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Taking laser pointers out of the US

#1
Dear All,

I am about to send off an order for some stuff from Opsgear.com. There are a couple of laser pointers I want to order and bring back in my checked luggage. I have checked with the vendor who confirmed that this particular item does not have any export restrictions. Vendor did mention though that I should check on the TSA website as exporting by mail may have different restrictions from exporting physically in a suitcase when passing through an airport. Good point, I checked the TSA website: TSA: Prohibited Items

Nothing mentioned in terms of laser, anyone got any experience? This is only to be sure there is no issue when leaving the US, I am aware of restrictions entering different European countries.
 
#4
I doubt there will be any issues but you are wise to research carefully.

What sort of laser pointer are we talking about? From a safety point of view there should be no issue as long as the batteries are not in and they are in your hold luggage. I cannot see any safety reason why they should not be mailable either. The issue would be export restrictions if they are considered to be military technology.
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#5
Probably a good idea to take it off the AR-15, then you will just be at the mercy of the airport muppets.

(P.S. Print out and take with you any regulations you can find).
 
#6
Only time I've ever had problems was Dublin Airport - they didn't like it in hand baggage - and mine is just on the borderlines of UK legal. Although I did get trained as a Laser Safety Officer a long time ago ... TSA / USA has never been a problem (in that limited context.)
 
#7
Probably a good idea to take it off the AR-15, then you will just be at the mercy of the airport muppets.

(P.S. Print out and take with you any regulations you can find).
...or in my case the Sig550/551

Thanks, that is a good idea, will print out the the list of prohibited items. The thing is that the missus is going to NY on business and I REALLY do not want her to get into trouble over this. It is a couple of these babies Picatinny Mount Tactical Laser and really not worth while getting hassled over by the TSA muppets. I could have it shipped directly, but shipping costs a bomb, so the idea was to send it to a friend of ours and take it back in a suitcase (checked).
 
#8
...or in my case the Sig550/551

Thanks, that is a good idea, will print out the the list of prohibited items. The thing is that the missus is going to NY on business and I REALLY do not want her to get into trouble over this. It is a couple of these babies Picatinny Mount Tactical Laser and really not worth while getting hassled over by the TSA muppets. I could have it shipped directly, but shipping costs a bomb, so the idea was to send it to a friend of ours and take it back in a suitcase (checked).
The problem comes when an airline official asks "has anyone asked you to carry anything on board for them"

To which your nearest and dearest replies "Only this frickin' laser beam thing for my hubby's assault rifle!"


Of course, the correct reply would be that it's a gift of sporting goods!
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#9
...or in my case the Sig550/551

Thanks, that is a good idea, will print out the the list of prohibited items. The thing is that the missus is going to NY on business and I REALLY do not want her to get into trouble over this. It is a couple of these babies Picatinny Mount Tactical Laser and really not worth while getting hassled over by the TSA muppets. I could have it shipped directly, but shipping costs a bomb, so the idea was to send it to a friend of ours and take it back in a suitcase (checked).
Its fairly anonymous - especially if you get her to take it out of the packaging (keep that in another bag or bin it) and remove batteries. Anything that even hints at "may be a part of or fitted to a firearm" is a potential headache.
Portable CD players have a laser.....

End of the day it would not be a catastrophe if they did not make it....
 
#12
Its not just the shipping, its also import duty - which is government licensed theft when it comes to small individual items that they know is not worth your trouble to argue about.
Commercial consignments of £18 or less are free from customs duty and import VAT. For example, goods purchased over the internet with an intrinsic value not exceeding £18, will not be charged any duty or VAT but this does not include alcohol, tobacco products, perfume or toilet waters. See paragraph 2.5, 2.6 and section 3.
Unless the pound has taken a nosedive, i shouldn't think his $24 sight should exceed the £18 threshold...


