Teaching Travel tips?

I’ve been asked to teach some workshops near Toronto, and if things
work out it will be my first trip across an international border to
teach. I’ve got to fly, and my normal procedure is to stick all my
pointy tools and stuff into a Fedex box and ship those to my hotel
or my workshop host’s home, then fly with just my regular traveling
gear and a few pieces I hate to loose track of. A couple of questions
come to mind, though…

If I carry examples of my work, i.e., my knotted chain-mail shirt and
some bracelets and stuff, will they demand that I pay duty on them?
What do I say to them about a mass of silver that weighs seven pounds
and that I casually wear at renaissance fairs and science fiction
conventions? :slight_smile:

Is my fedex package with silver wire, wood and brass tools, pliers,
etc, going to be trapped in customs forever and ever? How early
should I ship them to make sure they get through in time?


Hi Loren

Make yourself “3 Commercial Invoices”. What’s this? These are the
complete contents of your package but on the outside of your Fed-Ex
package. This will prevent the need of Customs of taking apart every
sub-box and tear things apart also. On the these “3 Commercial
Invoices” they should read as follows;

The country of your origin?. Where were these items made? Are they
for sale to the public? (No). Will you bring all of these items BACK
with you (yes). Purpose of trip? Did you package these items
yourself?(yes) Your contact telephone number at home and address here
and at home-base…Lastly, the most minimum value permitted…(keep
it under $100.00 CDN). If this amount is way too high, you might have
to pay some EXTRA funds…:>(. Remember to make one or two copies for
yourself, just in case!

But you must have these THREE invoices easily attached in a regular
envelope alongside your FedEx-Waybill. On the front of the envelope
write in BOLD LETTERS “For Customs Inspectors Only”, this is for
ease of access. I usually track my package via the web-site…Please
allow 7 days for this most unnecessary waste of time.

Why don’t you also send it to your Toronto friend and say it’s a
"gift". But you still gotta use the 3 papers just for the Customs
folks, they are VERY picky over here. Do not take ANYTHING on board
with you. Put it in the cargo of the plane.

Where and when are you teaching? Just curious…I reside just a tad
north of Toronto…

Gerry Lewy @Gerald

Hi Loren,

I taught in Mexico City 2 years ago and brought my tools and some
work the way that I always do when I teach. My tools and all class
equipment is packed into a hard sided Samsonite suitcase. I collect
these from yard sales in a specific size. They last about 7 or 8
trips and cost me about $5 each. I keep the weight right at or below
50lbs. The airlines are becoming very intolerant of even a pound

All my slides–instructional and for lectures-- are carried on the
plane with me as is any work that I bring. I have had no problems as
of yet. (Knock on wood…)

Even though I have many doubles tool wise, it seems that I’m always
using something up to the day that I leave and I’ve found it
impossible for me–the way that I work-- to ship ahead.

I hope that this helps.
Andy Cooperman