US airport customs - EL wire

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US airport customs - EL wire

Postby engineer2012 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:42 pm

Hi all.
I reasently purchased these EL wire: 2 meters, 4 mm thick
http://www.pls-nederland.nl/GFX/product ... 520328.jpg
I have this in 4 colors, really cool.
My question is, how about US airport customs? Can I just bring these into the US? I come from the Netherlands.
Can I expect any problems. I heard that the airport customs man and woman are not that nice to non US people?
And yes, next year I will be joining you, thats for sure
Greetings
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Re: US airport customs - EL wire

Postby The CO » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:45 pm

You should hove no problems with the EL wire going through customs. Mind you, don't store all of them plus batteries & circuits/transformers in one box, lest they think it's a detonator....
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Re: US airport customs - EL wire

Postby trilobyte » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:50 pm

I wouldn't even travel with the batteries, you can get them very easily here making it one less thing to have to carry through airports and deal with through customs.

Hopefully common sense prevails and you don't have an issue, but if you want a bit of added peace-of-mind, print out a page describing the product from the web site where you purchased it.
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Re: US airport customs - EL wire

Postby engineer2012 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:21 pm

Thanks for the advice! I will buy the batteries in the US and have and print-out of the website with me, just in case.
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Re: US airport customs - EL wire

Postby illy dilly » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:56 pm

I don't know. I'd carry 1 set of batteries.
Some times they make you turn electronics on. If they did give you any grief you could explain to them that its just "light wire" and show them that it illuminates.
But keep the batteries out of the devices.
Should be a problem. Especially if the El wire is attached to something, like clothes or an umbrella.
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Re: US airport customs - EL wire

Postby red arrow » Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:51 pm

i brought a shit load of el wire, with batteries to the USA from Ireland (via immigration and customs in newark) last year with no issues
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Re: US airport customs - EL wire

Postby Irreverent Moniker » Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:56 pm

you should make sure to wrap the wire and batteries up in a block of clay or play doh
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Re: US airport customs - EL wire

Postby Raymaker » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:05 am

Irreverent Moniker wrote:you should make sure to wrap the wire and batteries up in a block of clay or play doh


That made me smile. I am one of those who likes to put stuff inside stuff so I can pack the suitcase better, one year I had bought a plastic toy rocket and a set of small nativity figures, and found I could pack the figures inside the rocket via the battery slot, what I didn't think about was that the figures were lead and that it would look pretty scary when going through the Israeli security scanners.

I am a graphic designer and just a few years ago I knew of two young women designers in the UK who's first promotion was to send 'letter bombs' through the post, of course they were just made up 'letter bombs' but they really did get a roasting from the police for this, they were very close to being charged, the Post Office guy who first discovered them had a minor heart fluctuation.

In the last few years I have travelled to the U.S. often, my experience is that I am more likely to be questioned about what is in my bag on leaving the UK than when entering the U.S., which makes sense. However, beware, U.S. customs get really pissed off if they find fruit in your baggage.
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Re: US airport customs - EL wire

Postby Canoe » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:31 am

Try flying in the States with a DIY made E-bike battery pack made of a dozen stacked 5"x1.5" round cells, with an electronic board BMS with a wire lead going to the top/bottom of each cell. And it's carry-on...

After the fuss when they x-ray the carry-on and gingerly do the bomb-sniffer procedure, as their heart rate subsides, they get mad at you for carrying it on instead of putting it in your checked baggage. Then you have to explain to them that their regulations require that lithium batteries NOT be in checked baggage but MUST be carried on where they can be supervised/monitored during flight, while showing the spare LiFePO4 cells and the cordless drill battery pack, all with the connections taped so there is no danger of a short (spark, thermal runaway).
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Re: US airport customs - EL wire

Postby SnowBlind » Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:13 pm

Canoe wrote:... they get mad at you for carrying it on instead of putting it in your checked baggage. Then you have to explain to them that their regulations require that lithium batteries NOT be in checked baggage but MUST be carried on where they can be supervised/monitored during flight...


That's a good point though. For some things it might be required to take it as carry on, but otherwise you might be better off putting it in your checked baggage. Obviously if it's fragile, you don't want it in checked bags, but otherwise I would put ewire stuff in the checked bags and not have to worry about it anymore. They might open the checked bag, but then they might do that anyway, these days.
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Re: US airport customs - EL wire

Postby Irreverent Moniker » Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:43 pm

Fun story about american airport security. I flew on the 1 year anniversary of 9/11, with a one-way ticket and red flagged for extra security...and I still managed to get on the plane with a box cutter.

It was in a side pouch of my carry on and I'd forgotten about it. When the girl searching my bag reached in there, the first thing she pulled out was a stack of CDs marked "HARDCORE PORN." She carefully put them back and ignored the rest of the pocket.
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Re: US airport customs - EL wire

Postby engineer2012 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:07 am

Thanks you all for the advice and fun stories. I'll put my EL wire and convertor in the check baggage and hand carry a set of batteries with me.
What to tell the US airport securety about the purpose of my stay in the US? Holiday and going to BM or not mention BM at all?
(one year and 25 days to go, then I'll be home)
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Re: US airport customs - EL wire

Postby Canoe » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:01 am

engineer2012 wrote:...the purpose of my stay in the US? ...

I'm going camping (in the desert). Black Rock City, Nevada.
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Re: US airport customs - EL wire

Postby Sham » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:04 am

I'm meeting some friends to go camping! :D
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Re: US airport customs - EL wire

Postby Drawingablank » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:40 am

I believe several folks have mentioned on the boards that when those guys hear camping they give you extra attention to make sure you aren't carrying stove fuel (or something along those lines).
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Re: US airport customs - EL wire

Postby Canoe » Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:20 pm

Shambala wrote:I'm meeting some friends to go camping! :D

And the agent says "What's their names and addresses, where are they from and how do you know them? How about you write all that down and then we'll discuss it."

Don't open doors you don't have to. You can explain it, but they're working to protect their country, so don't waste their time making them think they have to take you into a room and interrogate you to verify your intentions. It also wastes your time, you may miss your flight, or they may feel uncomfortable enough that you're denied entry.

Flying in, and entry by other means, you are required to provide the duration of your stay and the address you'll be staying at.

645 Journey Street
Black Rock City, Nevada.

(mix the street address up a bit, we don't want their computer showing 20,000 people planning on staying at the same address)

Don't volunteer (don't waste their time or risk confusing them unnecessarily), but if they ask for more detail: "attending the week long Burning Man Art Festival at Black Rock City, Nevada. It's North of Reno, near Gerlach, Nevada." Adding any additional time you'll spend in the country, like seeing Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, etc.. You're another boring tourist bringing useless stuff you'll never need.

Burning Man Art Festival
645 Journey Street
Black Rock City, Nevada.
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Re: US airport customs - EL wire

Postby engineer2012 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:51 pm

@Canoe
Thank you so much for the advice and tips. Text copied and saved.
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