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ryanmills
31-Mar-2016, 09:41
I'm American but I shoot in Europe in the summer. In the past I have shot 4x5 so traveling even with 10 boxes was fine, customs never cares even when I ship it back. However this year im shooting 8x10 and I don't see how im getting 20 boxes in my carry on. Buying film in europe is almost double the cost and finding that much 8x10 does not seem likely. B&H will ship film to me in europe and they give the option of paying duties and VAT when i buy it or dealting with them when I pick it up. However i dont think I should be paying VAT since it was bought in america, by an american and while I will use it in europe im bring it back with me not selling it. So is it as simple as bringing my passport when I pick it up to avoid VAT? Anyone have any experince with this? The county I will be picking it up in is Belgium.

Bob Salomon
31-Mar-2016, 09:48
If you are importing into a country with VAT then that country will collect VAT upon entry into the country. If you can prove to them that you are taking the imported items out of the country, at the end of your visit, then you may be eligible to get a refund of the VAT. This is not the place to get an answer. Check with the Embassy of the country that you will send the film to and ask them. You may need to fill out special forms before you ship to get the money back.

ryanmills
31-Mar-2016, 10:57
If you are importing into a country with VAT then that country will collect VAT upon entry into the country. If you can prove to them that you are taking the imported items out of the country, at the end of your visit, then you may be eligible to get a refund of the VAT. This is not the place to get an answer. Check with the Embassy of the country that you will send the film to and ask them. You may need to fill out special forms before you ship to get the money back.

"This is not the place to get an answer."

Sure seems like it would be given this is a Q&A forum, specifically "how to travel with equipment". I dont expect im the first to ship film to my destination. So no disrespect but im looking for input from a photographer who has done this before. Dealing with embassy's dont work the way you might hope. I hoping to hear someones real experince with this.

Martin Aislabie
31-Mar-2016, 10:58
Shipping stuff - what ever it is - in to the EU or USA will expose you to both VAT and an import duty.

If you hand carry it - then its OK and you will get away without paying the VAT.

If you ship/fly the film out from and then back to the USA, with the right paperwork you will be able to claim the VAT back from Europe

It will simplify the paperwork trail if you import and export the film through the same countries.

However, shipping the film back to the USA may also incur import duties from the US Customs group - and you will then need a clear paperwork export/import trail to get that tax back.

The cheapest way of doing all of this is to hand carry the film - but don't put it in your luggage as the X-Ray scanners will fry it.

The alternative way is to buy the film at B&H, pay the tax up front and have them ship it to a convenient location in Europe with the paperwork already sorted - its much easier than trying to deals with customs in a foreign country when you land and are dealing with a foreign language.

The third way is to buy the film in Europe on the internet and have them ship it to a convenient location in Europe - somewhere like Silverprint (http://www.silverprint.co.uk/) in London should be able to do this for you.

Good luck

Martin

ryanmills
31-Mar-2016, 11:51
Shipping stuff - what ever it is - in to the EU or USA will expose you to both VAT and an import duty.

If you hand carry it - then its OK and you will get away without paying the VAT.

If you ship/fly the film out from and then back to the USA, with the right paperwork you will be able to claim the VAT back from Europe

It will simplify the paperwork trail if you import and export the film through the same countries.

However, shipping the film back to the USA may also incur import duties from the US Customs group - and you will then need a clear paperwork export/import trail to get that tax back.

The cheapest way of doing all of this is to hand carry the film - but don't put it in your luggage as the X-Ray scanners will fry it.

The alternative way is to buy the film at B&H, pay the tax up front and have them ship it to a convenient location in Europe with the paperwork already sorted - its much easier than trying to deals with customs in a foreign country when you land and are dealing with a foreign language.

The third way is to buy the film in Europe on the internet and have them ship it to a convenient location in Europe - somewhere like Silverprint (http://www.silverprint.co.uk/) in London should be able to do this for you.

Good luck

Martin


Well that were it gets hard and why im hoping someone here has done it before. Yes, you can get VAT refunds and I have done that but you have to get paperwork when you buy it and the store and do it as you leave Belgium. However in this case its not an EU store and there is no paperwork. Buying the film in the EU is not an option, i need too much and so far no one I have checked with has it. Silver print does not even seem carry 8x10 film and even then the film costs would be higher than shipping from B&H and eating the VAT. As far as calling the Embassy, I have delt with the belgian embassy a few times. Asking a complex question to someone who does not care will get the simple answers, regardless of if its true.

Bob Salomon
31-Mar-2016, 12:01
"This is not the place to get an answer."

Sure seems like it would be given this is a Q&A forum, specifically "how to travel with equipment". I dont expect im the first to ship film to my destination. So no disrespect but im looking for input from a photographer who has done this before. Dealing with embassy's dont work the way you might hope. I hoping to hear someones real experince with this.

I do have experience with this. But the latest issue we had was with the owner of a non warranted Rodenstock lens that had an issue with it and he shipped it to the factory in Germany for service, without the proper forms. German Customs charged him over $900.00 in VAT and duties that he was never able to get back. Check with the Consulate or Emassy and insist that you speak to someone who does know. You are not asking a strange question. They get lots of questions regarding this type if situation.

BTW, that lens that he returned to Germany was plainly marked Made in Germany on the box and on the lens. The way they think there is to assume that if you are bringing it into the country it will probably stay in the country or, at least, in the EU. So it is incumbent upon you to present the proper paperwork so you will not be charged or, if you are, that you can receive a refund if your fees.

Grumium
31-Mar-2016, 13:09
As others have stated, I'd also bring the film with me (carry-on) or buy it locally, e.g. purchase it at a European dealer and have it shipped to a place of yours (e.g. hotel).


Buying film in europe is almost double the cost and finding that much 8x10 does not seem likely.

Price highly depends on the film you're looking for. Ilford is reasonably priced. I can recommend:
Fotoimpex (www.fotoimpex.de) (Germany; they also have a store in Berlin)
Digit Foto (https://www.digitfoto.de/) (Germany)
Nodfoto (https://www.nordfoto.de) (Germany)

They should all be able to ship to Belgium, they accept credit cards, they will most likely understand English and be as helpful as possible. They will also be able to supply a lifetimes quantity of film, if required ;-)

Tobias Key
31-Mar-2016, 14:51
I concur that 8x10 is not as common in Europe as in the US. I have done some research in the past and came to the conclusion that you have to order a lot of film from the US to make it worthwhile, and VAT and import duty are not consistently applied, so one package might slip through without you having to pay any duty and the next you get hammered. This is the UK link for goods sent from abroad, not the same as Belgium but most of these are harmonised within the EU now so the rules won't be radically different. Note you will most likely have to pay VAT and import duty

https://www.gov.uk/goods-sent-from-abroad/tax-and-duty

Calumet is still going strong in Europe and there is a Belgium branch (https://www.calumetphoto.be/category/films-doka/film/kleur-negatief-film). They have some Ilford stuff in 8x10 and might be able to get other things on order. Probably more expensive than a US import but one thing I have no clue about is whether they X ray parcels when they are posted internationally, would you still have the risk of the film being fogged?

ryanmills
31-Mar-2016, 15:07
Issue one, I don't even know how I would carry on 20 boxes of 8x10 tri-x. Weight alone would be unpleasant. Shipping it is the only option. Issue two, buying it in Europe in no way would be cheaper, the prices are nearly double. And to find someone with that much on hand is hard. Even in the US i only know of two places that normally have that much 8x10 in stock. Sidenote: I dont know why people in europe even buy film from these places. The fact thats its cheaper to buy it from a US store, pay vat and ship it acorss an ocean and have it still be 1/4 to 1/2 the cost or more given the euro vs dollar exchange rate is beyond me. Bottom line getting the film there is not the issue, just dealing with VAT, VAT refunds and customs is.

The consistency of customs is the reason I'm not relying on an Embassy, I have traveled enough to know just because some low-level government employee in one place says something, it does not mean that's how it really works. I'm hoping there is someone here has had to deal with this at least once or a few times and has some thoughts on whats worth doing.

Grumium
31-Mar-2016, 15:45
Ryan, sourcing from the US might not be as attractive as you think (75-50% cheaper). Please find an example below:

Kodak TMY 8x10 box of 10 sheet

B&H

USD 105
= 93 EUR
+ VAT (+19% Germany*) =
= 110 EUR
+ Shipping (USD 40 = 35 EUR)
+ VAT on Shipping (= 42 EUR)
= 152 EUR for one box
= 1142 EUR for 10 boxes

CALUMET Germany (Link (https://www.calumetphoto.de/product/Kodak-T-MAX-400-8-x-10-10-Blatt/KODTMY81010))

No stock. Delivery time: 5-7 working days. As I said, quantity shouldn't be a problem.
135 EUR
= including tax
= including shipment
= 135 EUR for one box (11% cheaper)
= 1350 EUR for 10 boxes (15% more expensive)

* VAT in Belgium is 21%

If you go for Ilford films you would save roughly 50% over Kodak.

I do not know how things changed in terms of security checks/scans for shipped goods after the terrorist attacks. I would be very careful, in particular regarding Belgium. Saving a few bucks might not pay out in the long run (risk of fogged negatives).

If you want to source your film in the US, ship it to EU and get European VAT refunded after return, IMO you need to do it on your own. You do not need the embassy or other others - google for ATA Carnet, etc. This might help: http://www.atacarnet.com/what-carnet

ryanmills
31-Mar-2016, 16:17
Ryan, sourcing from the US might not be as attractive as you think (75-50% cheaper). Please find an example below:

Kodak TMY 8x10 box of 10 sheet

B&H

USD 105
= 93 EUR
+ VAT (+19% Germany*) =
= 110 EUR
+ Shipping (USD 40 = 35 EUR)
+ VAT on Shipping (= 42 EUR)
= 152 EUR for one box
= 1142 EUR for 10 boxes

CALUMET Germany (Link (https://www.calumetphoto.de/product/Kodak-T-MAX-400-8-x-10-10-Blatt/KODTMY81010))

No stock. Delivery time: 5-7 working days. As I said, quantity shouldn't be a problem.
135 EUR
= including tax
= including shipment
= 135 EUR for one box (11% cheaper)
= 1350 EUR for 10 boxes (15% more expensive)

* VAT in Belgium is 21%

If you go for Ilford films you would save roughly 50% over Kodak.

I do not know how things changed in terms of security checks/scans for shipped goods after the terrorist attacks. I would be very careful, in particular regarding Belgium. Saving a few bucks might not pay out in the long run (risk of fogged negatives).

If you want to source your film in the US, ship it to EU and get European VAT refunded after return, IMO you need to do it on your own. You do not need the embassy or other others - google for ATA Carnet, etc. This might help: http://www.atacarnet.com/what-carnet

Sorry I did make a typo of sorts I meant to phrase that as save quarter to half the cost. I only shoot tri-x and as best I can tell calumet does not stock it. But you have to understand, I fly 6000 miles, to get there and find out my film is delayed becuase there vendor does not have it is not an option. I wont buy from someone who has not have it in hand. I'm not worried about shipping and bomb scanning, I have been shipping film with DHL and Fedex for years with zero issues. Film is not the only item that cant be bomb scanned, you just have to make sure your box and shipping docs have it marked no-xray.

Anyway if I have to pay VAT to bring it into the country regardless thats just what I have to do. I appreciate the help but just hoping someone has gone thru this themselves. There are details in it im not sure about and could have issues. For example in getting the refund unlike normal I wont have the film with me, I will ship it back before I even fly home. I will have documents but no product. Will the documents I get from DHL cover what I need still, do I need to ask for something extra. I can ask an embassy some details, I can call DHL but none of these are going to give me the practical whole picture. But again I can't be the first person who has done this so hopefully someone who has gone thru this might know.

soeren
31-Mar-2016, 20:20
One more option in German
https://www.macodirect.de/

gary mulder
31-Mar-2016, 23:21
Film will probably be seen as a consumable item.

