Thread: Taking EPIC to Italy - Customs, Paperwork, etc.

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  1. #1 Taking EPIC to Italy - Customs, Paperwork, etc. 
    Senior Member A. Clint Litton's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    I'm about to embark on a two month trip to Sicily, where I'll be shooting a feature. As I've never traveled to an EU country with a full camera kit, I'm trying to make sure I know what to expect when dealing with customs, as I'd like to avoid any and all avoidable customs delays and duties that I may encounter along the way. Any insight/advice from those of you who have made these kinds of trips before (especially people who dwell in the US, have taken delivery of their camera in the US, and who have brought their own equipment abroad for short term projects < 90 days) is greatly appreciated...Ketch?

    To further complicate matters, I may not be able to fly with all my camera equipment...I've been crossing my fingers that I'd take delivery of my Epic-X in time for this feature, as it will be a tiny crew (camera department comprised solely of yours truly), and will require shooting in locations where being small, lightweight and discrete will be a supreme advantage. Of course, there's also a certain emotional draw to the notion of bonding with my Epic while shooting my first feature in a place like Sicily that shouldn't be dismissed ()...

    Ideally my Epic-X would arrive prior to departure, but as I leave on Oct. 31st and still haven't received the email, my contingency planning is now in full effect.

    Scenario #1 - A miracle happens and I get my Epic-X by the end of this month. Long-shot, I know, but I have visions of Red pulling off yet another miracle (beyond what they've accomplished with the Epic, and what I imagine they'll accomplish with the soon to be re-announced Scarlet). Took delivery late September 2008 (#2842)...

    Scenario #2 - I travel with my beloved Red One, while somebody in the U.S. receives my Epic, puts it together in shooting form, and ships it to me in Sicily. Principle photography doesn't begin until the second week in November and will be spread out until Christmas time, so maybe I can squeak by for the first few days shooting MX, and make the jump to Epic, where the smaller form factor will be a huge benefit to the style of shooting this feature requires.

    I'm nervous about shipping anything, not just in terms of items getting lost or delayed (though FedEx would likely be the method, so that's less of a concern), but more in terms of getting taxed with large duty fees. As mentioned, I would have a friend sending the camera, so my hope is that Italian customs won't be as scrutinizing, but what have others encountered when this is the case? Are there ways of explaining the purpose of the camera that is being shipped on customs forms that (i.e. a rental or personally owned equipment, for personal use, not to be sold or left in Italy)?

    Scenario #3 - I take a gracious friend's Epic-M with me, and have my Epic-X shipped to him for use while we film in Italy...at the end of the shoot, we trade back. This becomes a stickier situation as I'd feel far more comfortable traveling with my own insured gear versus someone else's (this feature's budget is so minuscule that they couldn't afford to cover rented gear, so my own insurance that covers my personal equipment is what I have...risky, I know, but it's what I've got to work with).

    Regardless of the scenario:

    - what kind of paperwork do I need to submit/have prepared ahead of time?
    - what paperwork should I travel with?
    - what paperwork/documentation should travel with checked and/or shipped equipment?

    I'll have a letter from the director/production company stating what we're doing, but are there official forms/documents that I need to take care of before I depart?

    Any and all thoughts on this matter will be incredibly helpful, so thank you in advance for all your contributions!

    Best,
    Clint Litton
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  2. #2  
    Moderator David Battistella's Avatar
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    Clint.

    Shoot me a pm with your email

    I will help you any way possible.

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  3. #3  
    Senior Member A. Clint Litton's Avatar
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    Grazie mille, David!
    Between the great things we cannot do and the small things we will not do, the danger is that we shall do nothing.
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member KETCH ROSSi's Avatar
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    Clint, you wil be most welcome to my Beloved Country... ;)

    Anything you take with you on the plain, needs nothing really, just bring in to the country and go strait to NOTHING TO DECLARE, I have been doing this for quiet some time with lots of gear around the world, its the same any were.

    As far as anything been shipped that will need proper paper work, either way I suggest Carnet... ;)
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  5. #5  
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    Legally from the USA to Europe or Europe to the USA you need a ATA Carnet even if the goods are travelling with you on the plane. You can do it without a Carnet but you leave yourself wide open to the goods being impounded at your destination if they are for commercial purposes. I know fashion shoots going into Miami that have lost everything for quite a few days while the correct paperwork is sorted out. No UK magazine shoot is allowed to go to the States without a Carnet. When in Europe we were all signing up to the EEC I did a trip to Lanzarote and on the basis I was told 'they are in the EEC now don't bother about it" i did nothing. Arrived there everything impounded, three days later I had to fly back out with the gear pick up a Carnet and went back. Client was not very happy at all. They are not the cheapest things in the world so I guess you pays your money or take a chance!
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member KETCH ROSSi's Avatar
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    Yeah till now all my transport of gear is Personal Property for Personal Use, and always on my Bak Pack and carry On... As I will begin to do so Commercially a Carnet will be an absolute Must... ;)
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  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iain Philpott View Post
    Legally from the USA to Europe or Europe to the USA you need a ATA Carnet even if the goods are travelling with you on the plane. You can do it without a Carnet but you leave yourself wide open to the goods being impounded at your destination if they are for commercial purposes. I know fashion shoots going into Miami that have lost everything for quite a few days while the correct paperwork is sorted out. No UK magazine shoot is allowed to go to the States without a Carnet. When in Europe we were all signing up to the EEC I did a trip to Lanzarote and on the basis I was told 'they are in the EEC now don't bother about it" i did nothing. Arrived there everything impounded, three days later I had to fly back out with the gear pick up a Carnet and went back. Client was not very happy at all. They are not the cheapest things in the world so I guess you pays your money or take a chance!
    EEC doesn't exist anymore. The original poster is accurate, the right name and scope is European Union. Since 1993. Denomination (EC) fully abolished in 2009 with the Treaty of Lisbon.
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