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Entering the US with your camera gear
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09-13-2007, 02:58 PM Christopher & Robyn Loffredo
As I mentioned at the September club meeting, I have recently heard stories of photographers returning home to the US having trouble getting their gear through US Customs.

Photographers typically travel with a lot of expensive camera and computer equipment. When returning to the United States, if the customs agent believes that you bought the equipment while out of the country, you will have to pay customs duties on those items. The trick is to document your equipment before you leave and have that with you upon arrival.

Prior to your departure, prepare a "Certificate of Registration" form (CBP Form 4457) for your items including cameras and laptops. The certificate is your proof of ownership and will exempt your property from customs duties and get you on your way home faster. The form is available at www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/toolbox/forms/4457.ctt/cbp_4457.pdf

Take your equipment and the completed form to the local U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") office. You may locate an office at www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/toolbox/contacts/ports/

There is one near DIA that I have visited. A CBP officer will compare your items with those listed on the form, will sign/stamp the form, and will return it to you. This took me all of 5 minutes. Keep it with you when entering the United States to avoid delays and duties.

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