Shipping equipment to another country

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by Donald Miller, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I am checking into shipping my 5X7 gear to Italy and I wonder how those of you who have traveled have handled this.

    I think that if I ship it ahead that I may well incur customs charges. If I carry it on the plane with me then I will probably incur excess baggage charges. What and how do you guys that travel with LF do in this situation?

    Thanks for your help on this.
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    DHL to Europe is likely going to be more expensive than an excess baggage charge.

    I carry my equipment (cameras, lenses, film and often a laptop for non-photographic work on board; tripod, clothing, and empty filmholders checked) with me on the plane, and I've never run into an excess baggage charge, even with the 8x10" Gowland.

    I otherwise travel fairly light. I bring a couple of Ex-Officio shirts that are easy to wash in a hotel bathroom and dry quickly and similar pants. If I am short handed, I don't mind buying extra clothes while traveling, since I never have much time to shop for clothing at home. If I don't have any formal meetings requiring a jacket and tie and I'm not going someplace cold, I can often fit all my clothing in my tripod case (Tenba TTP 34), so all of my luggage is a carryon for the camera and a tripod case for the tripod and everything else. To keep things nice this way, lay them out flat, fold as necessary, and roll them and they won't wrinkle. If I need more stuff, I also carry a rolling bag which is maximum legal carryon size, but I check it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2007
  3. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    Depending on your amount of "stuff", you might invest in a PeliCase to transport your gear in. "Fragiles" like camera and lenses go in the PeliCase as checked luggage, film in the carry-on.
     
  4. gr82bart

    gr82bart Member

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    If you're looking to save costs, than travel with as much as you can and ship the rest. No excess baggage costs and definitely less costly than shipping the whole thing.

    Regards, Art.
     
  5. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I know what you mean Donald, I would rather ship my gear than put it in the baggage compartment. I can just imagine those baggage people playing with that expensive equipment. I carry on my equipment and only put the tripod in my suitcase. When it comes to larger cameras I too will be reading this thread and considering paying a huge sum for shipping my equipment.

    On a trip to Houston I did carry on a complete Kodak 2D in a laptop case, rolling type, and put the film holders and tripod etc. in the suitcase. A laptop case can hold a lot of gear and it is recognized as a laptop case and looks like the flight attendants rolling over night cases. This might be an option, put it in the over head and carry on the second personal bag to go under seat.

    Curt
     
  6. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I've been investigating the latest TSA requirements -- Without citing specific documents, and from the top of my head:

    1. It is ADVISED that all film be hand-inspected (place the film in one-quart Zip-Lock bags) and carried on board -- they have recognized the harmful potential of X-Rays. Some (/all?) of the automatic X-Ray equipment used to screen (randomly?) checked baggage are considerably more powerful than those used on carry-on baggage.

    2. ALL checked baggage must be left unlocked. Whether TSA-approved locks are still acceptable - I couldn't quite determine. Generally (information from other travelers), the first response WILL be to break the lock - and they only serve to draw suspicion.

    3. Again it is ADVISED (in light of #2, above), that ALL valuables be carried on board. I have an aluminum case for my gear ... and I'm fairly sure that it meets "under-seat" dimensions. I will visit the Airport a couple of days before my flight to verify this and other sundry "stuff".

    4. I WILL obtain and complete "Certificate of Registration for Personal Effects Taken Abroad" Forms (CBP Form 4457 - Department of Homeland Security - U.S. Customs and Border Protection) for all my gear. These are invaluable when re-entering the U.S. - Proving that you owned all that stuff (Serial Number traceability) when you left to fly overseas - and that you do not have to pay duty as if they were bought over there.

    5. We will rent a car and drive (Copenhagen to North Oland and return). We have already obtained our International Driving Permits from AAA - recognized in MOST European (and elsewhere -with the glaring exception of the United States - ?!?!?).

    One of my first stops in Copenhagen will be Ida Davidsens - for Smorrebrod. I last visitied that restaurant in 1985...

    Damn!! - Hotels in Copenhagen are EXPENSIVE!!!
     
  7. gr82bart

    gr82bart Member

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    You guys make traveling overseas sound like such a pain in the ass.

    Regards, Art.
     
  8. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Why would you need an AAA issued IDP in the USA? You'd need one issued by a non USA body. So if you're saying the AAA issued IDP isn't valid in the USA that makes perfect sense. :D

    If you're making plane changes check the baggage limits for each leg. Some of those discount European airlines have baggage limits smaller then a lens cap. Even BA last month severely limited baggage. :rolleyes:

    Instead of paying for overweight why not buy film there? Or even some clothing?
     
  9. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    The International Driving Permit is issued by AAA in the United States ... and is valid elsewhere. I don't NEED it - and it is not recognized, therefore of no use - in the United States. Why? I don't know. Does that make sense? Not especially.

    We're flying on Icelandair (Boston - Keflavik - Copenhagen). I don't forsee a problem ("two bags per passenger") but I will check.

