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Old October 1st, 2011, 12:01 AM   #16
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Re: Travelling from Canada to US with Gear

I'm doing the exact opposite next week (going from US to CA) and it's been a while since I've shot in Canada. Will have a small travel kit (lights, tripod, HDX900) so it is professional but not eye catching, all minimal in one or two cases. Camera travels with me.

I didn't plan on getting a carnet, but maybe I should fast track one? If I need to, I could go to airport and have customs sign off on my gear list/serial numbers. But, on a non-news shoot, what is the story with travel into Canada, (Tor, ON, specifically)?

Not much has been written on this topic (US to Canada). Any advice is much appreciated!
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Old October 1st, 2011, 09:22 AM   #17
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Re: Travelling from Canada to US with Gear

Scott:

A carnet is the safest way, especially if you are traveling with a large form factor camera like the HDX900.

I've been in and out of Canada a few times without a carnet, without issue. However; there is a distinct possibility that an agent may require you, on the spot, to post a cash bond for most of the value of your gear.

Failing a carnet, make a detailed list of all the gear you will be carrying, with each piece's country of origin, and the original sales price. Make many copies of this documentation, keep one with the gear, and have some on hand to pass out. Go to your local US customs center (there's usually an office at the local major airport) right before you leave and get them to stamp the paperwork. This gives you a verification of what you are taking out of the country...and the US folks will want to see what you are bringing back in. When you go to US Customs for this, bring all your gear. They may ask to see it.

Same for the Canadian folks. A lot of it depends on whether Canadian customs is feeling some pressure from US/Canadian issues like fisheries or forestry conflicts, or, as has happened in the past, some blowback from the Vancouver TV industry complaining about all the Hollywood carpetbagger crews coming across the border and taking shoots rightly belonging to the innocent Canadian crews.

Without a carnet, you may still blow right through customs both ways without a hitch. But if you do hit a hitch, it can be a big one that is not easily resolved.
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Old October 1st, 2011, 01:27 PM   #18
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Re: Travelling from Canada to US with Gear

What about shipping the gear instead of carrying it with you?

I do this all the time with stuff that makes camera gear look cheap by comparison.

The stuff arrives the day before I get there and I pack it to go when I'm done and it arrives back in the office the day after I get back. Nothing is ever missing or messed with. Plus its fully insured.

It will cost me about $100-150 to ship but thats cheap to know that +$100k in gear arrives on time and in good shape.
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 02:33 PM   #19
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Re: Travelling from Canada to US with Gear

Shipping gear is not a bad option but I'm unclear about shipping cross-border.

I found an interesting piece on a US gov site pertaining to NAFTA:

Temporary Admission of Goods. Article 305 requires each government to grant duty-free admission of the following goods, regardless of origin, when imported from another NAFTA country:

professional equipment ("tools of the trade") necessary for carrying out business or professional activities;

equipment for the press or for sound or television broadcasting, and cinematographic equipment;

goods intended for sports purposes;

goods intended for display or demonstration; and

commercial samples and advertising film.
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