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Travelling to the UK without a Carnet


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#1 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 13 September 2009 - 05:57 PM

Anyone have any experience taking gear to the UK without a Carnet? I fly out at 7am tomorrow and it seems that getting a Carnet is a bit out of the question.

I am actually only taking my wireless follow focus and video so I can keep it rather small and hope for a green light. Any idea my chances of that working? What kind of paperwork and red tape will be necessary when I get there if they decide to question my gear? From what I have read some sort of deposit is required but that it really requires getting some sort of broker involved. Anyone have any experience? This is an extremely low budget project which has decided to rent my gear last minute and of course production has no idea about dealing with customs, etc...

As far as getting my gear back into the US I am bringing receipts to prove that it all origionated in the US. The US customs website suggests that this should work. I would register my gear with them which I have done with other gear in the past but again the 7am flight kind of makes that difficult.

~Jess
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#2 Stephen Vanderspek

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Posted 13 September 2009 - 07:32 PM

I'm afraid I don't have experience with US/UK but I do with CND/US, so I might be able to help with afew of these.

Anyone have any experience taking gear to the UK without a Carnet? I fly out at 7am tomorrow and it seems that getting a Carnet is a bit out of the question.

You'd be right, last I checked you need to be bonded to get one and that takes at least a week.

I am actually only taking my wireless follow focus and video so I can keep it rather small and hope for a green light. Any idea my chances of that working?

I've taken my full package across with no problem as long as I prove I'm not crossing to sell the gear, it'll depend on how reasonable the officer is/how much they like doing paperwork. Be prepared to explain exactly what it is you do and half of them don't seem to watch TV or films so that can be fun. They usually like to know how much the gear costs, usually it's safe to under shoot the used sale value by 10-20%, depends how ballsy you are, they don't really have any way of knowing. They'll usually want to inspect at least one case. If you tell them your broker told you that you don't need a carnet, that seems to help.

What kind of paperwork and red tape will be necessary when I get there if they decide to question my gear?

They could decide to charge you whatever duties that they'd normally charge on imported gear from the US. I'm pretty sure they can seize your gear until you get a Carnet, I'm not completely sure on that point.

From what I have read some sort of deposit is required but that it really requires getting some sort of broker involved.

I'm pretty sure that's the carnet, which is usually 40% gear value and yes you'll want a broker if nothing else just to maintain your sanity.

As far as getting my gear back into the US I am bringing receipts to prove that it all origionated in the US. The US customs website suggests that this should work.

Should work, when I bring gear to/from US, as long as I have the paper work proving I've already paid CND import then I'm fine.

I don't know if this helps any, but again all of my experience is US/CND which I'd imagine is wildly different than US/UK.
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#3 RobVanGelder

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Posted 13 September 2009 - 09:07 PM

Carnets are tricky papers, and need to be properly used, or they'll give you a lot of headache and possibly costs.

I have travelled a lot in and out of Europe and found that the different countries have different procedures, though it should be standardized...
Latest trip was to the Dominican republic, coming from Belgium. Though there is no ATA-carnet available for the Dom. Rep., we do need to show it when we come back to the EC with the gear.
So basically it was not really used, but only as a proof that the original destination is in the EC.
Here I found that the Steadicam Ultra with all the bits and pieces was valued at around 35.000 Euro, with a Carnet from the Netherlands.
The Belgium crew had arranged a Carnet for their Sony HD-cam cameras and stated that each camera had a value of 200 Euro......

The Customs did not make any problems either way, but it could have been ugly if they really wanted to find out the actual value from the cameras...

So there is not a good answer to do this properly, if you do it all by the book, you might need to put a large bond in the Chamber of Commerce where the Carnet is made. If you value low, you might get caught at some Customs office.
In the Netherlands they have - luckily - a fixed "guarantee" of 100 or 200 Euro, for most equipment and Carnets, but in Singapore you have to put 50% of the actual value of your equipment in a special account, as security, and you cannot get it back instantly when you are back in Singapore....
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#4 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 13 September 2009 - 10:29 PM

Jess,

Forget Carnets - what about a work visa??? Low budget? Hope you weren't planning to "vacation" there? If so, that's out the window once they see your gear. They may well not let you in the country.
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#5 Imran Naqvi

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 07:23 AM

That was going to be my question too.

There are a lot of great guys out here cutting each others' throats as it is, couldn't you have shared the love a little?
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#6 Ken Nguyen

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 11:58 AM

Jess,
Alex is right.
I might be lucky!
I totally don't care about the carnets.
Unless your gear is band new and well packed in manufacturing package, custom won't stop you from bringing the gear in the county as long as you have a working visa.
Some countries will make a list of your stuffs with serial number, some takes a few photos, so that when you leave the country, any missing piece without a right explanation (police stolen report) will be taxed.
One time, I went to London after working in Paris bringing along all of my gears because I re-routed my flight back to US from London.
Custom asked me why I carried all of those stuffs into England.
I just told them my situation; showed the French work visa and my press card.
They politely let me in the country as a visitor.
No problem of bringing gear back to US so far.
Again, the 2 most importance things: working visa, and gears without manufacturing packages.
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#7 Martin Stacey

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 10:57 PM

Hi Jess,

I've travelled into the UK with my kit several times in the past few years and never needed a carnet. The UK Customs has a special dispensation for the film and television industry allowing for temporary importation of the required equipment for the period that you in the country.

"As per Section 4.1 and 4.12 applying for temporary relief by Oral Declaration and Inventory Document Form C 108.
As part of this NIRU approval is required to verify that the business is established outside the EC. "

Once you submit these forms along with proof of ownership etc. by email you will recieve a confirmation email from them which you must present along with 2 copies of the completed forms upon arrival where your gear will be checked and the forms stamped ready for you to re-present when you leave.
All of the appropriate information is available on the UK Customs website along with a downloadable copy of the C108 form.

Hope this helps,

Martin
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#8 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 01:42 PM

There's some great words of advice in this thread. Good info from Martin there which I wasn't aware of. I'd certainly reccommend to get on top of paperwork before you leave - personally I thought a carnet was required. I've just done Vienna and Zurich and had some minor problems but didn't need a carnet as I was within the EU.

On a practical level, when you're collecting baggage, you'll often find that part of your gear goes through the normal carousel for your flight, and confusingly half of it often turns up on the oversized baggage carousel, or dumped on the floor randomly. Beware, keep your eyes peeled. Have fun in Wales, beautiful scenery.
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#9 Kris Torch Wilson

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 04:05 PM

I realize the info given here will be used for future reference but I am getting a bit of a chuckle out of all the advise Jess is getting AFTER he has already flown away.

Torch
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