Jump to content




Photo

Bringing film gear into China?


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Mark Kenfield

Mark Kenfield
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 712 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Melbourne, Australia

Posted 28 October 2015 - 12:42 AM

Hi Guys,

 

Well my happy news today is that I'm off to Xiamen in Southern China to lens a feature... my less happy news is that I'm supposed to be leaving in just eight days time, and I therefore have a whole lot to prepare with very little time to prepare it  :unsure:

 

So I was wondering if anyone here has been through the experience of shooting in China, and could share any tips or info, particularly in regards to bringing gear into and out of the country?

 

I'll be travelling as light as possible, but that will still involve bringing (at a minimum):

 

- A Sony F5

- A couple of Zeiss PL zooms

- A tripod

- Couple of Area48 remote phosphor lights

- Small selection of assorted lighting modifiers

 

Given that we're talking about the better part of $90,000 of equipment, my biggest concern is how easily I'll be able to bring the gear into and out of China, and what I'd need to prepare or bring with to make sure everything happens smoothly (i.e. without confiscations or duties levied against the value of the gear).

 

Also, if anyone happens to know a gaffer or key grip based in Xiamen City, I'd certainly appreciate the contact!

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

 

 

 


  • 0




#2 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 6767 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 28 October 2015 - 01:17 AM

get Carnets, right now-- if you can. If you can't-- good luck.

 

http://www.atacarnet...arnet-countries


  • 0

#3 JD Hartman

JD Hartman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1488 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Edison, N.J. U.S.A.

Posted 28 October 2015 - 05:56 AM

Take pictures of everything your bring and store them on an accessible drive along with a written list.  You never know.


  • 0

#4 Robin R Probyn

Robin R Probyn
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1034 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Tokyo

Posted 28 October 2015 - 06:30 AM

Ive shot in China many times.. Its not a Carnet country for film gear.. only exhibitions /trade shows..  but you have to pay a refundable  20% of the value of your gear,(it used to be 30%) .. the bummer is it has to be in Yuan.. they wont except foreign currency in case its fake and they wont know..  you go with an official to a bank in the airport and its deposited .. you are given a receipt and claim it back when you leave.. the bank is not open on a Sunday as I found out one time !! also if you are leaving china from a different airport I dont know how that would work.. 

 

There is no insurance in China.. so if you rent any gear.. it will come with a guy or two from the rental as assistants ,and to basically look after the gear.. often wont let you even carry it.. Ive never had gear confiscated .. but I wouldn't leave anything lying around or in a car.. 

 

So put the price of your gear down.. within reason.. I guess they have some idea of the price of stuff.. the problem is the crap exchange rate getting Yuan and then changing it back in your home country.. I took also an F5 and one PL zoom.. rented tripod and lights .. your fixer should be able to help with that.. if its a bigger production they might be able to come up with the yuan deposit too.. that will save you a lot of hassle.. otherwise its pretty easy.. and less hassle than a carnet ! 

 

I have known people to just chance it.. and a lot have got away with it.. but its a gamble .


Edited by Robin R Probyn, 28 October 2015 - 06:43 AM.

  • 0

#5 Mark Kenfield

Mark Kenfield
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 712 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Melbourne, Australia

Posted 28 October 2015 - 09:20 AM

Thanks guys. Really helpful info Robin, thanks!


  • 0

#6 Bruce Greene

Bruce Greene
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 393 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 28 October 2015 - 10:31 AM

China might not care about the Carnet, but your home country might upon your return. Check with your local customs officers to prepare for the return of your equipment.
  • 0

#7 Robin R Probyn

Robin R Probyn
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1034 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Tokyo

Posted 28 October 2015 - 04:57 PM

An unstamped re export carnet coming back will be alot more hassle than no carnet.. try getting your deposit back on that.  :)..  you could get a list stamped on the way out .. otherwise just tell them you went to a non carnet country .. you dont have to have a carnet returning from a non carnet country..  Ive never had a problem with it..  but always good to check I agree.. 


  • 0

#8 Gregory Irwin

Gregory Irwin
  • Sustaining Members
  • 527 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Work is based in Los Angeles but I live elsewhere.

Posted 28 October 2015 - 06:12 PM

It seems to me that the producers of this project should have the know how of this process. They should be running the interference and making the arrangements to get the gear in and out of a foreign country. In my experience, you need at the very least, a commercial invoice (manafest) and at times depending on the country, a carnet. Again, the production should be working these details out.

G
  • 0

#9 Keith Walters

Keith Walters
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2131 posts
  • Other
  • Sydney Australia

Posted 29 October 2015 - 09:45 PM

Hi Guys,

 

Well my happy news today is that I'm off to Xiamen in Southern China to lens a feature... my less happy news is that I'm supposed to be leaving in just eight days time, and I therefore have a whole lot to prepare with very little time to prepare it  :unsure:

 

So I was wondering if anyone here has been through the experience of shooting in China, and could share any tips or info, particularly in regards to bringing gear into and out of the country?

 

I'll be travelling as light as possible, but that will still involve bringing (at a minimum):

 

- A Sony F5

- A couple of Zeiss PL zooms

- A tripod

- Couple of Area48 remote phosphor lights

- Small selection of assorted lighting modifiers

 

Given that we're talking about the better part of $90,000 of equipment, my biggest concern is how easily I'll be able to bring the gear into and out of China, and what I'd need to prepare or bring with to make sure everything happens smoothly (i.e. without confiscations or duties levied against the value of the gear).

 

Also, if anyone happens to know a gaffer or key grip based in Xiamen City, I'd certainly appreciate the contact!

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

 

 

 

Have you got an entry visa?

You can't get into China without one, no matter how unlikely it is you'd want to stay there, and getting one can be an incredibly slow process, even in HK. Plus they take your passport for the entire time they're doing the processing.

If you haven't got that sorted out yet, you need to get in touch with their consulate quick smart.

 

My experience (with consumer products) is that it's far easier to get electronic products out of the country than into China. You wouldn't believe the trouble I've had getting dud appliances back to the Chinese manufacturers for investigation. We used to courier them to our Hong Kong office (where there are very few restrictions) and then get somebody to take them to China personally. I don't know why, but they seem far less strict with stuff carried personally than couriered or posted.

And yes, they only take Yuan in China , but they will accept foreign currencies in Hong Kong. I don't know why they're so concerned about counterfeit foreign money, the Yuan look like they could be turned out on a half-decent inkjet printer...


  • 0

#10 Stuart Brereton

Stuart Brereton
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2574 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 29 October 2015 - 11:41 PM

Last time I shot in China, which was admittedly a few years ago, we found it easier to rent equipment there than deal with importing it. The bureaucracy was too much too deal with, so we let our local fixer arrange rentals.


  • 0


Tai Audio

Visual Products

CineTape

Pro 8mm

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery

Glidecam

Technodolly

CineLab

Paralinx LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Willys Widgets

The Slider

Abel Cine

Zylight

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

Visual Products

rebotnix Technologies

CineTape

Abel Cine

The Slider

Paralinx LLC

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery

Tai Audio

CineLab

Zylight

Pro 8mm

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc