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Thread: does this happan to u when going oversea ?

  1. #21

    Default Re: does this happan to u when going oversea ?

    Quote Originally Posted by theRBK View Post
    good idea huh, waterbottle shapped like 70-200 lenses... be the first to do it... and give us all discounts

    on a side note, customs officials can be friendly and thorough at the same time... met one in Bali... he asked to check my bag but was very friendly while doing it ("oh, nice camera, you photographer? many things to take picture here ah...")
    Haa, the same happened to me during my last visit to Bintan with my gears. The officer looked at my bag then gave me a thumb's up.

  2. #22

    Default Re: does this happan to u when going oversea ?

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleWolf View Post
    I don't see how this is a bad experience. The officer is doing her job to ensure you're not importing goods without paying import duty (which is done by comparing the list of goods when you entered the country with the goods you carry when you leave the country). This is standard practice in many countries, probably including Singapore. It is however disturbing that you're flouting the law. If the Malaysian authorities bothered/had the resources to detect/go after every small time criminal, you'd arguably be in danger of being arrested for smuggling/tax dodging next time you visit Malaysia.
    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    1) based on the conversation depicted, assuming that situation was described accurately, this is nothing to do with what you have mentioned. there is a rough idea, but the officer obviously has not explained it properly

    2) paradigm has not seemed to make any statement with regards to "smuggling/tax dodging". you seem to be stuffing words into his mouth, and making an attack on his character by stating that he is "flouting the law". i have never gotten any questioning like that and i go into malaysia regularly.
    Thanks Night86mare.

    Hi Littlewolf,

    if there was an intend to smuggle, I would say serve it right for me to be arrested. However, wat I was trying to explain here is a clear case of corruption (or extortion depending on how you see it) ... back then, I was the group leader of a bunch of students ...

    If I could get a satisfactory answer to my qn to wat being the basis of the tax, I guess that I hv only myself to blame for not being aware of the customs laws. When I challenged her regarding the car issue, if she could give me a very clear and just explanation, I guess that I would hv to pay then.

    However, I hv not heard anyone paying a tax for the purchase of his Singapore car when driving into M'sia (not talking abt road tax which is the cost for using the road, but goods tax for "bringing a Singapore-bought car into M'sia"). When she could not answer my qn, her game gave away, clear and simple ...

    Wat she wanted was for me to pay her a sum of money (she calls this "tax" to make it sounds official) so that I could get on my way ... (I jus remembered reading the chinese newspaper couple of days back abt M'sian Immigration wishing ppl Gong Xi Fa Cai and expecting an angpow in return ... not doing so result in passports not chopped ...



    same thing for the I'sian customs ... I hv not got any problems in Bintan before w the same items and I dun suppose that I will have any in Tg Balai. If they could give me a clear and just reason for stopping me, ok ... but one guy was there making the universal money sign .. how clear can it get?

    since they had not told me wat was their problem and did not say anything when I ask if there was any problems, I simply pack up and go ...

  3. #23
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    Default Re: does this happan to u when going oversea ?

    usually those 70-200mm lenses really look like water bottles.

  4. #24

    Default Re: does this happan to u when going oversea ?

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleWolf View Post
    I don't see how this is a bad experience. The officer is doing her job to ensure you're not importing goods without paying import duty (which is done by comparing the list of goods when you entered the country with the goods you carry when you leave the country). This is standard practice in many countries, probably including Singapore. It is however disturbing that you're flouting the law. If the Malaysian authorities bothered/had the resources to detect/go after every small time criminal, you'd arguably be in danger of being arrested for smuggling/tax dodging next time you visit Malaysia.
    If you're so paranoid/defensive,you should head to Holiday Plaza in JB and lecture the Singaporeans there buying pirated DVDs

    As the saying goes,you can always flout the law until you're caught.
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  5. #25
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    Default Re: does this happan to u when going oversea ?

    Quote Originally Posted by raincool2005 View Post
    usually those 70-200mm lenses really look like water bottles.
    Some photographers have mistakenly drunk from it.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: does this happan to u when going oversea ?

    Quote Originally Posted by paradigm View Post
    if there was an intend to smuggle, I would say serve it right for me to be arrested.
    Think for a moment what the Malaysian customs now has on file: a declaration of goods you brought into the country without paying tax, and no record of you taking the goods back with you when you left. Logical conclusion: you imported them permanently, making them taxable goods.

