simonm wrote: ↑
Mon May 08, 2017 7:13 am
Podobin wrote: ↑
Mon May 08, 2017 3:12 am
How would customs know the difference between a €500 guitar and a €3000 one? Not sure how savvy they are....someone indicated to me to carry in as a personal item.
I am sure that one or two customs officers in the US have figured out how to use google by now.
I was in a customs office here paying some tax on timber I got from Canada. It was an open plan office. One official thought the declared price of some leather jackets (from Hong Kong) looked rather low. Quick google search, confirmed opinion and so passed the invoice to their investigating team instead of just send out the tax bill.
But as far as guitars go, if you are carrying it as a personal item, I doubt if they would be in the slightest bit interested whether it is a 500 or 3000 item. On the other hand if it is a violin and it is 250,000 or 1,000,000 they might be very interested indeed. In Europe that would have you liable to 50,000 or 200,000 sales tax respectively. (EU sales tax is 20% round numbers).
Carrying it as a personal item is simply a way of trying to dodge paying the taxes. If a customs guy sees a shiny guitar case he might decide to look inside and see if there is a shiny guitar. If he finds the shiny guitar (as said above) he'll google the makers name and get a price, possibly from a dealers site, so it could be a bit more expensive than you paid. You'll then be charged the duties on that. No doubt many folk get away with it but not all of them do.
If you decide to give it a go then make sure to post the receipt/invoice rather than carry it in the case and delete any build photos and conversations with the maker from your email and text services on your phone, it's the first place they'll look. This helps you to avoid the "no officer I've had this for years now... " to which they reply "that's not what it says on your emails" (or the guitar label for that matter).
Oh the tangled web we weave...
Getting better bit by bit, day by day.