    From past experience, film is considerably more expensive in Europe, and there would be some sort of search involved to find 120 for the Hasselblads - and no guarantee I'll be able to find any particular film. Also, I'll be bringing exposed film back, with the same problems.

    ... And - I don't think I'll be anywhere near "overweight", as far as baggage allowances are concerned. I haven't been while flying in the U.S.

    Another thing to check.
     
  10. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Well from what I have been able to determine, it looks like about a $220 charge for two additional bags on the flight compared to over $400 to ship them to Italy via UPS or Fed Ex. Excess valuation for the 5X7 gear will cost about $30 more (max liability is $1375--about 1/4 of the replacement value)

    I will opt for the insurance since my Halliburton (God I hate that name) case that I am using for the LF equipment will not fit in the overhead storage. (case dimensions are 8X18X21 and the OH storage is 10X14X36)
     
  11. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    I am a member (goodness knows why) of AAA.

    I guess it was before we owned cars that came with their own Roadside Assistance Plans.

    I have travelled extensively in Europe, Australia, Canada and Mexico and just needed my good old New York State Driver's License to rent a car!

    Why would anyone get a AAA IDP? :confused:
     
  12. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    An IDP is a translation of your drivers license. If you get pulled over with out you'll get a ticket or worse. Or maybe the officer will just give you the dumb tourist warning. :tongue:

    http://www.caa.ca/english/travel/documentation/idp.html

    If the AAA is like the CAA you don't need to be a member to get the IDP.
     
  13. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Hmm...I got one in the event that I am involved in an accident...seems like it would possibly indicate to the local cops that I am trying to abide by the laws in force.

    As I understand this matter, it seems that AAA is not the body that issues the IDP of it's own accord. It is one of two agencies that is authorized by the US Government to issue the IDP in it's (the US Government's) behalf.

    The IDP is not good for inter American (US, Central, and South American) travel. There is another license for that purpose.
     
  14. gr82bart

    gr82bart Member

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    I've driven in probably over 20 countries. Never got an IDP from AAA or CAA - ever.

    Regards, Art.
     
  15. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    The last time I drove in Europe (Baden-Baden, Germany) I backed the rented Opel Vectra into a post (something of a barrier column), with the height a centimeter or so below the area visible though the rear window. When I reported the accident to the police, I was asked for my passport and driver's license. I gave them both my Massachusetts license and my International Driving Permit. They really focused on the IDP - far more familiar to them than the (peculiar) State license.
    I'm sure that the Mass. License would have been honored, eventually, but it was well worth it to have the IDP, in terms of avoiding confusion at a stressful time.

    BTW ... I have a high regard for the Baden-Baden Police; Courteous, efficient (the reporting process took ~ five minutes) and they did everything to put me at ease. They could serve as role models for the police over here - with one exception - my son-in-law, a Detective, now, for a local Police Department (in case he reads this).

    Check-in at the Rental Office was also simplified - they are very familiar with IDPs.

    Additionally, the IDP (Complete with recent photograph) serves as an additional form of identification.
     
  16. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    I hear what some are saying but I think the IDP is a "vestigial artifact" from an earlier era when it was somewhat unusual for a foreign tourist to rent a car.

    After all, it is the car rental company that is most concerned with whether you have a valid driver's license. If they are willing to accept your State-issued license and assume the liability of providing you with a vehicle - what's the point of an IDP?

    Maybe I'm just a risk taker, but it seems to me that getting an IDP when you have a valid driver's license is like getting a belt to wear with your suspenders (er...braces to the Brits)! :D
     
  17. Petzi

    Petzi Member

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    Here is the problem: How you you carry a Super Trekker or a Peli #1650 with a valuable camera on board?

    I used to check my Super Trekker, but I ended up with a bent Gitzo Studex tripod...

    The baggage insurance by the airlines is not sufficient for a professional photo equipment.
     
  18. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I never said it was a necessity. To me, anything that relieves stress and smooths the way, especially when one is hampered by a lack of fluency in another language, is worth it ... WELL worth it.

    If you would rather CAUSE stress to another, not to mention struggling yourself ... by all means forget the IDP.

    As for me -- I'll use - and recommend - the IDP to all who ask.
     
  19. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    If you're in a non-English speaking country trying to hand an English license to a police officer might not getting you to far.

    The car rental company only cares about getting it's money. It could care less if you end up in jail -)
     
  20. Petzi

    Petzi Member

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    As far as I know, the laws in most countries permit driving with a valid driving license from any other country.
     
  21. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    How would the police officer know it's valid if he can't read the language?
     
  22. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    It may not care if you end up in jail - but it sure as hell cares whether or not its car is impounded, held for evidence and then sold at auction to settle damages!
     
  23. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Hmmm...could it have something to do with picture ID and dates? :confused:

    BTW: unlike Americans, most Europeans, and many others, have a working knowledge of at least one other language (often English) besides their own.....

    Now enough of this thread.

    If getting an IDP makes you all warm and comfortable - go for it.

    Ciao, outta here, adios es vaya con Dios.....:D