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Traveling abroad with the equipment.


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#1 Haris Pallas

Haris Pallas

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  • Thessaloniki,GREECE

Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:37 AM

Hallo everybody,

I'm based in Greece,Europe and I will be traveling to London by airplane during May with my full equipment.

I would like to ask you what actions should I take,so that my equipment travels safe and not get lost or stolen?
Do I have to have a special kind of form for the airports?
Do I put locks to the cases or not?...And if not,how can I be sure that not even a single screw would be stolen?

My case list is:

- 1 large Pelicase 1730 that includes sled & arm

- 1 Thermodyne case with the vest

- 1 soft arm bag with the C-stand

- 1 small Pelicase with the Follow focus

- 1 small Pelicase with the Titan video link

- 1 small aluminium case with directors monitor

- 1 small aluminium case with batteries & charges

- 2 more small aluminium cases with parts,cables,weight plates and stuff...

- 1 aluminium trailer (to carry all the small cases as one)


Thanks a lot,

- Haris -
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#2 Andre Perron

Andre Perron

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  • Montreal, Canada

Posted 13 May 2012 - 05:09 PM

Hi Haris!

First, I hope you're doing considering the situation of your country.

I travel a lot for my job and carrying camera gears is some kind of routine for me so here's some personal advice:

-If you want to use locks, you definitely need to put IATA locks (special locks that "only" custom agents can open with their special keys) on your cases. Of course, if someone working at the airport really wants to steal something from your luggage, nothing can really stop him...! Best thing to do: pack your stuff then take some pictures, get some good insurance coverage and cross your fingers!

-Be prepared, you might need an ATA carnet for your equipment.

-Always bring along a receipt of all the pieces you bring abroad. This might help you.

-Try to put some parts together; you don't want to check in many pieces as most of the airlines charges by the piece! Take a look on your airline's website for more info on how many luggage (and weight) you are allowed to bring. You want to find out what can you bring with you as carry on; follow focus and small monitor are normally allowed. But you will be restrain with the number and size of your cases again.


Good luck!

P.S. I just finished a workshop at Sachtler, in Germany and there was one of your fellow Greek citizen, Filippos Filippakopoulos! For what I've seen, he will eventually be one of the best in your country!
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#3 Haris Pallas

Haris Pallas

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  • Thessaloniki,GREECE

Posted 13 May 2012 - 06:51 PM

Hallo Andre,

Thanks a lot for the useful information!

I have understood everything you mention in your post exept from one: ATA carnet - what is this?

Thanks again for the help!

- Haris -
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#4 John Stout

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  • Jacksonville, FL

Posted 06 September 2012 - 11:04 AM

Hallo Andre,

Thanks a lot for the useful information!

I have understood everything you mention in your post exept from one: ATA carnet - what is this?

Thanks again for the help!

- Haris -


An ATA Carnet is the equivalent of a passport for your equipment. It is not insurance, you need to have that too to protect yourself in the event of a loss of equipment.

When you have one created, they will charge you for a bond for the amount of equipment that you are traveling with. You will need to manifest each case when you fill out the paper work. ATA will then send you a folder with all of the paperwork. Stop at customs, show them your carnet and equipment on the way out of a country and on the way in. They will stamp your forms and allow the equipment to pass.

Without a carnet you are risking your gear being held at customs until a local customs broker can give you a bond and get it signed and approved. This could take an hour or days. We had a shooting crew on an event in Bahamas that thought they would just tip their way through customs and baggage claim. If it weren't for the hotel we were at, their gear would have not made it into the country at all. It cost about 3,000 US to get it bonded and out of customs since they didn't have the carnet.

Carnets are pretty cheap to obtain with a bond.

If you have something lost or stolen make sure you get a police report. Customs will want that as proof you didn't sell the gear. Even if you do end up selling something to a local, prepare a bill of sale and be prepared to pay the duty on leaving the country.

This is who we use http://www.atacarnet...CFQKCnQodAjEA_A

Great people, fast and always ready to answer a question.
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