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General photography questions and answers: Discuss America - Customs and Excise...Looks like I'm off to America early next year and looking to buy a new camera, current retail in the ...
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Old 16-11-2006, 18:16   #1 (permalink)
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America - Customs and Excise

Looks like I'm off to America early next year and looking to buy a new camera, current retail in the UK is 480. Can I bring this item back home with me? Or will Mr.C&E get shirty?

Also, does anyone know if there's any difference between the Yankified and British models?

ATB,

Nick
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Old 16-11-2006, 18:51   #2 (permalink)
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Re: America - Customs and Excise

As far as i am aware, and i read a little from the C&E website last year, if you buy a digital camera BODY ONLY ther is no duty to pay when you import it. However if you buy a lens kit, you are liable to have to pay duty.

Ditch boxes, give a friend receipts or post back to yourself (very cautious) and just play dumb and say you took it out with you.

I am not at all suggesting you do this though (i say with a sly wink).
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Old 16-11-2006, 19:12   #3 (permalink)
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Re: America - Customs and Excise

You didn't say what you are going to buy so it's a bit hard to answer if there is anything different or not! Generally speaking there is no difference between the cameras other than the names which are often changed. For example if you want a Canon 300D it becomes a Canon Rebel or something. However, if you buy it in America, make certain you get an international warranty, not an American one or you'll have to send it back to the USA for any servicing it may require.

Will mr C&E get upset. Well, if you buy anything over the gift threshold value 145 then you are liable to import duty. However, and I never said this, if you stick it in your camera bag as though you've had it for ages, the chances are you'll just walk through with it. If that's the case, flatten the box and the instructions etc and post it home :o)

One other point though: be sure that you really are getting a bargain. I went to Florida two months ago and fully intended to buy a Canon 30D but despite the fantastic exchange rate, couldn't get it any cheaper than I could get it for here. In some places, you'll get it cheaper, in other parts it won't be a whole lot of difference. I did buy an Epson P2000 which saved me about 80 or so but I searched everywhere for the 30D and it couldn't be found for a good price. And don't forget, in a lot of States over there, the price you see is the price and then PLUS tax which varies in each state. When buying something that costs $800 (roughly where you're at) adding 8% on top can wipe out any savings you were making!

Seek wisely Glasshopper or else ancient Chinese ploverb say 'Man who not aware of nettles might get stung on backside!'

Cheers,
Lob... I mean Rob :o)
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Old 16-11-2006, 20:15   #4 (permalink)
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Re: America - Customs and Excise

I have, on two occasions, purchased cameras in the States and never had any problems bringing them back (incidentally I flattened the boxes and put them in my suitcase, without bother). Although you need to be aware of the state taxes, also be aware that there are a lot of "dealers" who will be willing to fleece you at a moments notice! Don't take any notice of "special offer" leaflets in hotel rooms, or money off vouchers - if you don't stick to exactly what you want and know everything there is about the camera you wish to buy, you will undoubtedly be "advised" to purchase something better (which will probably be not what you were looking for and a lot more expensive!). Stick to the reputable dealers, but do check the prices first - as Rob says, sometimes they are a lot cheaper at home.
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