Doremus Scudder
1-Apr-2016, 01:21
Forget 8x10 and take your 4x5 plus film in your carry on. You're just making everything harder on yourself by going larger.

Doremus

BILL3075
1-Apr-2016, 04:54
You can reduce the extra expenses by carrying, say, 5-10 boxes, and
buying the balance there, assuming some European outfit carries Tri-X.

mathieu Bauwens
1-Apr-2016, 11:06
Hello Ryan,

i'm in Belgium, so if you don't find solutions, I can take care of your films if you decide to command some boxes. i'm around Brussels. Did you try the nex Bergger Pancro 400 (http://labo-argentique.com/produits/bergger/les-films-bergger/bergger-pancro-400-8x10-inch-25-feuilles.html). It take only one wwek for me to be delivered. Try one box, that could be a good solution, too.

chris_4622
2-Apr-2016, 04:44
Ryan,

I went through this 3 years ago in Italy. I shipped 20 boxes of 5x7 film via Fed Ex. Italian Customs contacted me for further clarification and even though I clearly stated this was for my personal consumption and would be bringing it back with me I had to pay the VAT. At the time I didn't know I could try to recover that after returning. The cost was quite high, and factoring in the shipping, I paid almost the same amount I paid for the film alone. In the end I would have been better carrying it with me.

This doesn't help you trying to figure out how to navigate getting the VAT refunded but I do understand your frustration.

djdister
2-Apr-2016, 07:47
Some thoughts:

Taking 10 or more boxes is crazy. All that packaging is unnecessary. Pull the film out and repackage it into fewer, larger (deeper) boxes. Keep it in the inner envelopes, but you will save a lot of space by reducing the packaging load.

Fly first class. In addition to being a whole lot more comfortable, some airlines will allow two carry-on bags plus a personal item if you are flying first class. When I flew first class to Scotland, I was allowed two carry-on bags, a personal item, and two checked bags at no extra expense. I carried my sheet film over and back with me in my carry-on bags and had no problems.

IanG
2-Apr-2016, 10:03
There's a moral issue here and also possible dishonesty.

Fist you'll have to pay VAT if you have the film shipped to Europe or buy it here. Unused (unopened boxes) you can claim the VAT back at the exit port (or airport) you leave from. However exposed film no longer has a re-sale value so it's dishonest to claim the VAT back, if you claim it has a value then you are admitting to working in Europe so would be liable to tax.

Ian

ryanmills
2-Apr-2016, 11:32
Hello Ryan,

i'm in Belgium, so if you don't find solutions, I can take care of your films if you decide to command some boxes. i'm around Brussels. Did you try the nex Bergger Pancro 400 (http://labo-argentique.com/produits/bergger/les-films-bergger/bergger-pancro-400-8x10-inch-25-feuilles.html). It take only one wwek for me to be delivered. Try one box, that could be a good solution, too.

I did get your email, i only shoot tri-x for a few reasons. flying 6000 miles and shooting 200 sheets of a film I have not worked with seems like a bad idea. I have to know for sure that the film will be there and I dont want to risk paying someone else to ship it and have it not show up on time.


Ryan,

I went through this 3 years ago in Italy. I shipped 20 boxes of 5x7 film via Fed Ex. Italian Customs contacted me for further clarification and even though I clearly stated this was for my personal consumption and would be bringing it back with me I had to pay the VAT. At the time I didn't know I could try to recover that after returning. The cost was quite high, and factoring in the shipping, I paid almost the same amount I paid for the film alone. In the end I would have been better carrying it with me.

This doesn't help you trying to figure out how to navigate getting the VAT refunded but I do understand your frustration.

