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#1 David Regan

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 11:17 AM

Hey all,

So I've got a shoot coming up in a couple weeks in Taiwan, and we are considering renting the camera (Probably HPX500) here in the US and bringing it over. However I've heard issues where you need waivers to travel with that kind of equipment because customs worries you might be trying to resell it in another country. Anybody have experience with either bringing a camera or similar equipment, or at least with shipping it over?

Thanks
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#2 Rich Steel

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 11:44 AM

You'll need to get a Carnet for Customs Purposes. I've shot all over the US and Canada and had to have a detailed Carnet of all the equipment I had. 9 times out of 10 the Customs Officer I had to deal with at point of entry/exit had no idea what a Carnet was and I ended up having to show them what they had to stamp and sign.

Carnets are needed pretty much everywhere in the world unless you frequent places like certain parts of Russia, Pakistan and India where dollars speak more than paper work.

When your flying back into the states you'll need proof that the equipment was indeed sourced and purchased in the states (hence having a Carnet) if you don't have a Carnet, your going to need proof of purchase (within the states) and until you can prove it, Customs have every right to impound the equipment until it's all checked out.
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#3 David Regan

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 12:39 PM

Thanks Rich,

Assuming I rent the equipment, I would guess they would photocopy the proof of purchase they have for the equipment and give that to me to show Customs?
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 01:30 PM

You'll need Carnets more than likely.
It's an official document, whereas, any photocopies etc, could be forged, and you don't want to be put in a position such as having rented gear impounded...
Spend the money, get the carnet, or rent the camera out of Taiwan.
A few hundred up front can save you thousands thereafter.
I know when I shot in Senegal, I brought all my receipts for my equipment, and had it listed on a carnet, and had a copy of the insurance as to where it was to be stored in the US and abroad. Now, none of this was asked of me, perhaps because it was just an XDCamEX that I had, but.... $600 for a carnet for all my equipment is a lot better than the thousands i'd've had to apay to rebuy it, or the possibility of lost rentals from it while it was impounded.
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#5 David Regan

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 02:15 PM

Yeah definitely worth it. Were you shipping your equipment separately, or did you just check it on the airline? Because If I shipped an item overseas separetly, would that require the same procedure? Not that I necessarily trust shipping a camera as a good idea.
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 02:25 PM

I brought the camera, as it was small, Carry on. It's best to keep it with you as best you can... the essentials and such. You can ship, of course, but... who knows when it'll get there and how much it'll cost. I've never shipped my camera/tripods overseas, I normally try to get a direct flight, and I check the big stuff, and carry on the camera.. I even have a briefcase which'll fit an SR3, Mag, Batt/Charger, happily in the overhead rack.
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#7 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 02:26 PM

Yeah definitely worth it. Were you shipping your equipment separately, or did you just check it on the airline? Because If I shipped an item overseas separetly, would that require the same procedure? Not that I necessarily trust shipping a camera as a good idea.


Take a look at these links for more help:


The ATA Carnet, transporting professional film/video equipment across borders:
http://www.uscib.org...?documentID=718
http://www.osec.doc..../atacarnet.html


For more help like this, browse around the forum at www.realfilmcareer.com .
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#8 Rich Steel

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 05:48 PM

Yeah definitely worth it. Were you shipping your equipment separately, or did you just check it on the airline? Because If I shipped an item overseas separetly, would that require the same procedure? Not that I necessarily trust shipping a camera as a good idea.


If it's a camcorder like the HPX500 always take it as carry on. I've had a bad experience in the past with checking in a camcorder in a custom foam insert in a peli 1650 case and when I got it at the other end the lens had sheared from the b4 mount, so I always carry on if it's a camcorder.

Another interesting factoid is that Ryan Air UK and Europe based (cheap and nasty airline) ask you to sign a waiver to say they aren't responsible for the loss or damage of any Broadcast/expensive items checked-in. When I asked what happens if I refused to sign the waiver, the reply was "find someone else to fly with".
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#9 David Regan

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 06:18 PM

Thanks everyone, Brian I'll check those websites out. And be staying away from Ryan Air...

Cheers
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#10 Chris Keth

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 07:03 PM

David, when I went to Cambodia last summer, I insisted we carry on the cameras, with 2 charged batteries and a box of tapes each packed in the runbags and it really saved our ass. All of our checked equipment was held in customs for the duration of our stay. The batteries and tape let us shoot while we waited for new rentals from Thailand.

