Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/08/07

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Subject: Re: [Leica] U.S. Customs
From: (Chuck Albertson)
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2000 14:44:12 -0700
References: <>


I've never had any problems with Customs returning to the U.S., with Leica
or any other photo gear. They used to be on the lookout for new gear when it
was generally cheaper to buy it overseas, especially in Asia. But the US
tends to be the cheapest place to buy photo gear now, so Customs is more on
the lookout for cahsmere suits, Roquefort cheese, and whatever else is on
this week's watchlist (in addition to the usual no-no's, like smack, kiddie
porn, or AK-47's).

But since I'm the careful type, I've registered my gear with Customs, which
proves that you left the U.S. with it, and are not bringing new stuff back
in. Before you leave on a trip (I usually give myself some extra time at my
departure airport), go to the Customs office and ask for the form used to
register "Personal Effects Taken Abroad"---it works for anything with a
serial number. List the items you want to register, including their serial
numbers, have the Customs inspector at the desk stamp it or otherwise sign
it, and keep it with your passport. You don't have to do it for every trip,
so long as you hang on to that document. If you do buy some new equipment
overseas, though, you're required to declare it on return, and you may have
to pay duty on it if your total purchases exceed $400.

Chuck Albertson
Seattle, Wash.

- ----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill Satterfield" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, August 07, 2000 1:09 PM
Subject: [Leica] U.S. Customs

> Have any of you had any trouble with customs when returning with the
> Leica equipment you took with you. I understand they have a form but my
> travel agent said she had never been questioned. She has been to Europe
> 4 times.

In reply to: Message from Bill Satterfield <> ([Leica] U.S. Customs)