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    Fellow Americans: Has Anyone Recently Entered England Without a Carnet?
    #1
    Senior Member nedcam's Avatar
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    I ask this question because I have been dragged out of my idyllic retirement to go to London and Paris to film a bicycle race, leaving on Monday. I'm bringing the minimum of gear (ENG camera, Osmo, Tripod...) listed for less than $20K, and the company I am dealing with for the carnet, a very large carnet company, is dragging this out and may be over the $500 pain threshold I have set. I need a Plan B.

    I am not going to be reimbursed for the carnet's cost. Before retiring from my DP career in March 2017 I did extensive international traveling for four decades and I'd say we had carnets only about 25% of the time. Usually when a Fortune 100 or network was paying.

    So, has anyone had any RECENT experience landing at Heathrow airport WITHOUT A CARNET, but with professionally looking gear, and NOT had a problem going through customs?

    Thanks,

    Ned
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    I think you will be basically rolling the dice.. you might get stopped or not.. the UK is a carnet country.. Im sure some people have got away with it.. but there must be some who didnt .. but why wont the prod co pay/reimburse for the carnet ..?? I,d be more worried about that.. they would jeopardize their whole shoot for $500.. ?


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    Quote Originally Posted by nedcam View Post
    I ask this question because I have been dragged out of my idyllic retirement to go to London and Paris to film a bicycle race, leaving on Monday. I'm bringing the minimum of gear (ENG camera, Osmo, Tripod...) listed for less than $20K, and the company I am dealing with for the carnet, a very large carnet company, is dragging this out and may be over the $500 pain threshold I have set. I need a Plan B.
    What are you covering?

    Thought it might be this:
    http://www.londonparisbikeride.co.uk...ry-L2PTDF.aspx

    But you're leaving a little too late for that!

    Anyway, as a big bike nerd (I did around ten thousand kilometers of cycling last year) am very jealous of your job to go film them!
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    #4
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    My last few trips to Europe were all on low budg independent docs, typically with an F3 and a second, smaller camera together in the same black rollaboard bag. No carnets and no problems to report. But my last time at Heathrow was pre-Brexit, so not sure if things have changed since then.


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    #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by nedcam View Post
    .

    So, has anyone had any RECENT experience landing at Heathrow airport WITHOUT A CARNET, but with professionally looking gear, and NOT had a problem going through customs?

    Thanks,

    Ned
    Yes. Was filming on a doco in the UK last year. The regulations are still the same. You can get a "Temporary Admission on goods imported from outside the EU ." You can do it all online. It gets processed straight away. For the short time frame you have the best way is to "Apply online (sign in to, or set up a Government Gateway account)" These are the links you will need to follow:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/public...-admission-sp5

    https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/gg/si...-admission/new

    If you want to use the postal SP5 form you can look at the postal version here. Though I wouldn't looking at your Monday departure date.

    https://public-online.hmrc.gov.uk/lc...mplate=SP5.xdp

    You can then do your "SP5" application online. At the end of the filling in process you lodge your application and it gets approved, assuming all the necessary criteria is met. You then print out the required approval documentation. Print out numerous copies. When you arrive at Heathrow be prepared for a total lack of knowledge at the immigration counters. Go straight to the Customs counter/section and explain to them, and believe me you really do have to explain to them what you are doing. Unless you are lucky you will get a very slow moving customs official who will no have experience with this temporary admission form. It is important that they take one of the copies of the approval documentation that you printed out at the conclusion of the application process. Impress on the customs official that this MUST go through to HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs) head office. This point is very important!

    To be 100% covered ask them nicely to stamp one of your copies 'for your records.' If required this copy helps acknowledge the fact that yes that you have been through the process as required. This is important because when you exit the UK you need to go through customs again and show your kit and for good measure a copy of the form you left at customs so they know what they are dealing with, a temporary import export situation. In addition I find if I show them the 'for my records' copy that I got stamped on arrival it helps them understand what is going on. They see the HMRC stamp and it dawns on them that this guy knows what's going on even if we don't. Again they are normally clueless as to what you are asking for. Sadly you have to step them through the process step by step. It's important they cross reference your export with the import form that was lodged at time of arrival in the UK. Finally ask them to stamp and sign a copy, 'for your records', that the equipment has been checked as going out and that all is approved. This last copy is just for you protection in case anything should occur down the line.

