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Re: Overseas Purchases

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  • 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 1 of 15 , Sep 1 9:20 PM
      > 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      cleansed of the outdated and incorrect information.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 2 of 15 , Sep 2 9:31 AM
        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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