Thread: Bringing film gear into China?

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  1. #1 Bringing film gear into China? 
    Senior Member Mark K.'s Avatar
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    Hi Guys,

    Wasn't sure which sub-forum to post this in, so I went with the general one.

    Well my happy news today is that I'm off to Xiamen in Southern China to lens a feature... my less happy news is that I'm supposed to be leaving in just eight days time, and I therefore have a whole lot to prepare and very little time to prepare it

    So I was wondering if anyone here has been through the experience of shooting in China, and could share any tips or info, particularly in regards to bringing gear into and out of the country?

    I'll be travelling as light as possible, but that will still involve bringing (at a minimum):

    - A Sony F5
    - A couple of Zeiss PL zooms
    - A tripod
    - Couple of Area48 remote phosphor lights
    - Small selection of assorted lighting modifiers

    Given that we're talking about the better part of $90,000 of equipment, my biggest concern is how easily I'll be able to bring the gear into and out of China, and what I'd need to prepare or bring with to make sure everything happens smoothly (i.e. without confiscations or duties levied against the value of the gear).

    Also, if anyone happens to know a gaffer or key grip based in Xiamen City, I'd certainly appreciate the contact!

    Cheers,

    Mark
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Daniel Pearson's Avatar
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    Hi Mark, I can't offer advice on the level of gear you're taking, when I recently shot a commercial project in Beijing and Shanghai I shot on BMPCC. But, and sorry to state the obvious, make sure you get your visa sorted, can be a bit of a pain :)
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Matthew Quinn's Avatar
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    I don't know about china, but I've traveled to Ghana West Africa to work with 3 cameras, and i travel through Canada often, mainly on my way to Detroit. Obviously its crazy with gear, make sure you have a safe spot for everything.. Also its a very good idea to provide a list of gear to both your government customs officials and the country your visiting BEFORE you go. I've had a lot of problems coming back to the US when the customs person thought i bought a ton of camera gear out of country.

    I would call, or stop by a customs office BEFORE you go.
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  4. #4  
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    I don't think China recognises carnets, but at the very least you should bring copies of all your purchase receipts for the kit, and a detailed list of the components with serial numbers, to prove prior ownership.

    Also, China is VERY strict about Lithium chemistry batteries I've heard.
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  5. #5  
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    I'm agree with ericyoung,china is strict about bringing things into and out of the country,especially Lithium chemistry batteries.anyway,happy journey!
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  6. #6  
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    When will you go to china? i suggest you rent equipments in china,it will be very convenient for you,and i happen to konw a chinese friend,he do camera rental business,you can list your detail equiment catalogue to me, so i can ask him how much money it will spend to rent those equipments.
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  7. #7  
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    I travelled to China from Norway a few years back for a shoot.
    When we arrived we had a Chinese woman meeting us, that was going to be our fixer. We got all our gear, but they said it was no one there to check it and they had to lock it up in a room until the next day. We tried to protest, but to no avail. Hey just put all the gear in a room and locked it. We didn't get a receipt or anything. Quite stressfull. But the next day the right people were there.
    We had a carnet and they went through it very thorough. Everything checked out and we could get on with our shoot. Luckily we didn't plan to start shooting until that day.
    On our way out of he country I had packed my v-lock batteries in the check in luggage. They saw them on the X-ray and made us carry them in our carry on luggage instead.
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  8. #8  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    I was in China earlier this year. The only issue I had was returning to the states with my V-Locks. However, we worked it out and I was able to fly with them.
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  9. #9  
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    Btw. I flew into Chengdu.
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  10. #10  
    REDuser Sponsor Gunleik Groven's Avatar
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    China has been great to me for a lot of times. Dragon, PL lenses and all.
    This summer I had an issue with V-locks, but when a Chinese person carried them back, it was a non-issue.
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