1. avatar Gripper Magee
    I'm thinking of buying an acoustic guitar when I travel to America shortly and have searched and searched the internet for 'useful' advice. Just wondering has anyone here actually brought one back with you? and if you have what way have you done it? I'm flying return from Dublin. Have heard all the usual stories about bringing old guitars out and new ones back etc. I'm not endorsing anything illegal but trying to find the info is proving to be a head melter. i.e. I'm flying from USA to Ireland but the final destination is UK etc. etc. What way is the duty calculated? UK duty or Irish duty or both? :100: Is a plastic hardcase strong enough for hold baggage? Will a hardcase be allowed into the cabin?

    Those kind of questions.

    Google is not my friend. I've tried.

    Anyone? Cheers.
  2. avatar Recycled Alien
    I think it's EU duty, not Irish or British. There's a rate you can look up for musical instruments, then you add VAT.

    The system is designed so that you can't be better off by doing your own importing if you do it all legally, so really, only criminals can benefit.
  3. avatar Gripper Magee
    That sounds interesting yeah, I could only find how to work out duty when importing to UK. Was confused about the whole landing in Ireland bit though.
  4. avatar SimonC
    OK - I have done this both in person and via Ebay around twenty times.

    If you are buying a guitar in person in the USA and bringing it back with you there are some things you should be aware of.
    Technically you are supposed to declare a purchase like this with Customs on your return to your home country, as you are traveling into Dublin, ROI - this means that when crossing the boarder into NI you should call at HMRC and declare your guitar. Problem? YES...there is no-where to stop since the boarder is now non existent.
    The last few years we have flown into London and then on to Belfast. Each time our bags have been through checked to Belfast - so we just lift them there. Again - no-one has EVER asked/questioned me as to why all of our party are carrying guitars - presumably as they think we are just coming back from London ...and not NYC or Boston etc. When we have travelled into Dublin - we've never been asked about anything either.

    In short - you have little to worry about in terms of "duty/tax etc".

    Depending on who you are flying with - the airline may let you take the guitar into the cabin - or at least gate check it - as you board. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE - buy a flipping flight case with your guitar! Airlines are rough as heck with guitars (I used to work for Aer Lingus ...I speak from experience) - so spend an extra $100 for a little peace of mind..better still barter to get one included with the sale.

    Out of interest ... Where are you going to in the States?
  5. avatar Gripper Magee
    New York, and maybe a wee drive around New England. I'd probably get nicked if I tried that method of importing though :P I'll keep on pondering, cheers for the advice guys.
  6. avatar Recycled Alien
    I think Simon is wrong about "home country" for import duty. You should be declaring your import on entry to the EU (actually in fact, the European Customs union, which also includes Turkey, Monaco, Andorra and San Marino :D ).

    VAT is different in different EU states, but if paid in one (e.g. Ireland) can't be charged again in another (e.g. UK).

    Again, criminals aren't troubled with all of that.
  7. avatar Gripper Magee
    I hear ye Steve. Cheers, :D
  8. avatar Michael82FFL
    I say buy it, bring it home and if anyone says anything you already owned it prior to going over there. who's to know? just dont buy an american amp and come back asking for a 110v kettle lead cause thats just silly.... and yes I have been asked that question
  9. avatar SimonC
    Alien - The whole system is under "interpretation" to say the least. Technically - If you are traveling from NYC to Dublin by plane and then onwards to NI by car/bus/train - when you land in Dublin you are classed as being in "transition" as you are not yet in your home country. In line with this, if stopped/questioned by Customs in Dublin you can state that your wish to pay the "duty" upon entering the UK as you physically hold the goods.

    If however you were simply importing them by freight : then the situation is different as the goods must be declared as you state : at the first point of EU contact. This is why for example 95% of all non-EU made boats for instance are brought in to the EU through Portugal - as it has the lowest fees/duty (Useless info I know!).

    I worked for Aer Lingus in Boston,USA for a while - when I was there I got to know a lot of the guys in Customs really well - both in Dublin and Boston. Even they admitted that if you know the right terminology and things to say - there is little ANY customs agent could pin you on.

    To get back to topic ...Bottom line is that you have little to worry about bringing a guitar back from the States. As you are carrying it by hand : unless you look shifty...you'll not be asked about it or have your baggage inspected - I've done it every time I've gone to the USA/Singapore and Japan.
    It is however you "duty" to declare all purchases over the threshold. My personal opinion is that at the end of the day you pay all local taxes etc when you buy the guitar ... and therefore why should you pay any more just because of where you are traveling to.
  10. avatar boarsheadtaverncheapside
    I bought, ok an electric, guitar from San Franciso. After a week in Belfast the wood in the body contracted (going from a warm, humid environment to a cold, dry one) and the glaze and wood cracked.
  11. avatar sloppyjoe
    I better not buy any more of those Californian/Mexican Fenders then. Obviously not fit for our climate.
  12. avatar forevertwisted
    Not sure with the whole legality of it but I have done it on numerous questions with no bother or questions.