Yes, this what I was worried about. Customs is a lot of drama... At this point the cheapest choice is to just pay the vat, its $450 and will likely be worth it over everything else that can go wrong.



Some thoughts:

Taking 10 or more boxes is crazy. All that packaging is unnecessary. Pull the film out and repackage it into fewer, larger (deeper) boxes. Keep it in the inner envelopes, but you will save a lot of space by reducing the packaging load.

Fly first class. In addition to being a whole lot more comfortable, some airlines will allow two carry-on bags plus a personal item if you are flying first class. When I flew first class to Scotland, I was allowed two carry-on bags, a personal item, and two checked bags at no extra expense. I carried my sheet film over and back with me in my carry-on bags and had no problems.


I shot 700 sheets of 4x5 last year over two weeks, 200 is barely enough. I did think about repacking them. However tsa/customs will require it to be scanned or opened if I repacked it or break the seal. Lots of chances for fogging the film. Weight is still an issue, that much 8x10 is heavy. I wish I could fly first class but your talking about flight costs going from $1700 to $5000. Hard to justify :p



There's a moral issue here and also possible dishonesty.

Fist you'll have to pay VAT if you have the film shipped to Europe or buy it here. Unused (unopened boxes) you can claim the VAT back at the exit port (or airport) you leave from. However exposed film no longer has a re-sale value so it's dishonest to claim the VAT back, if you claim it has a value then you are admitting to working in Europe so would be liable to tax.

Ian

Thats not true. You may be misunderstanding how VAT works, generally personal use items are not subject to VAT. Just because I bring a lot does not suddenly make me liable. The fact that im shipping it in from a company in a significant quantity is why I will likely have to pay. Further more consumable goods are subject to vat refunds regardless. It does not matter that I have shot the film. The questions is if I have to pay it at the start and likely thats going to be the case from everyone I have talked too.

gary mulder
2-Apr-2016, 15:11
The chance that you have to pay VAT to get your parcel released are high. If you donít pay you will simple donít get the parcel. After paying you can try to reclaim the VAT.
Contact Belgian Customs Brussel gew.dir.da.brussel@minfin.fed.be this is the place were you have to get a VAT refund. Have fun.

Doremus Scudder
3-Apr-2016, 03:11
... I did think about repacking them. However tsa/customs will require it to be scanned or opened if I repacked it or break the seal. Lots of chances for fogging the film. Weight is still an issue, that much 8x10 is heavy. ...

Ryan,

This has not been my experience. I routinely carry exposed but undeveloped film back to Europe from the USA in used film boxes. I ask for a hand inspection at the departure airport and have never had a problem. They simply swab the box and put the swab in the sniffer. However, even if you have to put your film through the scanner, there should be no problems. I have had 320 Tri-X go through the hand-luggage scanners up to seven times with absolutely no ill-effects.

I still think you should just go back to 4x5...

Doremus

ryanmills
3-Apr-2016, 21:44
Ryan,

This has not been my experience. I routinely carry exposed but undeveloped film back to Europe from the USA in used film boxes. I ask for a hand inspection at the departure airport and have never had a problem. They simply swab the box and put the swab in the sniffer. However, even if you have to put your film through the scanner, there should be no problems. I have had 320 Tri-X go through the hand-luggage scanners up to seven times with absolutely no ill-effects.

I still think you should just go back to 4x5...

Doremus

It's just the TSA handbook, factory sealed film they can hand check. Opened film is at their discretion or something to that verbiage. The only place state side I have had issues was Seattle but honestly those TSA agent's looked to be about 14 and I quote "he opened it so why can't we" were his words right after I told him he cant open the box and then he try to pry it to peek into it. Made me run it thru the scanner and they all group around expecting to see something. He seemed less than amaused when I less than politely told him to reproduce with himself afterwards. Most TSA have not seen film thats 8x10 and are not going to understand why I have so much of it. Worst case I scan and yes it probably ok. $1500 worth of film getting scanned makes me nervous, you just never know. Europe is 50/50 in belgium they were always great but I speak enough the language to ask. Now someone went and blew up that airport so this summer is not going to be as easy.




