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Department of Homeland Security Certificate of Registration

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Has anyone used the Department of Homeland Security's Certificate of Registration [CBP Form 4455 (08/16)] for Personal Effects Taken Abroad? (See attached.)

 

I have an expensive camera system and want to know if it is necessary to fill out the form before going overseas. I'd hate to come back to the States and try to prove that I didn't purchase the equipment overseas.

 

Any thoughts?

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When I went to Guadalupe Island in October, I thought about getting one but eventually decided to take my chances. For whatever that's worth. I did bring a photocopy of the invoices showing that I had purchased the equipment in the US.

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In several years of traveling with my camera (and recently CCR), Ive had a single experience where I was scolded for not having used the form. Coming back from Palau, the CPB agent at LAX homed in on the Peli case for my camera... I was told that because I was part of the Global Entry Trusted Traveler Program that I shouldve notified CBP that I was taking valuable personal effects out of the country... I think that agent mightve been having a bad day.

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I've been traveling for many years with camera (and housing, strobes, etc.) and never once have been stopped. However, since my gear is now worth a lot more, I thought I'd check with everyone. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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I have filled out the equivalent form in Australia and the process is quite painless. I would guess it is worth it, I would assume you would need to front up at the airport early and find the right line to get an agent to review the form, sight the items and stamp it. I know that the Australian form can be re-used, don't know about yours, but I would hope so as having to do it every trip could get painful.

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I and another customer got the "anal" probe about our gear coming back from our last trip to Indo. I've only ever been questioned once - coming back from Grand Cayman before this.

 

They accepted my explanation and a business card and I had a chatty talk with the agent as he had been a divemaster. Just how I wanted to spend a 1/2 hour after a 22 hour flight...

 

So with the new tariffs perhaps they're checking more closely. The issue is that most of the gear we buy is as, or more expensive overseas than it is here in the US.

 

The form is a PITA as they said I have to present the gear and form to an agent before leaving.

 

Jack

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This is an interesting topic. In my years of travel with a bunch of expensive gear have never been questioned along these lines. Do you think a copy of current insurance policy (I use DAN) with listed items might work for proof of ownership? The [CBP Form 4455 (08/16)] sounds like a total hassle.

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I'll think I'll register my stuff for an up coming trip. Last time we went through Jakarta the customs inspector there tried to shake us down for a 'refundable camera deposit'. Maybe an official US document could lend some help?

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I hadn't thought about that (potentially) aspect of using the TSA form ... but it might be of some help. (Having said that, I suspect if some less-than-honest government employee wants a bribe, little will stop them.)

 

Let us know how that works out.

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I travel quite frequently and have never had a problem with the value of my equipment. Last trip from Grand Cayman to JFK, I did have my camera bag taken apart and thoroughly searched, three times! But never questioned about its value. Last few trips there have been minimal customs inspections flying into the NYC airports.

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I just completed the forms prior to a trip through Jakarta.

Although they are a US form,

  • I hoped the forms would provide some support as I been previously held "hostage " in Jakarta for a $500 US cash bond by the Jakarta customs a-holes.

Any way to the point, I filled out the forms and dragged my stuff to the local US Customs office.

They stamped the forms and never asked to look or verify the serial numbers.

I'll probably never be asked to show them!

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