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Old January 19th, 2009, 06:43 PM   #1
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Traveling to Peru

Has anyone taken an XH-A1 to Peru along with prosumer equipment? I'm looking to travel there in June and take a small tripod, a couple of mics, rain gear, etc. to do some simple shooting in the Amazon region -- some in the jungle fringe, but a lot in small villages on the river without a big set-up.

I'm concerned about customs and what they will allow in or if there is anything special I need to do before to make sure I won't be hassled at the airport.

I've traveled there a dozen times before in the last few years, but never with more than a photo camera or a small video camera. They say the camera must not be for professional use, but the XH-A1 is in that "in-between" area.

Does anyone have any ideas on what I might expect? (Odds are I won't have to go through the inspection process anyway, but you never know.)
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Old January 28th, 2009, 06:21 AM   #2
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I was there with a Sony VX2000. Not the XH-A1, I know, but quite impressivetoo, when I went there. The precaution I took, was to make a copy of the purchase invoice and carry that in my case. As far as I understand it, you should only be able to show, that you carried the gear when you came in . . .
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Old January 28th, 2009, 07:31 PM   #3
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Thank you, Jo. I always carry info saying that I left the US with my equipment so I don't have hassles with U.S. customs when I return.

I am worried about customs officials (and customs duties) when I arrive in Peru.

Did they say anything about your camera when you arrived in Peru? I don't anticipate any problems, but I'd like to be sure.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 01:59 PM   #4
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Hi Phil,

I've been there a couple of times with equipment. The first time, with a prosumer set-up I managed to avoid the customs process because I hitched a ride with some Spanish firemen flying to an earthquake zone. The other times I went through with consumer cams that did the job (though with tripods, monopod and microphones), so there were no problems (even though for one trip I did take the precaution of registering all the electronic gear at a Peruvian consulate before travelling).

For an XH-A1, I'd register it before going. At Lima airport, they get you to press a button as you pass customs. If the light comes up red, you're sent to the x-ray scanner where they look at all your gear. If it's green you get to walk straight ahead. I got the impression the odds of being searched were about one in four. So probably best to get yourself to a consulate.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 05:57 PM   #5
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Thanks, Marc. I will probably go to the Peruvian consulate in Dallas and see if they can give me some guidance -- as well as something in writing for the customs guys at the airport!

I've been through the Lima airport about a dozen times in the past and have hit the unlucky "red" light 2-3 times so I've been through the screening before. I've always had consumer equipment including a tripod and microphones and they have never even looked twice at anything. In fact, one time I don't think they even looked at the x-ray monitor screen to see what I had in my bags.

When you say "register", do you mean register with Peruvian customs before leaving? Though I've traveled extensively with pro photo equipment, I haven't left the country with video equipment so I'm completely ignorant of the best way to go.

I have a friend pretty high in the narco-traffic division of the national police, so I thought about getting his help if I have any problems. Sometimes folks like that know the easiest way to smooth the way with foreign government agencies.

Thanks so much for your help and advice.
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