[sklug] LWB-2003 in Slovakia

Daniel A. Nagy nagydani na mast.queensu.ca
Sobota Srpen 3 19:41:50 CEST 2002

Hi again,

Let me summarize what I could make out of this correspondence about customs:

First off, there CAN be problems, if the person bringing the stuff comes
unprepared. This is inconvenient, but if there are clear rules to follow in
order to avoid payment or confiscation FOR SURE, it can be okay. However, if
there's always a possibility, no matter how small, that a well-prepared
LBWer needs to pay about 1/4 of the price of his equipment on the border,
well, that would be a show-stopper. :-( You should understand, that most of us,
just like you, are pennyless students. Many of us cannot even afford to pay
this much even if we get it back upon departure from Slovakia.

Now, for the necessary preparations. I'm a bit uncertain here, because your
answers seem to slightly contradict each other (which might be just my
stupidity :-). IF computer equipment is customs and tax free in Slovakia,
then what is the problem? If it is not, then I understand that they might
assume that you're going to sell it illegally and rob Mrs. State of Slovakia
of its rightful loot. In Russia (and the USSR, for that matter), the usual
procedure in this case was to fill out a so-called "Customs Declaration"
form upon arrival, in which you stated what you were bringing into the country
and when and where were you going to take it out of the country. If you did
that, and kept your promises to Mother Russia, they wouldn't charge you a
dime. Some of you mentioned a "paper" of some sort. Is it the same thing?

Let us NOT assume that the customs official will insist on breaking the law.
If it is possible to bring the equipment into Slovakia legally without
paying, in case we are going to take it out for sure, then all we need is
the following:

1. A clear description of the procedure to follow, forms to fill out,
preparations and arrangements to complete before the journey both in the
country of origin and in Slovakia.

2. An English/Slovak "border dictionary" of the most important phrases. THE
most importan one is: "Would it be possible to talk to your colleague who
speaks English/German/Russian?". It would be great, if you guys could
compile a webpage with such a "dictionary". It'd be very helpful even beyond
the context of LBW.

3. Finding slovak-speaking volunteers to help at border crossings would be
fantastic. Of course, that's a big favor that cannot be expected, but this
sort of help would be priceless and greatly appreciated.

In my experience, costums officials in Slovakia are nice, approachable guys
in their majority (when compared to the grumpy Russians, with whom you can
still find your way, if you're not doing anything illegal), so if the law is
on our side, the show can go on.

Thanks for your informative emails so far. I'm glad you're as enthusiastic
as I am about an LBW in Slovakia.


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