I still think you should just go back to 4x5...


Quite honestly, thats hardly the solution and i'm so tired of having that debate. 8x10 is not the same as 4x5. It just simply is not. If its good enough for you work, by all means use it. But its not for mine. I have shot both and can compare. With my process it just does not hold up. I dont shoot 8x10 because i love to be broke, carry 4 times the weight in gear. I do it becuase it gets the result I want. I'm not as thrilled with the lens I had but a new one is on the way and this might be the camera I use till they stop making 8x10 film. I will say, one day a 20x24 studio camera could be fun. Contact prints would be amazing.

goamules
4-Apr-2016, 07:01
I'd say you've explored all your options, and there is no solution. Something's got to give in cost, difficulty, risk, format, sheet count. Let us know how it worked out.

Randy Moe
4-Apr-2016, 07:42
Kodak on X-Ray scanning damage examples.

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?129953-Kodak-advice-on-travel-with-film-especially-motion-film-with-examples

ryanmills
4-Apr-2016, 11:14
Kodak on X-Ray scanning damage examples.

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?129953-Kodak-advice-on-travel-with-film-especially-motion-film-with-examples

Thank you, It's nice to see they touched on cumulative scans and dealing with push/pull there has never been a consensus. And interesting they note ISO 400. One of the reasons I shoot tri-x is its slower speed but honestly wish I could shoot tmax 400, it pushes decently in xtol and that extra film speed would help me a lot.


I'd say you've explored all your options, and there is no solution. Something's got to give in cost, difficulty, risk, format, sheet count. Let us know how it worked out.

Yea, I think after this summers trip and im going to write up a post on my experiences and solutions dealing with all of this. For anyone reading this after a few conversations with the embassy and the trade office paying VAT is required but DHL should provide the docs for the refunds. I am going back and forth on if I can fit it. I was experimenting with boxes and between my backpack and laptop bag I can fit 13 boxes so there is the chance I can break it down into the other boxs it could work. But the weight is still an issue. Along with multiple scans if they don't hand check.

djdister
4-Apr-2016, 12:20
Kodak on X-Ray scanning damage examples.

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?129953-Kodak-advice-on-travel-with-film-especially-motion-film-with-examples

It is a good article from Kodak, and you should keep in mind they are talking specifically about "Airport baggage scanning" as distinguished from carry-on bag screening. Here is a key statement from that article: "X-ray equipment used to inspect carry-on baggage uses a very low level of x-radiation that will not cause noticeable damage to most films. However, baggage that is checked (loaded on the planes as cargo) often goes through equipment with higher energy X rays."

Randy Moe
4-Apr-2016, 12:34
It is a good article from Kodak, and you should keep in mind they are talking specifically about "Airport baggage scanning" as distinguished from carry-on bag screening. Here is a key statement from that article: "X-ray equipment used to inspect carry-on baggage uses a very low level of x-radiation that will not cause noticeable damage to most films. However, baggage that is checked (loaded on the planes as cargo) often goes through equipment with higher energy X rays."

Also says this,

"Have your exposed film processed locally before passing through airport security on your return trip.

If you're going to be traveling through multiple X-ray examinations (more than 5 times), request a hand search of your carry-on baggage. FAA regulations in the U.S. allow for a hand search of photographic film and equipment if requested. (See below for further FAA information.) However, non-US airports may not honor this request."

ryanmills
4-Apr-2016, 12:55
It is a good article from Kodak, and you should keep in mind they are talking specifically about "Airport baggage scanning" as distinguished from carry-on bag screening. Here is a key statement from that article: "X-ray equipment used to inspect carry-on baggage uses a very low level of x-radiation that will not cause noticeable damage to most films. However, baggage that is checked (loaded on the planes as cargo) often goes through equipment with higher energy X rays."

