Traveling with Cinestar! Lipos, pelicans etc.

Discussion in 'CineStar FAQ - Tips and Tricks' started by Chris Newman, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. Chris Newman

    Chris Newman Member

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    Hey all!

    I'm going to be flying in Thailand next month. This will be my first traveling gig.

    Any tips for traveling with lipos? I have 7 4s 6200's and some 3s. Should I check them? Carry on? What are your experiences?

    How about getting through customs in another country? Do you say you have a heli, or just camera gear? Any tips.


    What pelican/s do you recommend for the cinestar, transmitters?

    I have a carry-on backback for batteries, camera, rx. etc.

    I appreciate any info!

    Thanks!
     
  2. Howard Dapp

    Howard Dapp Active Member

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    Hi, this thread has good info on traveling with lipos: http://forum.freeflysystems.com/index.php?threads/traveling.332/#post-3266 In the states it's required to carry-on all lithium batteries. I use the Pelican 1520 for this, it's carry-on size.

    When traveling abroad we usually obtain a carnet for all of our equipment (both the U.S. and Thailand are carnet countries) in addition to registering our gear with US customs. Here is the customs form for registering your equipment: http://forms.cbp.gov/pdf/cbp_form_4457.pdf Better be safe than sorry plus doing so will save you a load of headaches later. I know some guys who just register their gear with the form above and are fine. All it takes is a customs agent who decides to be anal and want to see a carnet for your expensive gear and when you cannot produce one it may be costly $$.

    Also travel with business cards, if you carry-on one of your helis it's easy to just pull out a business card and explain to the clueless folks what you do. Male agents usually get it, but the ladies usually look baffled when they see all those little sticks of dynamite and radio controllers.
     
  3. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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  4. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    thanks, Howard, but that's the link to the US form. can you repost the link to the thread in question? thanks!
     
  5. Howard Dapp

    Howard Dapp Active Member

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    oops sorry Steve, correct link updated in original post.​
     
  6. Chris Newman

    Chris Newman Member

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    Great info Howard! I appreciate it! Quick question. Do I just need to fill out the Us customs form and show it to the security agent when I check my bags? And how do I do obtain a carnet for US and thailand? Do I need to mail anything or do anything before hand? Or do I just fill out the papers and carry with me? I really appreciate your help!
     
  7. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Chris:
    This might help: http://www.uscib.org/index.asp?documentID=1843
    Note: you'll pay a fee for the carnet (they say from $210-350) and you'll have to post security of 40% of the shipment value -- either in the form of a certified check or a surety bond -- this is refunded on Carnet cancellation.

    Andy.
     
  8. Bob Wojda

    Bob Wojda Member

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    Andy,

    You're right in that there's a fee for the Carnet but I've never had to post an additional bond. Only when I've traveled to non carnet countries like Peru have I been required to post bond (I remember 10 percent on $100,000 of equipment). Anything with a serial number should be on the Carnet, which makes me wonder what I would put down for a cinestar. I think it declares "serial numbers or identifying marks". So maybe something there. I don't want to go to far here but if you haven't encountered this before the purpose of the carnet is to prove that you haven't sold anything in the country you are traveling without paying tax in that country. Thailand (mentioned above) in my experience is pretty easy for this but you need to be prepared. I think the batteries may be a bigger issue than the rest of the gear. If I have an overseas shoot I am considering sending my lipos ahead via FedEx and then picking them up in country when you get there. Flying in another country could be another whole issue too. Be careful there are lots of ways to lose that may be not worth the risk, or at least make sure you are getting paid enough that the risk is worth it.

    Bob
     
  9. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Interesting. The web site to which I cited was where I got the idea that there was a bond.....but I defer to your practical knowledge. I've only travelled in to Canada with Hasselblads and the like, so I just used the U.S. Customs form.

    There's nothing to prevent you from printout out a label and putting sticking a label on the battery plate (or a boom), is there? The border lads typically just want to be able to match a number on the thing to a paper description of the thing.