Agree about govt theft though - my parents had to pay to recieve the Christmas presents I sent them: £40 limit per gift FFS! :-(


Edited to add - current HMRC approved exchange rate for Feb 2011 is 1.5984, which puts £18 at $28.77!
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#13
Unless the pound has taken a nosedive, i shouldn't think his $24 sight should exceed the £18 threshold...


Agree about govt theft though - my parents had to pay to recieve the Christmas presents I sent them: £40 limit per gift FFS! :-(


Edited to add - current HMRC approved exchange rate for Feb 2011 is 1.5984, which puts £18 at $28.77!
He is bringing in 2....

I imported an English antique bayonet from Canada which cost me 80 quid - paid 67 more in post and duty :-(

I have also fallen foul of "special" duty - steel for example, and optics. 2 sets of steel bands for diving tanks (an odd imperial size) cost me 90$ US, but because of the steel pissing contest between the US and Europe I had to pay 97 quid in duty!!!!!!!!!
 
#14
Shipping is 50 bucks. Its free within the US. Don't get me started on duty and VAT, its a ******* rip off. I ordered it now for domestic delivery. Mind you, they might still make her(-me) pay upon landing in the old world if caught... If only European retailers did not have such inflated prices and so little selection...
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#16
Shipping is 50 bucks. Its free within the US. Don't get me started on duty and VAT, its a ******* rip off. I ordered it now for domestic delivery. Mind you, they might still make her(-me) pay upon landing in the old world if caught... If only European retailers did not have such inflated prices and so little selection...
I dealt with this question on other forums before.
My wife and I have a UK retail business which is mainly internet and event based. We are at the mercy of the importers who decide what will sell and often have sole rights for a continent and minimum retail prices which should you break you lose the retail contract. When we import directly ourselves the cost works out almost £1 per $1 as we pay shipping, customs and vat on everything, there is also often a minimum $1000 order value on small goods and GMK want £10 000 to trade with them. By the time it has arrived at our door we are looking at selling a little over £1 per $1 retail as we still have to generate enough income to pay for events, web space, bills, taxes and one day even wages if we are lucky.
If you can grey import or do it yourself whilst over the pond then fine, dont get caught or be willing to pay duty. I used to buy my binos and scopes over there for personal use and wear the binos like a plane spotter at the airport. Never stopped but came close with the scopes a couple of times.
Dont blame your UK retailer as pricing is rarely his domain and he also has to compete with internet sales which are killing accessories at gun shops.
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#17
There are certainly strict limitations on owning such beasts in the UK, no matter how legal they are elsewhere. I got a v. nice green laser pointer from a Dutch PX a couple of years ago, and was told (after using it at a presentation in Shrivenham) that it was illegal in the UK. Still, it doesn't half keep the cats off my cabbages.

In the UK, to be on the safe side, I would stick to the little red ones.
 
#18
This is not neccesarily a completely legally compliant answer - but it is the logical one:

Get the items in the US. Throw away the packaging and mail the instructions etc to yourself in the post.

Take out the batteries and put the lasers in your hold luggage.

The airport of departure will not care as there is no safety issue. The airport of arrival will not know.

In the unlikely event that you are randomly stopped and searched by customs in the green channel, they are NOT new, were given to you by a friend in the US who no longer needed them, and are your own personal equipment for your own personal use.

Simples.
 
#19
There are certainly strict limitations on owning such beasts in the UK, no matter how legal they are elsewhere. I got a v. nice green laser pointer from a Dutch PX a couple of years ago, and was told (after using it at a presentation in Shrivenham) that it was illegal in the UK. Still, it doesn't half keep the cats off my cabbages.

In the UK, to be on the safe side, I would stick to the little red ones.
Class 1 & 2 rated lasers should be entirely legal. Class 3R may be. Those above (3b and 4) may not be. HPA advice here. However, it appears that the offence is selling to the general public under product safety regulations, not ownership.

Both of my green lasers are the old Class IIIa @ 5mW - so should fall in to the new 3R.
 

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