The examples are checked baggage but they give advice and guidelines for carry on as well that are not shown in the TSA guidelines.

djdister
4-Apr-2016, 15:13
The examples are checked baggage but they give advice and guidelines for carry on as well that are not shown in the TSA guidelines.

True. So I will relate my personal experience in traveling with 4x5 film, only as an example. I flew from Dulles to Glasgow with 3 emulsions in my carry-on bag: FP4, HP5 and Provia. Came back with exposed film on all three emulsions. The film went through a total of 2 carry-on x-ray scans, once in Dulles and once in Glasgow coming back. After processing, I could not detect any fogging or ill effects on any of the three emulsions. I did not ask for hand inspection of my film in either direction, because I've heard too many horror stories. So for me, this approach worked out perfectly fine. Certainly multiple carry-on x-ray scans could eventually have an impact on the film, however my flight planning limited it to just a single scan in each direction. Your air mileage may vary...

mathieu Bauwens
5-Apr-2016, 06:50
So, if you want to have some more personnal experience, I fly numerous time to Laos with B&W films; Kodak PX125, trix and TMax 3200 in 135mm, Fomapan 200 and TXP 320 in 4x5inch. Films passed Xray for hand luggage cabin in Brussels airport, Abu Dhabi, Bangkok and Luang Prabang, Bangkok and Abu Dhabi for the come back; never had any issues !

MartinP
13-Apr-2016, 14:46
At first I thought you were planning on shooting 1000 sheets of 8x10", which must be commercial use and you would certainly need a work-permit, or an exemption (do US citizens need a work-permit in the EU? If you have a dual-nationality with a Schengen Treaty country then travel on those documents). But then I saw that you were buying film in ten sheet boxes -- what is wrong with fifty sheet packs? It would reduce the size enormously, just four boxes would be easy to carry. Can you find some old, empty, fifty sheet boxes if they are no longer available to buy new, or even re-purpose a printing-paper box? If you can usually get them hand-checked leaving the US and the packs will have been opened before you return anyway (to use the film) then you are not in a worse position regarding the packaging and testing. Presumably you can carry empty film boxes in hold baggage, to simplify sending the film back in case you don't have an entire box of fifty ready to send.

Regarding VAT, I think you won't have a choice if you have to collect a parcel, and you will probably not get a refund of the import duty. I would be wary of being accused of working in the EU with that much film and equipment. Having the whole lot confiscated and then paying the costs for yourself to be deported would not be much fun!

gary mulder
13-Apr-2016, 15:45
Any artist can work for 4 weeks in the EU without work-permit

MartinP
14-Apr-2016, 03:03
Any artist can work for 4 weeks in the EU without work-permit

That is interesting news. I have confirmed that there is an option on a Schengen visa, when endorsed 'for work', for artistic and cultural performances and associated activities (roadies for a band, for example) for up to ninety days in any twelve month period. Some countries (eg. Germany) have a fifteen day allowance for unplanned artistic work, to cover such 'edge cases' as being unexpectedly asked and paid to be a film extra, or to be interviewed by a journalist, and so on. The references I have found are to support performances (which includes setting up an exhibition), rather than production of artwork.

Can you please let me know what paperwork and evidence is necessary to support an application for a visa like this in the EU? I have found no reference whatsoever, other than artists being deported from the UK (which has 'different' rules of course) and musicians being imprisoned in France.

gary mulder
14-Apr-2016, 04:22
If you are able to read (legal) Dutch
https://zoek.officielebekendmakingen.nl/stb-2013-360.html

MartinP
14-Apr-2016, 09:41
Thank you for finding that documentation. So, if I read that correctly, a US citizen working as an artist can travel to the Schengen area (26 countries within Europe) for a stay of up to three months within any six month period without a visa, and work in Netherlands as an artist for not more than four to six consecutive weeks during that time period.

From reading the Schengen FAQs, it seems that the work-permit legislation is on a national basis while the visiting visa (or in the case of USA, agreement for visa-free visits) is Schengen-area wide. To check that each country where the OP will be photographing has similar exemption rules to NL would be time consuming, but I suppose it is one of those things that is the responsibility of the traveller. I had never heard that such dispensations existed!

