Luxury bags and expensive items can easily raise suspicion when you’re trying to clear the customs at the airport. They’re sure to raise red flags and you can be pulled aside and you know – the questioning and trying to prove to them the obvious thereafter – can be a time-consuming affair.
We all have our own way to make it through customs with high-ticket items purchased abroad. But how do you get through the questioning when the expensive carry-on bag or maybe your new smartphone (neither of which was purchased abroad) is put under the scanner? There are some quick tips that you can adhere to next time you are traveling with expensive stuff to ensure the explaining part can be done a lot quicker.
Keep documentary evidence of what you’re carrying
First thing is to ensure you have documented evidence that the items you’re carrying were lawfully purchased in the home country. And that you’re not returning with new purchases from abroad, which are subject to customs duty. So, if you’re traveling with your LV handbag out of the country, and have it filled with thousands of dollars’ worth of electronics and other high-end items, be sure you have evidence to show if you’re pulled aside when returning home.
To prove to the customs that the items you are carrying are actually purchased at home, you should have their receipts on you. If not the hard copies, you should carry photographs of the receipts and have them in a separate folder on your phone to easily show when required. This comes in handy to prove that your bag or other item(s) was purchased prior to the trip. If you fail to prove so, the item will be considered a new purchase and you may have to end up paying a duty fee for it.
The expensive stuff should go into the carry-on
It is a regular habit for most of us to pack the carry-on with essentials and leave the expensive items in the checked baggage. It’s important to have essentials along in the cabin, but it also wise to have the expensive stuff along. Checking luggage is like gambling, some stuff may get delayed or maybe misplaced, and if it’s your new Panerai or a DG sunglasses – god bless!
Keeping the high-ticket items in the carry-on bag can minimize the damage and possibility of theft – there have been many cases of airport workers stealing from luggage. Additionally, it can prevent expensive handbag from squashing and getting damaged. Even if you’re carrying the luxury items in the carry-on bag there is a chance you get pulled out for scanning, this is when you should have record of high-ticket purchases to minimize the fuss.
Have your valuables insured
An advisable way to make sure your valuable items are secured and you have a way to prove they are purchased well before the trip is to have a valid insurance cover for them. Valid because some of the insurance packages may only cover luxury accessories up to a certain price limit – something beyond a few thousand dollars for instance may not be covered – and thus the cover may not be useful.
Whatever insurance you have make sure you have read the fine print carefully before heading abroad with your expensive luggage. Generally, high-value items may be covered up to $2500, and in some cases, the cover may be limited to a single item only. So be sure that your policy cover has the items you are going to travel with covered. Else you may want to buy cover for each item – separately. This is essential to avoid major losses in case the item(s) are lost, damaged, or stolen.