Travelling with a trumpet from USA to Italy

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Patrizio, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. Patrizio

    Patrizio Pianissimo User

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    Hi folks, I hope this is the right place for the following question.
    I bought a pre-owned Lawler C7 in USA and I will bring it back to Italy. Do you have some experience of traveling outside of USA with trumpets or other instruments? Is it possible that at the italian custom I will be asked to pay taxes for a pre-owned instrument? Thanks for your comments and suggestions.:-)
     
  2. patkins

    patkins Forte User

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    Yes, you will be asked at the customs office to declare outside purchases. There is not a legal way around it. The customs charge is nothing in comparison to the value of the USA made trumpet you bought. These sell in Europe for almost twice their USD amount. Enjoy it!
    It is not that expensive a charge. Carrying it onboard will save baggage surcharge. Congrats on your purchase!
     
  3. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    To protect yourself from having the Customs Agents from wrongly appraising your trumpet at too high a value (e.g. at full retail price), and therefore charging you a high Custom's fee, you need to have a bill of sale showing the purchase price of the trumpet. And/or if possible get an appraisal on the appraiser's letterhead (music merchant) with an appraised value. Have him low-ball the price but don't be obvious about it. If possible, have a notarised translation of the bill of sale/appraisal. You know bureaucrats. The day's not over until the paperwork's done. Don't give them any reason to charge you any more than they might otherwise do.

    Hang onto that paperwork in case you re-enter the US and Italy with the horn in the future.
     
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Be sure to get fingerprints all over it so it looks used. I got stuck in German customs (at a train station in Stuttgart of all places!) with an official who was, to put it nicely, enthusiastic about his duties. Kept my cool, though, and didn't go to jail for insulting a Federal Official.

    It's quicker and more legal if you pay the fees and keep the papers for future use.
     
  5. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    You know . . . (sigh) . . .I bought a Selmer alto in Germany, went to the states, and knowing full well that when I re-entered Germany, Customs would want proof that I hadn't bought the sax in the states and was trying to sneak it in customs free. So I kept the bill of sale in my wallet to make sure I had it with me at all times.

    Upon my return to Germany from the US, as I was exiting the Frankfurt Airport Customs area, I was motioned over and asked to open my case and explain, which I did. Then I took my receipt out of my wallet and showed it to them. They kept it just long enough to make me uncomfortable and suggested, rather haughtily, that in the future I should keep the receipt in the case with the sax. Say whaaat? They just had to have the last word, and though I wanted to say more, I let them have it. Jerks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  6. Patrizio

    Patrizio Pianissimo User

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    Jan 26, 2008
    Thanks to all of you for telling your experience with the custom!:-) Sincerely, I think that custom taxes and duties should not be due for pre-owned instruments, it sounds like a robbery to me.... However, I will do like you suggested, have a paper where the seller declare the actual price of the trumpet (1350 US$).
    By the way, the C7 is inspired to the famous Martin Committee, especially for his sound that is on the dark side. Have you ever tried it? Could you let me know your feelings? Thanks!

    Best wishes,Patrizio
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I have never had to pay anything while travelling. The horns just have to leave with you when you return.
     
  8. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    Yes. My story above about the Selmer alto also goes for the other horns I've traveled with cross-border. I've never paid customs on them.
     
  9. Chuck Cox

    Chuck Cox Forte User

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    I travel with my trumpet as carry on luggage. I don't list it on the customs forms. I do list whatever we buy (which doesn't amount to that much money). No one ( Customs ) has ever questioned my trumpet. I dunno.
     

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