Two23
18-Apr-2016, 20:57
Can you first go to a non-EU country and avoid the problem? There is NO WAY I'd pay some government 21% in taxes. I would simply go somewhere else. I find those kinds of tax rates astonishing.


Kent in SD

soeren
18-Apr-2016, 21:43
Can you first go to a non-EU country and avoid the problem? There is NO WAY I'd pay some government 21% in taxes. I would simply go somewhere else. I find those kinds of tax rates astonishing.


Kent in SD
Well if you don't like the smell of it..............

Steven Tribe
18-Apr-2016, 22:12
Can you first go to a non-EU country and avoid the problem? There is NO WAY I'd pay some government 21% in taxes. I would simply go somewhere else. I find those kinds of tax rates astonishing.


Kent in SD

This is not a solution. The VAT still becomes payable when you enter the EU from, for instance, Norway or Switzerland.
Note that 21% is not a standard rate but is fixed by national legislation: for Denmark it is 25%.

soeren
19-Apr-2016, 00:30
Kind of ironic. Whats the cost of airplane tickets and acommodation, food and transport on location etc? How much does VAT of a small number of 8X10" packs add to your total costs? Are the savings worth all this extra fuss?

soeren
19-Apr-2016, 00:34
This is not a solution. The VAT still becomes payable when you enter the EU from, for instance, Norway or Switzerland.
Note that 21% is not a standard rate but is fixed by national legislation: for Denmark it is 25%.

Well if having the stuff send to a country outside EU and picking them up there before driving over the border to EU, wouldn't that work or would he have to pay some import tax there?

MartinP
20-Apr-2016, 04:36
The reason for sending the film by post was to avoid the inconvenience of carrying so many boxes, and the higher european cost, wasn't it? So the simplest solution is to repack all the necessary film inner-packages, bought in USA at the low price, in to one box (a photo-paper box, or a couple of old 50-sheet boxes, for example) and have it hand-checked as carry-on baggage in the US airport. There is no x-ray scanning on leaving the european airport when the OP arrives, though there could be further checks in hotels and landmarks during the trip of course. Is there any reason why that wouldn't work? (and stay legal).

djdister
20-Apr-2016, 12:04
The reason for sending the film by post was to avoid the inconvenience of carrying so many boxes, and the higher european cost, wasn't it? So the simplest solution is to repack all the necessary film inner-packages, bought in USA at the low price, in to one box (a photo-paper box, or a couple of old 50-sheet boxes, for example) and have it hand-checked as carry-on baggage in the US airport.

This approach has been suggested several times and the OP rejected this suggestion...

Jim Andrada
26-Apr-2016, 01:09
A while back someone mentioned a Carnet - it might be a very good idea. Think of it as a passport for stuff and evidence of it eventually being re-exported.. I've carried film back and forth US - Japan often - nobody has ever more than glanced at it or paid any attention to the seal or lack thereof (on the other hand they have a sales/consumption tax, but don't have VAT.) I always repack the stupid Kodak 10 sheet boxes to 20 sheet boxes. Nobody ever blinks. Come to think of it I remember once bringing 12 20-sheet boxes of 8 x 10 Fuji Acros back from Japan as carry on. Just packed them in a cardboard box I got from my hotel and checked my regular carry on bag. Weight was not an issue and that was 240 sheets. Or buy a second wheeled carry on bag just for the film and check your clothes.

Where there's a will there's a way. Where there's a won't, there isn't.

Fred L
26-Apr-2016, 05:11
iirc, at least between Canada and the US, carnets are for equipment and doesn't apply to consumables, but I haven't looked into it too deeply so ymmv. I've had different interpretations of why I need or don't need a carnet when I travel across the border, while working for a Canadian employer.

re:OP, I would consider it a part of doing business so to speak and pay the piper and then try to claim it back.