    I find being firm and acting like you have done this numerous times before and that this is just the normal state of affairs for temporary import/export will make it easier for you... and them!! Customs officers who have no experience with this process will not want to show up their lack of knowledge and will take their lead from you the knowledgeable traveling cameraman. I use terms like "Hi guys. could you check my equipment for me and stamp one of these forms and forward it through to head office for me as they will be expecting it after my online temporary import /export application." Then thank them for their great service, or words to that effect. Lay it on a bit in other words. It works every time for me. Been through the process numerous times.

    I don't know what it's like going out of the States but going out of Australia to avoid any questions on my return I go to the customs counter and ask them nicely to have a look at my list of equipment, which I have previously printed out on my letterhead, and ask them for a customs stamp and date on the list after they have looked at the equipment. They normally say to me "But this is not an official document?" I say that's fine it's just for my office records. Taking this step has avoided me having any issues with my own customs on return. Remember you have no record of your equipment having left your country have you, well not unless it's on a Carnet. Usually on return when I show customs that their own airport customs office saw the equipment and and stamped my list before I left lets them know I'm pretty much a bona fide good chappy

    Follow the above and importantly pay very careful attention to the details you fill in online, having to redo the application again is an absolute pain, and all should go smoothly. Remember be firm but polite with the dopey customs people and the force will be with you.

    Good luck.

    Chris Young
    Last edited by cyvideo; 07-17-2018 at 10:07 PM. Reason: added info


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    Thats sounds like a massive hassle.. why not just get a carnet.. thats what they are used to seeing and know about.. they never go through the whole thing.. just camera usually and maybe a lens.. takes no time at all..


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    Trying to get one done by Friday for a Monday flight would be impossible here in Oz. If you can get one in two days or so in the States that's brilliant.

    We have had issues with Carnets. In Hawaii with a Carnet they made us pull all the kit then spread it all across the counters. Customs went through it piece by piece checking the numbers etc. We were there by invitation of the US Government and had full military security clearances issued by the US Navy as we were filming missile testing after sailing from Pearl Harbour. The US Navy guys with us couldn't help speed things up so it was just grin and bare it.

    On another trip flying from Denver to Chicago then onto Toronto was a drama because that is normally considered a domestic route without a Carnet. Not for us though as they could not handle the Carnet in the domestic terminal at O'Hare. We had to grab a terminal bus and drive right across O'Hare to the customs office find a customs official and again go through the whole process of all kit out for examination. Twenty minutes later Customs were happy. They had their copy plus we had our stamped copies and back on the bus for another ten minute ride back to domestic. Just made the flight.

    Doing it with the temporary import export deal for UK trips also means you don't have to post a bond or irrevocable letter of credit to cover the bond requirements. You avoid all the US requirements for getting a Carnet issued.

    https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...WDdraDZaUm4%3D

    From the US all you need to do is comply with the requirements listed at the link below using the CBP Form 4455. A much smoother process, much simpler than the whole Carnet rigmarole when you only have a couple of days to organize it.

    https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...bond/related/1

    Which ever way it's done good luck to the original poster.

    Chris Young


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    Senior Member nedcam's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone! Especially Chris Young. I will work on this today. If this carnet company wants more than $500 I won't get a carnet and just try to charm my way through.

    This is a freebie I am doing to help my son, who is starting his own business of creating challenge events to raise money for charity. This is a group of bikers, not racing necessarily (thank God), I just termed it as such for abbreviation. So all money out on my part will not be reimbursed and it's getting near $4000, which would include a $500 carnet.

    Their event culminates at the end of the Tour de France, which I have to sneak in without a press pass. The size of a full size ENG camera is a dead give away so I may need to buy stock footage later.

    I'll let you know in a couple of weeks what happened.

    Best,

    Ned
    Ned Miller
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    #9
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    They are understaffed at Heathrow at the moment, so you might squeeze through unnoticed, but I'd still advise getting a carnet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donny 123 View Post
    Thats sounds like a massive hassle.. why not just get a carnet.. thats what they are used to seeing and know about.. they never go through the whole thing.. just camera usually and maybe a lens.. takes no time at all..
    Last week in Mexico, they went through every single piece of my kit. Landing in UK they didn't check anything. They rarely do.
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    #10
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    I highly recommend you follow Cy’s advice about entering the U.K.

    And on the USA end; when traveling without a Carnet I always make a list, & get it stamped by US Customs before departure.


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