customs and carnet experiences in Ireland when the UK was in the EU and the republic wasn't... Even though things seemed laid back criss-crossing borders then, a few months after one of my trips a customs officer turned up, unannounced, at my studio and wanted to see the items listed on the carnet. He was making sure I hadn't 'imported them illegally' into the republic. He just selected some examples from the very long list, checked the serial numbers on the carnet against the kit in my studio and went away happy.

 

As with some previous contributors posts, I have never had any problems in any other country and I sometimes travel with a lot more than a camera bag and a couple of Leicas. Big roll-along cases with 10"x 8" equipment and big tripod etc. Never a problem.

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