    Import duties exist in most countries of the world. Personal belongings ("personal effects") are usually exempt within reasonable limits, but the burden of proof may be on you. Getting documentary evidence that you took your belongings with you when you left the country would in fact offer considerable legal protection.

    However, wat I was trying to explain here is a clear case of corruption (or extortion depending on how you see it) ... back then, I was the group leader of a bunch of students ...
    That's a pretty hefty accusation. How do you know the officer wasn't simply doing her job well? Should I cry foul about corrupt Singaporean customs when I go beyond duty free limits and they ask for the taxes to be paid?

    When moving my belongings here, I also had to provide a complete list for Singapore customs, and you can bet they checked it carefully for items that may not be tax exempt. (To give an example, IIRC items less than 6 months old are not tax exempt when you move to Singapore, and items may not be sold for another 6 months after bringing them into Singapore.)

    It works also the other way round: if you leave Singapore with a valuable item, and bring it back when you return, the Singapore customs could assume you bought it abroad and it is subject to import duty. That's why it's a good idea to have some documentary evidence, and customs declarations should be pretty watertight evidence. This is e.g. standard procedure when my company sends expensive equipment/components overseas for maintenance/repair, otherwise we would run the risk of having to pay import tax again when the items are sent back.

    If I could get a satisfactory answer to my qn to wat being the basis of the tax,
    The basis is that commercial items are subject to import taxes in most countries (including Singapore), and when in doubt the burden to prove that specific items are your personal belongings that you're taking with you when you return is on you. Pretty standard everywhere, it's just different levels of enforcement. Custom officers probably wouldn't bother about common items like cameras, but a telescope may be sufficiently exotic to raise an eyebrow.

    since they had not told me wat was their problem and did not say anything when I ask if there was any problems, I simply pack up and go ...
    Old legal principle: ignorance doesn't grant you immunity.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: does this happan to u when going oversea ?

    Quote Originally Posted by eosdigital View Post
    As the saying goes,you can always flout the law until you're caught.
    Which is precisely the reason why there are so many shops that want to rip you off in Singapore. It also explains why we have to lock away items at work that one could leave in the open in most other countries. And why we'd rather deal directly with an overseas company rather than their S'pore distributor (who are frequently blissfully incompetent, to make things worse).

  8. #28
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    Default Re: does this happan to u when going oversea ?

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  9. #29

    Default Re: does this happan to u when going oversea ?

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleWolf View Post
    blah blah blah
    i only have one thing to say:

    paradigm was on a school trip. i have been to malaysia on countless personal and school trips, and NOT ONCE, was i made to declare anything like this.

    end of story. you may say that oh, this is based on induction and therefore not valid. but induction is all we have - all the laws of science and logic and whatever are all based on induction. if a has happened more constantly than b, then it is definitely not wrong to expect that a will happen in the future, not b.

    come on, how many people here have been made to declare their belongings when entering malaysia? let's have a demographic survey, even, and i think, you have no basis for levelling such severe accusations based on your extremely unique experience (which i think, i have a right and basis to question as well, this being the world wide web where you can claim to be spiderman). whatever the case, i think you could have been a lot more diplomatic (and cordial) instead of just jumping all-in for whatever reasons you have.

    to be honest - let's face it. our neighbours have had a long-lasting reputation for not being the cleanest pencils in the box when it comes to handling matters of the law. you cannot blame one for being apprehensive when asked to surrender money for no apparent reason, and furthermore when the person demanding it cannot give a clear and detailed explanation and/or justification of this money demanded.

    you also keep drumming on the point that a lot of places in the world have such practices. yes - but only when you declare that you are engaging in business when entering the country. besides that, it is a moot point. if legal matters were consistent globally, people studying law in say, the uk, would not be required to undergo conversion courses when going to hong kong, or singapore even. to assume is to make an ass out of you and me - and frankly, paradigm has every right to question and not follow blindly. wasn't that the point you were trying to make elsewhere? oh wait, i bet that wasn't you, that was your twin brother.
    Last edited by night86mare; 18th February 2008 at 09:48 PM.

  10. #30

    Default Re: does this happan to u when going oversea ?

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleWolf View Post
    Think for a moment what the Malaysian customs now has on file: a declaration of goods you brought into the country without paying tax, and no record of you taking the goods back with you when you left. Logical conclusion: you imported them permanently, making them taxable goods.

    Import duties exist in most countries of the world. Personal belongings ("personal effects") are usually exempt within reasonable limits, but the burden of proof may be on you. Getting documentary evidence that you took your belongings with you when you left the country would in fact offer considerable legal protection.



    That's a pretty hefty accusation. How do you know the officer wasn't simply doing her job well? Should I cry foul about corrupt Singaporean customs when I go beyond duty free limits and they ask for the taxes to be paid?

    When moving my belongings here, I also had to provide a complete list for Singapore customs, and you can bet they checked it carefully for items that may not be tax exempt. (To give an example, IIRC items less than 6 months old are not tax exempt when you move to Singapore, and items may not be sold for another 6 months after bringing them into Singapore.)

    It works also the other way round: if you leave Singapore with a valuable item, and bring it back when you return, the Singapore customs could assume you bought it abroad and it is subject to import duty. That's why it's a good idea to have some documentary evidence, and customs declarations should be pretty watertight evidence. This is e.g. standard procedure when my company sends expensive equipment/components overseas for maintenance/repair, otherwise we would run the risk of having to pay import tax again when the items are sent back.



    The basis is that commercial items are subject to import taxes in most countries (including Singapore), and when in doubt the burden to prove that specific items are your personal belongings that you're taking with you when you return is on you. Pretty standard everywhere, it's just different levels of enforcement. Custom officers probably wouldn't bother about common items like cameras, but a telescope may be sufficiently exotic to raise an eyebrow.



    Old legal principle: ignorance doesn't grant you immunity.
    How would you feel if a customs official tell you that you are being taxed for something without offering you good reasons for so doing?If you are wearing a gold ring, diamond ring etc and they say that its a taxible item. I am sure that you will argue as well.

    While I understand the legal principles behind taxation and stuff, my point was clear and simple. If she could not answer my qns clearly even on the car issue, then I am free to argue my way out. If she cannot even defend her country's tax code, then that is something that I cannot help but refuse to pay.

    Of course, if she start insisting that she has a right to impose tax, I will start asking her for chapter and verse of the tax code. Anyway, the items are already in used condition, paint peels, knocks and all.

    I must admit that Singapore Customs are doing a good job and I'm sorry to hear that you are subjected to the close check that you got. However, I am sure that the Sing Customs officials are more than willing as well as able to defend the just nature of the Sing tax code and are able to provide you with the details (I hv never been harassed by the Sing Customs for bringing back my telescope after my trips).

    Last but not least, my list to her was simply a list of items ... not even inc my passport no, my name etc ... so much for the "simply doing her job well". So the M'sian Customs still does not know that I had already brought out the items. I suspect that the piece of paper was thrown away as soon as I left the customs.

  11. #31

    Default Re: does this happan to u when going oversea ?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    i only have one thing to say:

    paradigm was on a school trip. i have been to malaysia on countless personal and school trips, and NOT ONCE, was i made to declare anything like this.

    end of story. you may say that oh, this is based on induction and therefore not valid. but induction is all we have - all the laws of science and logic and whatever are all based on induction. if a has happened more constantly than b, then it is definitely not wrong to expect that a will happen in the future, not b.

    come on, how many people here have been made to declare their belongings when entering malaysia? let's have a demographic survey, even, and i think, you have no basis for levelling such severe accusations based on your extremely unique experience (which i think, i have a right and basis to question as well, this being the world wide web where you can claim to be spiderman). whatever the case, i think you could have been a lot more diplomatic (and cordial) instead of just jumping all-in for whatever reasons you have.

    to be honest - let's face it. our neighbours have had a long-lasting reputation for not being the cleanest pencils in the box when it comes to handling matters of the law. you cannot blame one for being apprehensive when asked to surrender money for no apparent reason, and furthermore when the person demanding it cannot give a clear and detailed explanation and/or justification of this money demanded.

    you also keep drumming on the point that a lot of places in the world have such practices. yes - but only when you declare that you are engaging in business when entering the country. besides that, it is a moot point. if legal matters were consistent globally, people studying law in say, the uk, would not be required to undergo conversion courses when going to hong kong, or singapore even. to assume is to make an ass out of you and me - and frankly, paradigm has every right to question and not follow blindly. wasn't that the point you were trying to make elsewhere? oh wait, i bet that wasn't you, that was your twin brother.

    Thanks again Night86Mare.

    Ya man ... as students, we dun hv much money on us for watever "tax" we had to pay too ... if she had further insisted, I will simply get my juniors to hop on the next boat back to Sing and forget abt the whole trip ... all the expenses are already factored in rather tightly and we dun hv much spare to throw away in the form of "tax" ...

  12. #32

    Default Re: does this happan to u when going oversea ?

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleWolf View Post
    Which is precisely the reason why there are so many shops that want to rip you off in Singapore.
    Many shops trying to rip us off? Other than the infamous Sim Lim Sq, I cannot think of many places ....

    My mum tells me that she prefers to buy things from NTUC rather than the market cos the hawkers are ripping her off .. NTUC sell vegs n meat so cheaply ... I had to explain to her that NTUC as a big player can afford to get bulk discount as well as economies of scale in operation, not forgetting a social responsibility in maintaining food prices ... hawkers, on the other hand, do not hv the ability to neg for a better price so that they can give us a better rate.

    This is a difficult subject: When other shops gives a different selling price from another, it is not ripping ... everyone has different rentals, salary, commission, overheads etc to pay and the means to pay off all these overheads is thru the selling price of the items that they sell. Generally, the prices would not be off by a couple of hundreds. Some like Sim Lim Sq are known for ripping off ppl ...

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleWolf View Post
    It also explains why we have to lock away items at work that one could leave in the open in most other countries.
    Sweeping statements are easy to make ...

    I do recall that in a number of countries, you dun leave your things in the open. For most of the countries you go (prob w the exception of the middle eastern countries where the penalties are pretty harsh), you can be sure that if you leave your wallet in the open for a couple of days, the money would be long gone by then.

    Someone once stole even Peisi's secret formulae to Coke ...

    Actually, I kept my stuff under lock and key cos there are a lot of foreign wkers and contractors walking abt unsupervised in my wkpl ... I trust my colleagues to help me keep an eye on my things if they are able to but they may not be around all the time and its my responsibility to ensure the security of my own things (if things lost, how can blame them for not keeping an eye?). Since you are not a Singaporean, I guess that probably you are untrusting towards your Singaporean colleagues and hence wish to keep your stuff under lock and key. Perhaps due to the nature of operations in your Singapore office, there are a lot of maintenance that are "outsourced" to foreign workers and contractors and thus, you are yourself wary of not keeping things under lock and keys. Where you were from formerly, perhaps even the photocopier maintenance guy is employed by your company and thus there is a certain familiarity with everyone else and there is no need to lock your stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleWolf View Post
    And why we'd rather deal directly with an overseas company rather than their S'pore distributor (who are frequently blissfully incompetent, to make things worse).
    For me, I dun like the middleman cos if I got a quantity large enough, the manufacturer would be willing to work direct with me and customise to my needs and give me a better price. Afterall one more layer of communications is one additional source of mistakes and misinterpretation. We all play the game of "pass the word" ... get 10 guys together, each holding a mouthful of water, tell the first guy something, see wat it ends up at the 10th guy ...

  13. #33
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    Default Re: does this happan to u when going oversea ?

    Quote Originally Posted by paradigm View Post
    I got worse experiences ....

    1)
    went for a trip visiting some frens in I'sia ... was at Tg Balai, went pass immigration and put my stuff on scanner ... tt's where problem start ... was abt to leave the place when the customs officer asked me go to a room ...

    Custom officer (C): Open (pointing to my luggage bags n my large camera bag)

    <me guai guai open up though I know wats coming ... >

    C: wats this (pointing to lugguage)
    M: my clothes, my bible, my books ... etc etc etc
    C: wats this (pointing to camera)
    M: camera, lens, batts, flash
    C: <smile smile and talk amongst themselves>
    M: so OK?
    C: fhasdjklgfsdjkgfsflkfhasjdhakldsl <in bahasa, I dun understand anything so dunno wat to type>
    M: I dun understand u, any problems?
    C2: <making some money signals by the side>
    M: so no problems right?
    C: fhasdjklgfsdjkgfsflkfhasjdhakldsl
    M: I dun understand. I bring all these things into Bintan so many times and I dun have any problems. So is there a problem?
    C: fhasdjklgfsdjkg ... Bintan ... fsflkfhasjdhakldsl
    M: Ya, I go Bintan many times already.
    C: fhasdjklgfsdjkgfsflkfhasjdhakldsl
    M: So no problems, right? <pack up my bags and go .... >
    They are basically just asking for a bribe. This unfortunately is very common amongst some of the immigration/customs officers in our neighbouring country. The main cause of this is not only the extremely low salary scale for civil service, but also the fact that there are many that run electronic goods/appliances from singapore to Batam/Bintan to sell. For those that have the capital to do so (albeit illegally), it is quite profitable.

    I have had more than 1 run-in with having 2 laptops in my bag. They cannot fathom why 1 person, brings 2 laptops around, and arrive at their conclusion that I must be bringing in the laptops to sell or purchased a new one while overseas. After some explanation, and powering on the laptops to show that I actually own and use them with files dating back to
    2006, they let me go on my way.


    Many b-days ago ... went w frens to M'sia (Tg Sedili by boat) ... went w my telescopes and many other items ...

    At customs, kana inspected cos there were only my frens and I in the only bumboat at the terminal ...

    C: wat's this ...
    M: my telescope, my bags, clothes, my computer, my etc etc etc ...
    C: this one, must tax (pointing to my telescope, laptop and some other stuff)
    M: ok, so wat is the basis of the tax? I mean why must tax?
    C: Things buy in S'pore, bring in M'sia, must tax ...
    M: u mean if I buy a car in Singapore, drive into M'sia, u are going to tax me?
    C: Er ... Yes ...
    M: <staring hard at her> Everything on me is bought in Singapore, inc my clothes. U are gg to tax me?
    C: er ... you give list of things you bring into M'sia, when go out, come see me again to check ....
    M: <gave her a list>

    when I left a couple of days later, also bo chap her ... jus went on my way ....
    As above. Same problem. Different country.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: does this happan to u when going oversea ?

    Quote Originally Posted by scaredcloud View Post
    Haa, the same happened to me during my last visit to Bintan with my gears. The officer looked at my bag then gave me a thumb's up.
    Quote Originally Posted by theRBK View Post
    good idea huh, waterbottle shapped like 70-200 lenses... be the first to do it... and give us all discounts

    on a side note, customs officials can be friendly and thorough at the same time... met one in Bali... he asked to check my bag but was very friendly while doing it ("oh, nice camera, you photographer? many things to take picture here ah...")
    Yes... You would come to realise that Indonesia is pretty diverse in culture and its people's individual personality

    Plenty of good. But there are always black sheeps.

    This is for a fact in any country.

  15. #35
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    Default Re: does this happan to u when going oversea ?

    C: Things buy in S'pore, bring in M'sia, must tax ...
    Actually only if you are a Msian citizen. Or you are are trader with intention to sell those things in Msia.

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    Default Re: does this happan to u when going oversea ?

    Had this large tripod bag which I'd just put my tripod in during my trips.

    I could have opted for a smaller tripod bag but I just had to get a much bigger tripod bag as I was thinking along the lines of 'extra storage space for stuff'.

    Nevertheless, carrying that oversized tripod bag lead to some very, very nervous looks by SINGAPORE airport police (when they are questioning me the usual, what's in my bag and so on) and extremely nervous JAPANESE customs officers and airport police.

    My half-past-six dressing din relay a very good impression too.

  17. #37
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    Default Re: does this happan to u when going oversea ?

    3-barrel gatling-gun

  18. #38

    Default Re: does this happan to u when going oversea ?

    I brought tons of diving and photography equipment in and out of Malaysia and Singapore without even being question once
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  19. #39

    Default Re: does this happan to u when going oversea ?

    maybe if insist on "tax", can ask for an official receipt with the customs officer's name on it, the location, the time, the items "taxed" listed... and check that the name matches the one on the name tag...

  20. #40

    Default Re: does this happan to u when going oversea ?

    Quote Originally Posted by contaxable View Post
    wow, it sure was water sealed. Another tribute to L.

    Tell your wife ladies like LVs, men need L equivalent.
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