    Sound advice, Bob.
    Andy.
     
  10. Bob Wojda

    Bob Wojda Member

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    Andy/Chris,

    Inscribing an identification mark on a boom would probably do it for Carnet purposes. One last thing to add on this overseas thing. There are a lot of photographers that have gone across customs with no documentation or the wrong documentation and not had a problem....yet. Do your research well and if you need to pay fees for your shoot, that's what you need to do. It should go back to cost of the shoot and if the client says no then you should say no to the shoot, period. You are the one at risk remember. I really think flying in another country opens up a whole other can of worms. My guess Chris is that if you contacted the Thai embassy and asked they would not know how to respond and then deny any request. Also, if you go across customs and they ask what you've got and why you are coming into the country they may not like it either. In that case though, you may not get your stuff back. Don't lie about it either when they ask because that will be much worse. I have not taken my cinestar overseas but i have had plenty of experience with camera equipment, and even that's been a challenge at times. Here's the thing: if you get across because no one asks and come back with awesome shots, which you will, you will see no issues with it. Be careful, i've seen the bad side and it really is bad. One possible way to go is to find a good location management company in Bangkok to help. It will cost but might clear the way.

    Bob
     
  11. Howard Dapp

    Howard Dapp Active Member

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    Bob/Andy, all great info for Chris.
    As for serial numbers, being that our rigs are self built, I simply printed my own serial number identifiers using a Brother P-touch. I used the 1st 3 letters of my last name followed by a 3 digit number sequence. The gimbal has its own set of numbers.

    I have yet to have any issues traveling with lipos (knock on wood) leaving the U.S. or leaving a foreign country but I have had 2 incidents with shipping equipment ahead of time where the equipment didn't arrive when it should have, don't let that discourage you though...it's just my terrible luck!
     
  12. Chris Newman

    Chris Newman Member

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    Bob /Andy , Really appreciate your insight. I will make sure and get a carnet, what carnet company do you guys prefer? I will be flying inside a huge convention center at Thailand and outside a small private hotel. So I'm not too worried about airspace. The flying is a smaller portion of our filming, we will be mainly filming with sticks and steadycams for most of the trip.

    I traveled to Thailand a year ago with a bunch of camera gear and didn't have any issues getting into Thailand. Only issues were US customs coming back in Seattle, they let us off the hook but I believe they were asking for the US customs form as mentioned above??
     
  13. Howard Dapp

    Howard Dapp Active Member

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    Chris, you can print the customs form above and input your equipment info and serial numbers. The 1st thing you will do when you arrive at the airport when leaving the US is visit the customs office, show them the filled out form and allow them to look over your equipment to confirm all is included on the list, sometimes they may take your word. When he's done checking he'll sign and stamp your form. Keep this form with you throughout your travel.
     
  14. Bob Wojda

    Bob Wojda Member

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    Howard/Chris,

    That form is only good for US exportation and importation. It does not cover anything for the country you are traveling to. For that you need a carnet or equivalent documentation or bond for that country.

    Bob
     
  15. Howard Dapp

    Howard Dapp Active Member

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  16. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Which, incidentally, is the link I first gave -- there's only one organization approved to issue U.S. carnets, and this is them! :)

    Andy.
     
  17. Howard Dapp

    Howard Dapp Active Member

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    haha we're going in circles!
     
  18. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    When dealing with guv'mint "organizations" (to use the word loosely), it's best to be prepared to go in circles....in circles...in circles.... ;)

    A.
     
  19. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    There's your haughty accent getting in the way again. We Amur'cans pronounce it "gub ment". Get it right, comrade.
     
  20. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Da, Comrade Mallerski. Yzveeneete.

    The root word is "gubernator" (Latin, guberno, pilot, helmsman, govern, manage) from which we get governor and the original adjectival form, "gubenatorial." Thus, Arnie was called the Gubernator, and we, the Great Unwashed, should be the Guberees as we are Gubered. Obveeeuss, innit?

    Andy.
     

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