Taking your camera gear overseas... customs decleration


Nov 1, 2008
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Yishun
#1
hi,

I am planning a trip to India and wonder if fellow CSers could help me clarify my doubt.
Should I declare the camera gear I carry on the flight out of Singapore.
If so where should I declare and what form to ask for?

Thanks & Regards,
V
 

Nov 1, 2008
144
0
0
Yishun
#3
but when you get to India, the customs there usually start to chase you saying you are importing the camera. How do to avoid that part? specially given that I am on an Indian passport and SPR.
 

ricohflex

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2005
3,353
8
38
sing
#4
but when you get to India, the customs there usually start to chase you saying you are importing the camera. How do to avoid that part? specially given that I am on an Indian passport and SPR.
Are you hinting that the Indian Customs will be expected to give you trouble so that you have to pay a bribe to them. You seem to know your country well.
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
21,645
63
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lil red dot
#5
If you pack your gear like you normally would for a trip, I see no reason why they will want to question you. You are not the first to bring photo gear into india for photography.

If you bring multiple pieces of the same lenses or camera bodies and/or if your bring boxes and packaging in with those equipment, then I am sure the customs there will have a lot of questions to ask you.
 

kandinsky

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 26, 2008
3,014
24
38
#6
but when you get to India, the customs there usually start to chase you saying you are importing the camera.
No idea, as I've never been to India. If you're an Indian citizen, you probably know better than most of us? :)

You could try checking with India-based photography forums.

Example:
http://www.jjmehta.com/forum/index.php?topic=12701.0.html
http://www.jjmehta.com/forum/index.php?topic=21554.0
 

bhairav

Senior Member
Jul 23, 2012
777
3
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Singapore
#7
It will depend on which place you are travelling to. Customs at few of the airports are known to be troublesome. But as bro daredevil mentioned if you pack ur stuff as you normally would for a trip it should not be a problem
 

Exposure

New Member
Apr 6, 2008
1,264
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#8
this is what i do.

Take photos with shown date of your gears and their serial numbers before u leave for the trip.

if they questioned you, shown them the photos with the date, to prove these are truly yours from your own home.
 

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Paladin

New Member
Jan 18, 2002
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SGP
Visit site
#9
Happened to me few years back, was on business trip but had my DSLR with me...guy wanted to tax me for my cam...argued with him...told me keep my cam and return me when I am going back but make sure it dont go missing, he refused, I then told him I no money to pay him...when he sees me trying to pull my wallet out to show him, he got scared and let me go...sometimes, i think they just want to pull a fast one...
 

An drew

Senior Member
May 27, 2005
3,920
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#11
I have brought cameras and lenses into India without any question or issue. They are mainly checking for gold and currencies. Only have to hide my excess rupees. :embrass:


10. Are you bringing the following items into India? (please tick Yes or No) (i) Prohibited Articles Yes / No
(ii) Gold jewellery (over Free Allowance) Yes / No
(iii) Gold Bullion Yes / No
(iv) Meat and meat products/dairy products/fish/poultry products Yes / No
(v) Seeds/plants/seeds/fruits/flowers/other planting material Yes / No
(vi) Satellite phone Yes / No
(vii) Indian currency exceeding Rs. 7,500/- Yes / No
(viii) Foreign currency notes exceed US $ 5,000 or equivalent Yes / No
(ix) Aggregate value of foreign exchange including currency exceeds US $ 10,000 or equivalent. Yes / No
 

Exposure

New Member
Apr 6, 2008
1,264
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0
#12
Happened to me few years back, was on business trip but had my DSLR with me...guy wanted to tax me for my cam...argued with him...told me keep my cam and return me when I am going back but make sure it dont go missing, he refused, I then told him I no money to pay him...when he sees me trying to pull my wallet out to show him, he got scared and let me go...sometimes, i think they just want to pull a fast one...
u know why he got scared when u pulled out wallet in front of him? because he will be seen as corrupted official taking coffee money by the public eyes.
 

cks2k2

New Member
Feb 12, 2009
939
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#13
u know why he got scared when u pulled out wallet in front of him? because he will be seen as corrupted official taking coffee money by the public eyes.
lol
inexperienced corrupt official
the experienced one would want to "settle" inside his office, behind closed doors.
 

Feb 23, 2012
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#14
No need to declare as you don't intend to leave them in India. If you are travelling and will leave India with the cameras and lenses after the trip then there is no need to declare.
 

ricohflex

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2005
3,353
8
38
sing
#15
Happened to me few years back, was on business trip but had my DSLR with me...guy wanted to tax me for my cam...argued with him...told me keep my cam and return me when I am going back but make sure it dont go missing, he refused, I then told him I no money to pay him...when he sees me trying to pull my wallet out to show him, he got scared and let me go...sometimes, i think they just want to pull a fast one...
He was not scared. He realised that you had no money to pay bribe and he had wasted precious time. So he let you go and moved on to next victim. This Indian official has productivity in mind. He is following the QCC training to concentrate on the vital 20% of travelers who will pay 80% of the bribes.
 

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An drew

Senior Member
May 27, 2005
3,920
9
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#16
He is following the QCC training to concentrate on the vital 20% of travelers who will pay 80% of the bribes.
I didn't know Pareto Principle can also be applied in corruption. :dunno:
 

May 1, 2008
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#18
I have had bad experience checking out at Rajiv Ghandhi Airport, Hyderabad on a working trip.
2 of their custom officer stopped me and demanded I pay for import duty for the 2 cameras and 2 lenses I brought along.
My Indian liaison tried to help me but the custom officer shooed him away so I was left on my own.
They brought out a calculator, punched some numbers and demanded SGD$300 cash not indian rupees but i asked why must i pay import duty as the cameras are to document my indian working trip and if they insist i'll only use my CC for payment as i can see a CC swipe machine at the counter.
They spoke among themselves in their own language and then a third officer in plain cloth came after checking with the 2 officer. He said i have to pay them but i insisted on using my CC.
They spoke and then told me their CC swipe machine is down and demanded i pay in cash. I refused and insisted using my CC and told them how can an airport with modern facility especially a government agency have a simple CC swipe machine not in order.
After a short period of talking among themselves in their own language, the one in plain cloth told me to go gesturing with his hand, you know like wave you off.
My told my indian liaison when he asked what happened.
He was glad that i stood firm and said the cash would have gone into the custom officers' pocket.
 

Feb 23, 2012
228
2
18
#19
I have had bad experience checking out at Rajiv Ghandhi Airport, Hyderabad on a working trip.
2 of their custom officer stopped me and demanded I pay for import duty for the 2 cameras and 2 lenses I brought along.
My Indian liaison tried to help me but the custom officer shooed him away so I was left on my own.
They brought out a calculator, punched some numbers and demanded SGD$300 cash not indian rupees but i asked why must i pay import duty as the cameras are to document my indian working trip and if they insist i'll only use my CC for payment as i can see a CC swipe machine at the counter.
They spoke among themselves in their own language and then a third officer in plain cloth came after checking with the 2 officer. He said i have to pay them but i insisted on using my CC.
They spoke and then told me their CC swipe machine is down and demanded i pay in cash. I refused and insisted using my CC and told them how can an airport with modern facility especially a government agency have a simple CC swipe machine not in order.
After a short period of talking among themselves in their own language, the one in plain cloth told me to go gesturing with his hand, you know like wave you off.
My told my indian liaison when he asked what happened.
He was glad that i stood firm and said the cash would have gone into the custom officers' pocket.
Hats off to you man... Yeah they are just looking for easy targets who scare easily. If you stand your ground you can escape these corrupt customs guys..
 

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