Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Using a Carnet  (Read 2646 times)
Scott Hargis
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 194



WWW
« on: November 16, 2012, 11:28:33 AM »
ReplyReply

This would be the appropriate forum for this topic, yes?

Having been hassled a few times when returning from overseas gigs with my gear (nothing like a hard case to make border agents suspicious!) I used a Carnet on my last two trips. The process seems absurdly antiquated, and yet I'm having a hell of a time getting straight, consistent answers to some questions. Can anyone with more experience help me out on the following?

1) Do I really need to go through a full bonding process each and every time I travel overseas? How do people do this who are true road warriors, traveling all over at the drop of a hat? Common sense tells me that I can be bonded once, for the full amount of my equipment list, and then use that bond over and over for some period of time. As it stands, I'm finding myself getting forms notarized and overnighted, every time. Pain in the butt.

2) On my most recent trip, I drew a border agent who happened to do the Carnet training for her team. She implied that I could have a "master" equipment list (the green sheet) that I kept, and used over and over. That seems to mean that I would only need to get the counterfoils for the country(ies) I plan to visit on a given trip. Right now I'm getting a brand-new Carnet for every time I travel, which (along with the bonding process) seems a little expensive, and a little onerous.

I'd like to know as much as possible about the whole process. I'm finding that border patrol agents (both in the US and abroad) are not always very familiar with carnets, and I've had to talk them through what they're supposed to do - not easy, since I barely know my way though the forms myself. Any advice on how to streamline the process would be greatly appreciated!
Logged

<a href="http://www.scotthargisphoto.com">Website</a>
Colorado David
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 621



« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2012, 10:00:12 PM »
ReplyReply

I have traveled overseas a bit over the years.  I have never used a Carnet.  What I have done is carry all the gear I was taking out of the country to the U.S. Customs office at my local international airport and register it all, having the agent on duty check all the serial numbers, certify my list, sign and imprint it.  My equipment list changes based on the job and this started to get be a bit of a pain.  One agent told me I could just bring everything I ever intended to carry overseas and register it all at once.  Of course I buy a new piece of gear every now and then, so the list still changes.  I've never had any problems with this method.  I've only had one customs agent ask why I hadn't used a Carnet and that was in Amsterdam in 1991.  The problem I have encountered is one country in particular regularly requires me to buy a work permit because I would be displacing a local worker even though my entire income stream was in the U.S. and there would never have been a local worker displaced.
Logged

Scott Hargis
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 194



WWW
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2012, 11:31:35 AM »
ReplyReply

David, thanks for the input. I've never had anyone overseas give me any problems about my gear (except in filling out the Carnet forms!) - but I get hassled and threatened with fines pretty much every time I re-enter the US.

Sounds like you're saying I can accomplish the same thing, for free? Like a sort of DIY Carnet? Might be worth a trip down to SFO to ask about this...thanks.
Logged

<a href="http://www.scotthargisphoto.com">Website</a>
asf
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 506


WWW
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2012, 11:46:07 AM »
ReplyReply

Are you incorporated? If not I've been told a carnet is unnecessary, but it can be up to the individual agent to decide if he or she wants to make your life hell or not (this is paraphrased from what I was told by a sympathetic agent after a less than sympathetic agent decided he wanted to demonstrate his power).

If you're not incorporated and you aren't traveling with expensive rental gear Colorado David's answer has been suggested to me by a couple of border agents. Although the last time I called to make an appointment to bring in all my equipment to have it registered they acted like I was wasting their and my time and all I needed was to keep receipts with me.

Each time I've tried to find out from the Customs Office what is necessary I've gotten different answers. The only sure way to avoid all trouble is having a carnet.
Logged
Colorado David
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 621



« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2012, 01:41:24 PM »
ReplyReply

You have to just show up at the customs office and either figure out when they have some down time or be willing to wait.  Some officers will be a pain about it, but eventually they'll get the job done.  Registering your property before leaving the country is much better and more effective than producing your receipts upon re-entry to the U.S.  I've used this method with gear probably totaling a value of $60,000 and not had a problem.
Logged

Colorado David
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 621



« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2012, 01:47:56 PM »
ReplyReply

I should add that the form Customs uses is a tiny little note-pad sized thing that they use for people's personal property when the travel.  You'll never get your stuff listed on it.  What I do is create my own form with the make and model, description of the item, and the serial number.  I take this with me to the Customs office and write on their form See attached inventory.  Then I verify the serial numbers with the officer.  He or she will then use red ink to scribble around your list so that nothing could be added at a later date and the will imprint it and their little form with the official customs imprint.  Then you're good to go.  Most people use the little form for their point and shoot camera and their Swarovski binoculars when they go sight-seeing somewhere for a week.
Logged

Scott Hargis
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 194



WWW
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2012, 02:57:04 PM »
ReplyReply

Are you incorporated? If not I've been told a carnet is unnecessary, but it can be up to the individual agent to decide if he or she wants to make your life hell or not (this is paraphrased from what I was told by a sympathetic agent after a less than sympathetic agent decided he wanted to demonstrate his power).

Not incorporated. But traveling with 4 or 5 cases equalling maybe 300lbs and $20k to $30k value. You're sure right about it coming down to which agent you draw!


Each time I've tried to find out from the Customs Office what is necessary I've gotten different answers.

Yep!

I think I'm going to give David's method a go. I'll be going abroad at least once, maybe twice, next March. This'll be incentive to get my gear packed and flight-ready before the last minute!
Logged

<a href="http://www.scotthargisphoto.com">Website</a>
Pages: [1]   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad