Flying with a 27" imac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by benjai, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. benjai macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2009

    I will be going from the UK to Hong Kong next month and am considering buying a 27" imac where prices are around 30% cheaper.

    Does anyone have experience with storing the whole box as checked-in luggage?

    The dimensions and weight seem well within the limit and as I'm not flying economy, this can count as my second baggage.

    My only fear is the obvious potential for damage. But if its marked fragile and in an imac box, you'd think they'd look sort of look after it? Not keen on having to go through airline/insurance/amex to sort and broken things out.

  2. OptamusPriem macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2010
    now i dont know what country you're from, but i'd be more worried about taxes than damaging the imac.
  3. Kenndac macrumors 6502


    Jun 28, 2003
    If you're going after January 1st, be prepared to pay 20% VAT when you return to the UK, plus processing fees. Oh, and you'll likely want to buy a UK keyboard as well.

    It's probably not worth it, in my opinion.
  4. packgrad2000 macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2007
    I had a friend who checked a 20" iMac as luggage from Canada to Indonesia (several flights & connections). He packed it in its original box with lots of clothes and soft items filling the remaining space. It made it no problem, but YMMV.

    20% VAT? Man your government really sticks it to you!
  5. benjai thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2009
    It'll be used by the time I fly and also for personal use. Surely I won't have to pay VAT on that?

    And I won't be able to pack this into a suitcase....
  6. kid rock macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2007
    Southend-on-sea, Essex, England
    They will ask you to pay VAT and import tax unless you have evidence that you bought the item in the EU is what I imagine will happen, if you get caught that is!
  7. freepeacesweet macrumors member


    Oct 7, 2008
    Cayman Islands
    It's way to big for carry on luggage. I see people all the time here bring them back from the USA to Grand Cayman but they have to check them. (I have seen at least 5 come through) boxes look fine when they arrive as i am usually stood next to them in the customs duty que). They are always checked in the original box only. No extra packaging.

    I am not sure if you un-box and detach the stand that it may lie flat in a small suitcase but i still think this is to big for carry on.

    I have only brought them in a container and they have always been fine. The imacs are packaged well.

    We have 22% import duty charged when we get back.
  8. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    Only VAT on computers in the UK. There is no other import tax. Of more concern is the warranty. Unless things have changed, iMacs do not have worldwide Apple warranties as they are not portable devices, so if anything goes wrong with it, be prepared to pay for all repairs or to ship it back to Hong Kong.
  9. Kenndac macrumors 6502


    Jun 28, 2003
    I bought an iMac in the UK and subsequently moved to Sweden. The warranty is intact - I've had warranty work done on it since moving.
  10. Kenndac macrumors 6502


    Jun 28, 2003
    Also, regarding VAT law, opening it and using it a bit may not be enough to satisfy them that it's not liable for VAT.

    I know what when importing cars (which has nothing to do with computers, I know), a car can be considered new and liable for VAT even with a ton of miles on the clock.

    You can either:

    1) Wing it and hope for the best.
    2) Do proper research on the HMRC website and make an informed decision.
  11. BigDukeSix macrumors 6502a


    Sep 22, 2010
    34.6700N 118.1590W
    As a former airline employee, being marked fragile pretty much doesn't mean crap. And, there are two types of luggage, carry-on and lost. If possible you should ship it via Fedex or something similar. Good luck.
  12. NXTMIKE macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2008
    buy an iMac in the UK before you leave, then return it. Keep your initial purchase receipt and use that to justify the purchase of the iMac in Indonesia. Just take of the serial number sticker on the Indonesian iMac so that they have nothing to officially compare the initial receipt to.
  13. BertyBoy macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2009
    As BigDukeSix says, send it by Fedex or DHL if you want to arrive safe / or at all. But then be prepared to pay the VAT and any fees the couriers may have for paying the VAT for you first (they pay and hold onto your goods until you pay it back - for cheaper items they'll deliver and bill you for the VAT).

    Be prepared to pay the VAT even if you bring it back in the hold. I'm presuming that it's a number of years before IT equipment can be written off as worthless and therefore not liable for VAT. But then I've brought brand new Apple laptops back through C&E at Heathrow / Gatwick / Glasgow from trips around the world and never any questions asked.

    Taking all my Macs, from 2008 Mac Pro, PMG5, PMG4s, MBP, PBG4, etc all the way back to an SE with me round the world next year. I don't expect to have to pay VAT / Import Tax when I reach NZ. But one precaution I will be taking, is taking the RAM (20G in MP) and the key hard disks with all the data backups with me in hand luggage. The Macs will be insured, so will all the boxes of software, but the data is priceless.
  14. standingquiet macrumors 6502


    Feb 13, 2010
    Birmingham, AL
    get a flight case and stick it in there without the box, then fold packaging up in your suitcase if you wish to keep it if not dump it. Then you just say you took it out there with you.
  15. Kissaragi macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2006
    And get someone to come visit you in prison when they catch you for fraud.
  16. Aboo macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    Your bigger worry should be theft since computers are usually not covered by airlines's lost baggage policies.

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