Getting past customs, successful or not?

Discussion in 'Community' started by CrackedButter, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #1
    If anybody has done it, how successful were you, I would be interested in what happens and if you got past them or not and if you got taxed on the items you brought in.

    I'm off travelling and i'm hoping i can bring a laptop and a ipod mini back through customs without gettings stopped. Even if i do however the 17.5% charge they levy would still make it cheaper than inside the UK.

    Anybody care to share?
     
  2. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #2
    -CrackedButter

    Without you waving the receipt around, there's only the credit card transaction to trace, that that would have to be done after the fact and with Probable Cause to do so.

    You have nothing to declare.
     
  3. CrackedButter thread starter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #3
    Is it really that easy, i mean once they stop and ask where you got it from where does it go from there?
     
  4. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #4
    -CrackedButter

    First off, I go through US customs every week. Second, I never buy anything other than food outside the country, the taxes are just too convoluted. Third, the agents are watching your demeanor. If you give off 'alerts', nervousness, shifty, look like you are hiding something, then they will ask you your question - and others.

    Whatever you do, don't lie. If you play your cards right, they just won't ask. If they start getting close, tell the truth.
     
  5. Opteron macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    South Australia
    #5
    Ask yourself, how many business persons carry laptops on planes?

    then ask will one more really make a difference. How are they to know you didn't take the laptop over to the US?
     
  6. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #6
    We always get hassle bringing our weapons through customs (I'm an aikido black belt), I bought a new sword in Tokyo a few years back, it's a metal Katana for Iado, and looks exaclty like the real thing, I spent two hours at Heathrow explaining why I had swords, staffs and rubber knives in my luggage, they really wanted to charge me import tax on the live blade, but it was in an old case with my other blades, and they couldn't prove I hadn't legitimately imported it.

    Whatever you do don't carry the paperwork, mail it to yourself, without that they probably won't bother, especially if it's only small stuff.
     
  7. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    #7
    just act like you have always owned it :D besides they see computers all the time as long as its not in its box and you dont have the receipt pinned to your forehead they probably wont even give it a second look.
     
  8. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #8
    it shoud be easy...

    however, i caution you that you will be fined in addition to the VAT you will owe, if caught. and the fine is usually greater than the VAT. so it's double or nothing - either you will owe more than twice the VAT if you get caught or you will get through without getting caught.

    (if all you have to pay was the VAT when you get caught, what's the incentive for ANYONE to declare?)
     
  9. whocares macrumors 65816

    whocares

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
    Location:
    :noitаɔo˩
    #9
    Me and my family have imported lots of stuff into France. Normally getting through customs is a breeze, you just walk through - no questions asked. The customs officers are less interested when you're coming from the States than say a country that's known for having a big drug "market"...

    Again if you get caught, you pay through your nose. Don't they charge VAT on the local value of the product?

    My advice is go for it: dump the boxes in the States, mail the important paper work and casually walk through customs. Maybe take some extra software, files and music with you and load them on to the 'Book and 'Pod so they look used (turning on the 'Book and getting the welcome/registration screen in front of the customs officer would *not* be good :D )
     
  10. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #10
    you pay VAT/fine on the declared value. if it comes down to it declare "low," which you can jusitfy because 1) you paid the american price and 2) computers depreciate quickly.

    most custom officials won't be that knowledgeable about the specific value of computers - as long as you are reasonable, it should be ok.
     
  11. Apple //e macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    #11
    here in mexico people do it a lot with laptops/electronics. just bring one of each item. act like youve always owned it. throw away the packaging and stash the manuals/cds somewhere else or mail it to yourself.
     

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