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Old May 17th, 2015, 10:26 PM   #1
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Bringing gear to Mexico

I'm going to be doing some interviews and b roll in Puerto Vallarta next week. I need to bring at least
My camera- Sony fs7
Small tripod
A couple of wireless
A small led light
I've used to travel, years ago, throughout Central America, but didn't bring pro gear with me. I also am fluent in Spanish, so that helps.
But I've read different points of view ranging from "you shouldn't have any customs problems with minimal gear" to "You should get an ACA carnet ".
Anyone know what the real situation is?
Thanks
Bruce Yarock
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Old May 18th, 2015, 09:51 AM   #2
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Re: Bringing gear to Mexico

I travelled to Cancun a couple years ago to shoot a destination wedding, My partner and I brought a lot of gear and I was also concerned but we breezed right through customs with no issues.

-Art
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Old May 18th, 2015, 09:32 PM   #3
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Re: Bringing gear to Mexico

Thanks, Art. Nobody asked you anything about what you were doing?
Bruce Yarock
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Old May 18th, 2015, 09:48 PM   #4
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Re: Bringing gear to Mexico

they did ask but they didn't give me any more scrutiny than I usually get when I travel abroad, I was surprised though because my carry ons bags were stuffed with all kinds of things that I thought would look suspicious going through the x-ray scanner.
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Old May 18th, 2015, 10:58 PM   #5
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Re: Bringing gear to Mexico

The problem I have run into (many years as a news photographer) in foreign countries is not so much the gear itself, but that some countries have work permit restrictions and if you're showing up to work in their country -- as opposed to one of their citizens getting a gig -- they can give you problems. Ran into this in Jamaica and the Bahamas, my Mexico trips were breaking news stories and there wasn't an issue because they understood the news media was descending upon them....my point is, better perhaps to be helping a friend than working a commercial job.....

The carnet is an excellent idea to have, just don't wave it around until you need it. Haiti, for one, gave us a lot of grief over our satphone unless we had a "commercial invoice." Doesn't hurt to be prepared.
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Old June 14th, 2015, 08:03 PM   #6
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Re: Bringing gear to Mexico

How did it go, Bruce? I'm worried that U.S. customs would think your equipment was purchased in PV.
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Old June 14th, 2015, 10:26 PM   #7
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Re: Bringing gear to Mexico

Warren makes a good point. US Customs has a protocol in which you can register your gear with them before you go, they stamp the document with an official seal, and when you get home, show it if you need to and no problems.

The problems on the homecoming side are most likely if you have new-ish gear and have been to the country where it's made or is known as a hot spot for sales (like Hong Kong.)

I once used this document to get Jamacian customs to let me in with my gear, making a big deal out of how important the paper was. They kept the paper while I was in the country as insurance I wouldn't sell anything while I was there. Gave it back when I left, worked a treat....
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