AW: [sklug] LWB-2003 in Slovakia

Stanislav Meduna stano na
Pátek Srpen 2 17:06:09 CEST 2002


> > Finally, I'd like to ask you to clarify the
> > customs regulations of Slovakia, as some western
> > participants are voicing concerns about being
> > able to bring in and take out their equipment

> This is indeed a big "if", though it very well may
> be that only Slovak people get harassed about this

Well, there are two issues - what the law says and
what happens in reality. There is normally absolutely
no problem with laptops - they are considered
a "personal item" and I have yet to hear of a case
where there was anything asked about them (and I know
quite a few people travelling with laptops). Desktops
can be more problematic and some obscure stuff that
looks highly technical is probably dangerous.

A formally correct way is to talk to a custom officer
on the border, and tell them what you have and why.
You probably get a paper from him (or he says that
it is okay) and that was it. However, he has the right
to collect money from you that you get back when you
show that you still have the equipment when exiting
Slovakia. This is to guarantee that you don't sell
it while in Slovakia and it will be at least customs
plus VAT, i.e. at least 23%.

> Moreover, it may be nice if law says something,
> but if you meet a $!"§$% customs officer it doesn't
> help.

This is unfortunately true in any country :-( It can
well happen that an austrian officer will harrass
you when returning from the LBW - if you have no paper
that you had the equipment when leaving EU, you are
technically importing the stuff into Austria and
required to pay VAT.

If things get nasty, request to talk to the supervisor.
You have the right to escalate to him and there is
a chance that he will take the issue less seriously.

> What helps is to have a guide who is a native
> Slovak speaker.

Yup. It is a shame, but our customs and border control
usually don't speak foreign languages well.

> But worse than requirement to pay something shouldn't
> happen, you won't get shot or something.

Be assertive and don't try to dispute very hard - a "sorry,
I did not know this, what do you think would be the best
way to deal with it" works much better than "any civilised
country can do this, why the hell is it impossible
in this fscking one?". These are often young boys
and if he takes it personally, you can well stay on
the border for several hours and have your car
disintegrated into pieces...


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