Have fun, stay safe, and good luck!
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#11 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 08:16 PM

Should add, that going to Senegal, our Tripod "never departed" and wound up flying all the way to South Africa, before getting back to us the last week of the shoot. So, as Chris mentions, pack everything you can into your carry on so you can shoot in an emergency.
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#12 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 10:16 PM

Thanks everyone, Brian I'll check those websites out. And be staying away from Ryan Air...

Cheers


Speaking of batteries, be aware of the restrictions on lithium:

http://safetravel.do..._batteries.html


Nickel Metal Hydride as usually okay to pack in your checked baggage and to carry on. But Lithium are restricted from being in baggage (the last time I checked) and you cannot carry a Dionic 160 on board (to much Lithium).
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#13 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 01:51 AM

Good point there brian.
For all Lithium batteries, keep them separated, terminals should all be taped over, and I tend to keep them in separate plastic bags to prevent shorting.
Didn't know 'bout the lithium restrictions on quantities, though, so certainly look into that.
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#14 Rich Steel

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 06:03 AM

Speaking of batteries, be aware of the restrictions on lithium:

http://safetravel.do..._batteries.html


Nickel Metal Hydride as usually okay to pack in your checked baggage and to carry on. But Lithium are restricted from being in baggage (the last time I checked) and you cannot carry a Dionic 160 on board (to much Lithium).


Back in the day Sony manufactured BPL-90 Lithium V Locks. Excellent Batteries, I've got 3 of them but because of those new restrictions they stopped manufacturing them now...Bugger.
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#15 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 09:03 AM

If it's a camcorder like the HPX500 always take it as carry on. I've had a bad experience in the past with checking in a camcorder in a custom foam insert in a peli 1650 case and when I got it at the other end the lens had sheared from the b4 mount, so I always carry on if it's a camcorder.

Another interesting factoid is that Ryan Air UK and Europe based (cheap and nasty airline) ask you to sign a waiver to say they aren't responsible for the loss or damage of any Broadcast/expensive items checked-in. When I asked what happens if I refused to sign the waiver, the reply was "find someone else to fly with".


Best separate the lens and camera, there's a lot of shear forces if one of those kindly baggage handlers drop the checked in camera case.

The international air transport conventions don't give you much cover on baggage anyway, so these airlines are only removing not very much cover anyway. The kit should be fully insured by the production or whoever, regardless of the airline.

One thing you can be caught out by is the reduced carry on bag size that have been introduced in recent years. My old carry on personal overnight bag is now too large, so it has to be checked into the hold.

Ryan Air are planning to charge a £1 for you to use the in flight toilet, so I wouldn't expect anything more from them other than having a basic bus seat that takes you from A to an airport that mightn't be that close to B.
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#16 Chris Keth

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 03:11 PM

One thing you can be caught out by is the reduced carry on bag size that have been introduced in recent years. My old carry on personal overnight bag is now too large, so it has to be checked into the hold.


You know, I kind of forgot about that. I know for certain that the cameras we carried on were well above their prescribed size for carry ons. They were HDX900s in run bags, with 11x lenses attached and they also had 2 batteries and a box of tapes in each bag. We carried 3 of these. Not once did anyone say anything about being too big and, usually, we even talked them into letting us board first with the passengers with infants so we could have first pick of the overhead bins. They do fit in overheads, by the way, as long as you adjust the viewfinder to be as narrow as possible and then are very careful going in and out.
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#17 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 04:11 PM

You know, I kind of forgot about that. I know for certain that the cameras we carried on were well above their prescribed size for carry ons. They were HDX900s in run bags, with 11x lenses attached and they also had 2 batteries and a box of tapes in each bag. We carried 3 of these. Not once did anyone say anything about being too big and, usually, we even talked them into letting us board first with the passengers with infants so we could have first pick of the overhead bins. They do fit in overheads, by the way, as long as you adjust the viewfinder to be as narrow as possible and then are very careful going in and out.


I'd be careful with the European low budget airlines like Ryan Air & Easyjet, they're extremely tight about their on board baggage allowance. The latter have a frame that checks the size of your on board bag size, although I suspect a 2/3" camera should fit OK on its own in say a Portabrace cover, you may have difficulty with some bags.
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