How to fly abroad with your computer - and back

Travelers going overseas and taking their home or portable computer along should pay attention to the newest repeat announcement on the subject by the United States Customs Service.

The proper method for including the electronic unit as hand luggage (or as checked baggage) is to register it on Form 4457 at any US Customs office in any international airport in the United States. This form, available at the Customs office, will be certified at the time. It will then allow the traveler to take the set out of the country and bring it back without having duty assessed or the set confiscated. Owner proof is needed at the time of registration; and this can be a bill of sale, a dated store sales receipt, an authentic packing slip, etc.

This is the same customs form that has been in use over the years to identify owner-travelers' radios, jewelry, cameras, etc., being taken out of the US. Under the registration system, the property comes back as the owner's personal goods and not as duty-declarable imports.

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