I recently went on a trip to Germany with some camera gear.  The first question was whether or not I should have an ATA Carnet (Definition of a Carnet) or should I just carry my backpack into Germany?  Since I have never been to Germany I thought it to be safe and purchase one.  For about $60,000 worth of gear the carnet will cost you anywhere from $600 – $800 depending on who you go with.  This is just insurance to make sure you are not coming into the country to sell your stuff and not pay the taxes.  A few years ago I went to South Africa for a documentary and I purchased my first ATA Carnet.  Once home I forgot about it until I got an email from the South African Government telling me I owe them $15,000 in taxes.  WTF?  After many days of searching around and finally finding the carnet I sent it over to the carnet office and it was rectified, but this does happen.

I also made the mistake of placing 6 of my Anton Bauer Dionic 90 batteries in the checked in baggage in Germany.  To my surprise I found a nice little note that 4 of them had been confiscated at the Frankfurt Airport.  There is a travel no no when it comes to checking in Li-ion  batteries and the limit is 2.  You can carry on any number of Li-ion batteries under the 8g of Equivalent Lithium Content or ELC which equates to about 100Wh or less.  If you are between 8g-25g ELC then you are allowed 2 loose batteries and one attached to the camera.  I just purchased 3 of the IDX Duo-150 batteries which are at 11.5g ELC and will travel carry on nicely.

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On another note it is difficult to constantly keep up with how you should travel with camera gear, baggage, batteries etc, so I found this article that compiles most of the information to check on prior to leaving. (Flying Wombat)

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