Last Minute Note To Photographers Heading to The Games
I am fortunate enough to be working with an assistant during the Beijing Olympic Games. He flew out yesterday with some of the gear I had shipped to him so that we could split up what we were bringing and not get killed with excess baggage expenses… here’s the important note to photographers who have not yet made it out there: the Chinese customs opened every case of gear – and inspected EVERY single piece of gear by hand… luckily enough – we had made sure to go our local Chinese Embassy and get the proper “Equipment Confirmation Letter” stamped (a list of your equipment, value, and serial number (in TRIPLICATE)) – although it took 2 days to get the letter.. it was worth it!
The customs experience for my assistant Andrew in Beijing? Well it took 2.5 HOURS!!!! (for only two cases of gear mind you – one medium Pelican and one large Pelican roller.) In the end he got through without a problem… he did mention that the customs agents were “very polite and easy to work with”… Ugh suddenly my 19 hours of flying just turned into 21.5….