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Laptops and customs

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Acathla, 1 Jun 2006.

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  1. Acathla

    Gangster

    Joined: 3 Feb 2003

    Posts: 182

    Location: UK

    Hi all,
    I am going over to the states in a few months, and like the look of the saving I could make on a mac laptop. Just wondering if anyone knows what the deal is with customs and electronic goods? Tried googling, but can't make heads-nor-tails of HM customs website, so thought I would try you lot!

    Cheers for any info!
     
  2. Mic

    Mobster

    Joined: 4 Aug 2005

    Posts: 3,869

    Location: Ireland

    Just put it in your hand luggage without the box. Or with the box even.
    Then you can just says its your laptop you carry with you.

    Would that work?
     
  3. spirit

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,885

    well if you are going, they will only know if you go through something to declare.. i suggest throwing the packaging in states though..
     
  4. bramski

    Gangster

    Joined: 16 Jul 2005

    Posts: 351

    Location: Glasgow

    Yea best to take it as hand luggage as Customs are a law unto themselves and just make it up as they go along.
     
  5. Acathla

    Gangster

    Joined: 3 Feb 2003

    Posts: 182

    Location: UK

    I was planning on ditching the box etc anyway. I also heard that gifts are except, so wrapping it up in shiny paper with "Happy Birthday" written all over it would probably work :D
    Think you guys are prolly right though, in hand luggage, and other than it has no £ sign and the @ is in the wrong place, no real way to tell it is new!
     
  6. Bes

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 7,299

    Location: The Ghetto: AKA Brixton

    Just stick it in your hand bag and go on through...... The chance of getting caught is about 1:1000000000000000.
     
  7. Xenoxide

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 13 Oct 2004

    Posts: 1,245

    Ace idea! Just wrap the whole thing (Box included...you really should keep Apple packaging, it's just stunning) and write a card or something, and if you get stopped by customs say it's a gift from a relative and you've not to open it until your birthday in a weeks time or whatever. I like that! :D
     
  8. Sequoia

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 15 Aug 2005

    Posts: 2,948

    The chance of getting caught may be small, but believe me, it isn't anything like that small.

    And if you do get caught, you then run the risk of :-

    1) Having to pay all outstanding taxes

    2) Having to pay the new CCEP civil penalties

    3) Having the goods confiscated

    4) All of the above.

    If you walk thorugh green with goods that should have had tax levied, you're guilty and are then in a mitigation phase. If you own up, cooperate fully, etc, you'll probably get away with just paying the tax and maybe a small penalty. If, however, you try to brazen it out, then it becomes clear that not only did you fully know what you're doing, but were doing it with dishonest intent. At that point, the full CCEP options kick in, and you could face a lengthy civil court process. Is it worth it? :(

    Customs officers not only pick people at random, but are pretty good at reading the body language of people who are trying to put one over on them, especially if the person is nervous about it. Or, you might just get unlucky and be one of the random stops.
     
  9. Rotty

    Don

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 40,868

    Location: Notts

    I've had to power up my laptop on a few occasions when stopped at customs , wouldn't be hard to tell a new one from a used one at that point
     
  10. markk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 28 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,215


    They will open the package regardless if its wrapped in birthday paper. Imagine the amounts of drugs you could get through at xmas time with "xmas presents" :eek: :D

    Mark.
     
  11. spirit

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,885

    just ditch the packaging, load up some software onto it etc, fake some history etc and carry it through as normal...
     
  12. Cueball

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 24 Sep 2005

    Posts: 1,395

    Porn is a good one!
     
  13. LeoWyatt

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 22 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,688

    Location: Piggy's Slave Cage

    buy it and take it as hand luggage :) i have brought back a digital camcorder and a digital camera both times I've gone to the states and never been stopped. Just get your laptop and stick some stuff on it and you are laughing. Unless they mark down everything people took with them then wouldn't know you brought back something you didn't take.

    To be honest I wouldn't worry, ditch the box, stick the cables in your hand luggage with the laptop and the manuals in checked luggage.
     
  14. peter_hutson

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 30 Oct 2003

    Posts: 1,387

    Location: Aberdeen

    Unfortunately there is a limit on the value of gifts you can bring into the country. I think it's 300 quid per traveler (not sure if you can pool it, if travelling with someone else). So if stopped you would still have to pay duty, might be worth googling the exact "gift" allowance though.

    The chances of being stopped are very small, but if caught they will absolutely go to town on you. My advice, chuck the packaging, put the lappy in you hand luggage and they will be none the wiser. Apple packaging really is great, but it's not so great that I would risk paying VAT on a lappy and any fines for.

    Enjoy the mac, they are great machines.
     
  15. kitten_caboodle

    Soldato

    Joined: 21 Jul 2005

    Posts: 5,463

    Location: Frack off, nosey

    or if you dont want to ditch the packaging, just put the lappy in your handluggage then wrap up the packaging and send it to yourself via air mail - marked 'gift'. Put a note in explaining that it's being sent to a collecter of Mac paraphanalia and they probably won't even bother looking at it, even if it is stopped in a random check.
     
  16. Cybermyk

    Soldato

    Joined: 31 May 2005

    Posts: 6,850

    Location: Peoples Republik of Teesside

    Just sew it into the lining of your coat :p

    I know people who found it cheaper in the past to fly to New York and buy a watch than go down the high street for the same model. I'm not sure if it's still that beneficial now though. How much is the difference?
     
  17. kitten_caboodle

    Soldato

    Joined: 21 Jul 2005

    Posts: 5,463

    Location: Frack off, nosey

    its pretty substantial. Specially as the pound is edging nearest towards the $2 mark! My OH has been on about doing this for a while, and I think he might go for it this year,
     
  18. spirit

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,885

    few hundred quid i think, way more if u happen to know someone in higher education in the states.
     
  19. kitten_caboodle

    Soldato

    Joined: 21 Jul 2005

    Posts: 5,463

    Location: Frack off, nosey

    yeah, there's a scheme here too for various people - teachers, students, journalists etc, but it's still cheaper in the US :)
     
  20. Werewolf

    Commissario

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 29,251

    Location: Panting like a fiend

    i'll close this as half of what has been suggested is illegal.

    As Sequoia says the risks are reasonably high, and the penalties can be rather harsh.
     
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