How to travel with 3D laser scanners
Get a Carnet
The PrecisionPoint team has learned a lot about international travel with 3D laser scanners from two recent projects in Canada and Italy. The most important lesson is to avoid hassles at customs by obtaining a Carnet for laser scanners and related equipment.
The Carnet is an official document that allows companies to leave the United States with commercial equipment and bring it back without questioning by Customs or payment of duties and taxes.
On a recent overseas trip, we registered our scanners and peripherals through a company called Boomerang in New York (get a Boomerang Carnet).
Subsequently, after filling out the online paperwork, our Carnet was delivered in 48 hours. During the trip, four copies had to be signed – leaving/re-entering the U.S. and entering/leaving the foreign country. We breezed through customs. After returning, we filed all four signed copies.
As a result of our experience, we recommend thinking twice before taking 3D laser scanning equipment outside the U.S. The total cost of the Carnet was $800. Depending on the size of the project and days onsite, you may find it cheaper to rent the scanner abroad.