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Re: Overseas Purchases

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  • W. Hansen
    Listen to what Larry said. The US customs people are generally very easy to work with...however they are in a position to make your like miserable. If they
    Message 1 of 15 , Aug 30, 2003
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      Listen to what Larry said.

      The US customs people are generally very easy to work with...however
      they are in a position to make your like miserable. If they catch you
      once, they will be looking for you the next time. Remember they scan
      you passport when you enter the country.

      You have everything to loose and nothing to gain by NOT being honest.

      Not declaring everything you bought overseas is industrial strength
      stupid. You can bring back all of the trains you want for free plus
      $800 in other stuff before they charge you.







      I agree that Z is small but all you need to is to get caught once and
      you have problems. Why not just be honest, declare it, and save
      yourself some grief.


      Larry Donsbach
      San Antonio, TX


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    • ae9f
      ... Telling the truth may have saved my butt (perhaps literally). A few years ago, when returning to SFO from Frankfurt, an agent (Customs or Immigration, I m
      Message 2 of 15 , Aug 31, 2003
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        > Why not just be honest, declare it, and save
        > yourself some grief.

        Telling the truth may have saved my butt (perhaps literally). A few
        years ago, when returning to SFO from Frankfurt, an agent (Customs or
        Immigration, I'm not sure) pulled me aside before reaching the
        inspection tables. He was sure he had seen me before (not in a good
        way), even though I hadn't been out of the country in 10 years. He
        didn't care for my joke ("all gray-bearded fat guys look alike" [well,
        we DO]), and he started dishing out some grief with all kinds of weird
        questions. He looked at my declaration sheet, which listed the
        my-wife-would-kill-me-if-I-were-married amount of model trainZ (thanks
        to very pleasant visits to Schmidt and Scholz, and tips from Augie
        Jagau). He put two and two together, and came up "geek." Off I went,
        and I couldn't even open my Z-bag to show-off the cool stuff to anyone
        with a badge.

        Danny
        http://www.dannyg.com
      • rohirrim98236
        ... Allow me to add another word of caution, based on very personal experiance: The USCustoms computer database has a very, VERY long memory. Should one get
        Message 3 of 15 , Sep 1, 2003
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          > Z stuff is so small and easily hidden in a suitcase....why bother to
          > declare it at all?

          Allow me to add another word of caution, based on very personal
          experiance:

          The USCustoms computer database has a very, VERY long memory. Should
          one get caught with undeclared items, the traveller may be able to
          prove that they are not dutiable. (By the way, thanks to the member
          who supplied the customs classification number for model trains!) But
          you can be sure that an entry about the attempted deceit will be made
          in the traveller's record and that will flash on screen for every
          Customs official as long as one owns a passport!

          I was an officier at a company that had disagreement with Customs
          about an import freight shipment. It took many months before the case
          was finally closed and USCustoms agreed that the importation was bona
          fide and legal. But somewhere during those months, notations were
          made in the files of myself and at least one other corporate officer.
          For what appeared to be unknown reasons, that other person and I
          often seemed to spend more time clearing Customs than other
          travellers. More than 5 years after I had left the company, I was
          stopped at USCustoms and had a rare opportunity to get a peak at the
          screen; I was shocked to find that the original allegation was
          flashing in front of the Customs officer with NO information of the
          final outcome. It took the intervention of our US Senator and
          Congressman (again many months and legal fees!) to get the files
          cleansed of the outdated and incorrect information. Since then, I
          have had no unreasonable delays at Customs.

          Sorry for the somewhat-off-topic-post, but the bliss of traveling and
          bring home Z treasures should not be ruined by a blithe disregard for
          the potential consequences of an act of ommission.

          (My wife and I normally prepare a neat handwritten list of items we
          are bringing back with their $ values and we hand that to the officer
          with an offer to provide the receipts -- which are in our other hand
          where they can be seen. Such a helpful and open gesture goes a long
          way to making our return to the US more pleasent that it might
          otherwise be. Usually a quick glance at the organized list is followd
          by a polite "welcome home.")

          ELF
        • ted_lamar@peoplesoft.com
          But you should have got the VAT back at the airport before you left Germany (or whatever European country you visited) - ask the retailer to give you the
          Message 4 of 15 , Sep 2, 2003
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            But you should have got the VAT back at the airport before you left Germany
            (or whatever European country you visited) - ask the retailer to give you
            the necessary forms, etc., next time


            Thanks - I will.

            T
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