    Last summer I cam back with two guitars and there were still no questions asked :lol:

    Flight attendants are usually helpful enough to help you find somewhere on the plane to store it if putting in underneath is too much of a risk

    There are special 'flight' cases for journeys such as that. Not quite flight, in sense of being like a huge rectangular beast ie 'a flight case'. But have been checked to withstand the sort of throwing about that may occur with the baggae handlers, and they have a special lock on them that flight handlers have a master key to open if they need to. This removing the need to bust the lock on your case (if needs be)
  13. avatar lemonaderocks
    Bought a guitar in Boston about 4/5 years ago. I stuck the airport tags from my suitcase that left dublin to boston on the guitar case so it looked like i had taken it with me. No questions asked.
  14. avatar boarsheadtaverncheapside
    [quote:0d10d23510="sloppyjoe"]I better not buy any more of those Californian/Mexican Fenders then. Obviously not fit for our climate.[/quote:0d10d23510]

    It was a Burns Bison reissue, probably made in Korea using Indonesian wood, shipped out there, sitting in a shop for a while, then brought back to a cold house during our mid winter. I'm just saying, it happened.
  15. avatar sloppyjoe
    Sorry if that came across as rude - I was just teasing.

    It was most likely a problem with how they finished the guitar though. Maybe the wood wasn't seasoned properly. Damn shame to have a nice looking guitar like that ruined.
  16. avatar Recycled Alien
    [quote:eb6214eab6="sloppyjoe"]nice looking guitar[/quote:eb6214eab6]He said a Burns Bison.
  17. avatar boarsheadtaverncheapside
    [quote:00825f7a66="Recycled Alien"][quote:00825f7a66="sloppyjoe"]nice looking guitar[/quote:00825f7a66]He said a Burns Bison.[/quote:00825f7a66]

    No doubt Jim Burns is somewhere crying.

    Yeah it may have been the finishing, it's true, but more generally it's worth considering that if your guitar is damaged in transit, you'll probably have to live with it.
  18. avatar DavidHill
    Haveing recently been to SXSW this with the four bands from NI i can safely say there are very little issues with taxs, customs bla bla when traveling with instruments.

    When buying the guitar in USA you are paying their tax so you wont have any issue with that as long as you don't declare it. Its not an export if they don't know you didn't have it when you arrived. Also when they ask you if you are carrying any money when you arrive So no.

    what you should do is buy the guitar and a Flight case and pay the $50 or what ever it is for having extra hold baggage.

    if in doubt say nothing/no
  19. avatar Mr_torture
    Well man I bought a Schecter C-1 Hellraiser from the U.S. and got hit with customs charges. Though these where only around £40. Well worth it in my opinion. I saved a couple of hundred quid overall.


  20. avatar gavinearly
    In terms of transporting, I'm taking a 3 month trip to the US in a couple of days with American Airlines and they actually allow them as hand luggage. I called their customer service desk and they confirmed this.
  21. avatar sloppyjoe
    Now doesn't that really take the biscuit. You can't even carry on a bloody tennis racket in case you frighten the trolley dolly, but a tele or Les Paul - no bother. Have these people never seen Pete Townshend or Jimi Hendrix in action?
  22. avatar ladedadedumdeda
  23. avatar remainsofyouth
    I have just returned from the states with a gretsch. Had no issues whatsoever. Was reccomended by the guys I bought it from, to take it through security, bring it to the gate and see if I could fit it in the overhead storage areas. The guitar fitted no problem on the transatlantic flight, but on my internal flight in the states they simply put it in the hold as I got onto the plane, and handed it to me straight away when I got off.

    All round it was a smooth process. Except for the 1 mile walk between terminals in new york!
  24. avatar SimonC
    "Remains" - you wouldn't happen to be a Mr Henderson would you?
  25. avatar Gripper Magee
    Post Script... Arrived back in Dublin with a brand new Martin acoustic! Happy days. Security in America broke the padlock and searched it though. I wasn't surprised considering I had a tuner, MD recorder with microphone, leatherman, ipod and various attachment cables inside. . . God Bless America.
  26. avatar my-angel-rocks
    In future, if you buy a TSA padlock then they can open the lock without having to break it and lock it back up again afterwards.
  27. avatar remainsofyouth
    Yes Simon C. Have we met
  28. avatar SimonC
    [quote:38e1aa44c4="remainsofyouth"]Yes Simon C. Have we met[/quote:38e1aa44c4]

    We have - very briefly. We share a view mutual friends, namely Mr Jess esq who was telling me you'd bought a Gretsch in the states. What did you get? I'm the guy who you thought was nicking your Strat that night at Ballycrochan Baptist when I was bringing Nathans' Tele in (If you remember?) Maybe catch you at FUEL this weekend?
  29. avatar remainsofyouth
    Ah ok. I have no memory of that to be honest. Hope I wasnt being a dick haha! I bought a big anniversary gretsch out there. Sounds great, but had to buy second hand. Though it's in peak condition!

  30. avatar Markus
    All i'm saying is, take off the strings on the guitar (or REALLY loosen them) prior to boarding the flight. The altitude will cause the strings to tighten = bent neck etc.
  31. avatar SimonC
    [quote:60967ef992="remainsofyouth"]I bought a big anniversary gretsch out there. Sounds great, but had to buy second hand. Though it's in peak condition![/quote:60967ef992]

    Very nice - always liked the two tone green colour scheme.
  32. avatar Gripper Magee
    Had to post again. I've been playing my new Martin for over a month now and I fucking love it... :D