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 Post subject: Camera gear and customs duty
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:29 pm
Posts: 2
Location: U.S.
Greetings everyone,

My wife and I will be making our first trip to South Africa in less than 2 weeks, flying into JHB. Being photography enthusiasts, we will be bringing a lot of camera gear with us (2 cameras, multiple lenses, tripod, etc.). My question regards whether one is required to declare personal camera equipment when entering the country, thus requiring you to go through a "red gate" for declarations at customs rather than a "green gate" for no declarations.

From what I've read, if your personal equipment is valued over a certain amount (I can't remember the amount, but I'm sure our equipment value exceeds it), you have to declare it, possibly pay a deposit, and then fill out paperwork, etc. to get your deposit back upon leaving the country.

Is this a concern, or do the customs people even care about personal camera equipment?

Thanks....


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 Post subject: Re: Camera gear and customs duty
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:58 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Cambridge UK
Hi We have just returned from a trip to SA and we didn't have to declare anything on entry - On our trips in previous years we have had to complete a customs card declaring how much our equipment was worth but no one ever seemed to look at them anyway and this time we weren't even asked to complete one. These were given out on the aircraft before and handed in as we went through customs. We always take a small suitcase with all our camera equipment in and it is never checked either in or out so I wouldn't worry. Hope you have a super trip - and if you visit the KNP we guarantee you will be hooked! :mrgreen:

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Just Booked a last minute trip to KNP couldn't wait until Oct for Namibia needed an Africa fix before then.
May 10th to 25th 2014 Kruger here we come!


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 Post subject: Re: Camera gear and customs duty
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:38 pm 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:02 pm
Posts: 17053
Location: mind in SA, body in The Netherlands
You are allowed to walk through the green gate
Nothing to declare
But i always carry copies of my invoices ( especially for the newer goodies) and have all the serialnumbers
on a piece of paper
Passed the green gate 14 times already and nothing happened

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 Post subject: Re: Camera gear and customs duty
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:10 pm 
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Honorary Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:42 pm
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
Same here, though I do not have paper copies with me anymore, I scanned them and put them into Dropbox.
No problem at customs at all, never.
You do not actually have anything to declare. You have (I assume) payed full taxes on your equipment, and do not intend to sell any of it.

The larger hurdle will be the airline. My cameragear has been weighed only once, just with cabin luggage maximum weight. But on the flight back they tried lowering the maximum weight allowance. Make sure you have that on paper!

Cameras, lenses, harddisks, and all the other essential stuff is handluggage, the tripod and less essential stuf you could do without is just luggage. And do not allow your handluggage to be carried around by helpful people, or supposedly put with the normal luggage! That is an old trick, you will never see it again.

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Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c


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 Post subject: Re: Camera gear and customs duty
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:32 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Milano (Italy) - IT ALL STARTED WITH A FOOTSTEP!
Most African countries require that you declare the camera/filming equipment when ou use it for commercial use (documentaries and so on!).
I've been to SA 5 times so far and during my last trip I had 3 camera bodies plus 6 lenses and no hassle entering and leaving the country.

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"You can leave Africa but Africa never leaves you"
LIFE IS MADE OF GOOD AND BAD THINGS, I TAKE THE GOOD AND YOU CAN KEEP THE BAD!!!
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 Post subject: Re: Camera gear and customs duty
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:29 pm
Posts: 2
Location: U.S.
Thanks to everyone for the helpful replies.

I was planning to have copies of all my purchase invoices for every piece of camera equipment that I'm bringing, just in case someone asks. I figured that with so many visitors taking their photographic gear into the country that it would not be an issue, but I wanted to confirm with those who actually have some experience with this.

And, yes, I am always hyper-aware of those who might covet my possessions when I travel and I take preventative measures (but not in a paranoid way!).

We are spending the first week of our trip at Kruger and can hardly wait!

Cheers....


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 Post subject: Re: Camera gear and customs duty
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:13 pm 
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Honorary Virtual Ranger
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
Copies are reasonably heavy and unhandy. Scan them to a pdf or jpg, and either put those files on Dropbox(.com) or on the laptop or portable harddisk, where they can be handy enough. As jpg even a small memorycard will do, then you can show them on your camera.

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Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c


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