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Int'l Traveling from u.s. with gear for personal use

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I am headed on a trip with my family from u.s. to germany. Taking a kit with me to lav up n record family members while my nephew shoots multicam - striclty a family historical preservation thing. I am carying on my kit like i normally would traveling the usa and it is my understanding this should be ok for international travel as i am not working commercially nor am i selling/buying anything. all internet research seems to point to all should be good. Is there anything i may be overlooking?

 

-Ken

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Dang it I had not considered that.  I leave tomorrow. I may elect to just take Zaxcom transmitters and lavs and record the audio  At the transmitters and hope for the best. As I said it's just a personal project  fo a family video but it would be nice to get good audio to match a good picture

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Let us all know your experiences on this trip.  I often bring small recorders and a few items and never had anyone say anything,  I would like to bring my SD663 and a stereo mic with me on my next holiday to Italy.  The way I figure it, People bring elaborate SLR set ups with tripods, monopods, lens kits etc, to take pictures on their holidays.  Like you, my use is strictly personal and I am not planning on selling anything.  Our interest is just in capturing aural imagery and theirs is just more of that visual stuff.  How does one say that to customs?

 

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I usually take my gear down to CBP and fill out form 4455, which states that I’m bringing the equipment for use abroad. That way on re-entry I can prove I didn’t just buy the gear overseas to avoid paying taxes on it.  It’s free to do but they will check serial numbers on the gear to make sure they line up before they rubber stamp the forms.  

 

I was just in Germany a week ago working, cleared EU customs in Copenhagen, no problems at all on the European side with my MixPre based light weight rig.  Camera guy I was traveling with got some extra questions coming back to the US because of the rather conspicuous pelican cases, my stuff was all in off the shelf luggage so no one gave me a second look.  

 

I loved Hamburg, Germany is an awesome place.  

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Take some cables so you can plug whatever you bring into consumer devices, mainly a phone or a GoPro.  If you turn up with gear that terminates in XLRs you're going to have a hard time explaining it's for personal use only.

 

Make sure you have something like Filmic Pro on your phone.  FWIW I have never once been stopped in airport customs.  I once had to do a Carnet from Norway and the customs officials in the UK looked at me like I was an alien.

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Thanks guys a lot of good input. I should have posted earlier and filled out some forms to be safe but i have elected to just take lavs n trx's with an erx to monitor vs a complete mixer recorder kit. It will wrk for what we will do with the family but this is great info for future travels. 

 

-Ken

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