[sklug] LWB-2003 in Slovakia

Stanislav Meduna stano na meduna.org
Neděle Srpen 4 09:06:27 CEST 2002


> 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. :-(

Unfortunately yes, there is always this possibility. Very very
remote for a foreigner that is obviously attending a con of some
kind, but unfortunately there is...

> IF computer equipment is customs and tax free in Slovakia,
> then what is the problem?

Customs free yes (or there is some small tax like 1-3%), VAT-free
no (would be nice :-)). If you bring it in and sell it, the
state wants to have its 23%.

> 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.

How the hell can I know when and where I will exit the country?
There are about nine points where you can technically cross
the border (three on the road to Austria, two to Hungary,
one at the airport and river, two train stations) only
in Bratislava...

> If you did that, and kept your promises to Mother Russia,
> they wouldn't charge you a dime.

What stops you from filling out the paper on entry, selling
your stuff ilegally, throwing the document away and exiting
the country? The customs at exit don't have an idea what
you have imported, so the only way to force you to stop
by them is to have some of your money.

If I remember it correctly, in the communist countries it worked
because you _had_to_ fill out the forms, so not returning
them was not an option.

> Some of you mentioned a "paper" of some sort. Is it the same thing?

Yup. But they _can_ request money in this case.

> 1. A clear description of the procedure to follow,

You won't get this in Slovakia (and I think in any ex-communist
country) :-( Forget it - the officials don't know the laws
themselves. Once I was told what is the "correct" answer
to some question by an customs officer, but he was not
able to explain why :-) Worse, there can very well be
conflicting laws. Our legislative is a bit chaotic - many
things are changing (most of them because we want to get
into the EU) and often some conflict slips unnoticed...

> 3. Finding slovak-speaking volunteers to help at border
> crossings would be fantastic.

This probably won't work - there are simply too many places,
but some "hotline numbers" could probably be organized.

> In my experience, costums officials in Slovakia are nice,
> approachable guys in their majority

I also think so.

If we can bring together a list of questions, I'll try to ask
a girl who works (or worked) a bit higher in the customs
as the officers at the border crossings. However, I don't
guarantee anything and in the end effect it is the officer
who matters...


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