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Work and travel question


Hi All,

I have a question about travel and work and wonder if any of you
have experience with anything similar.

I am considering spending this entire summer in Latvia. I am thinking
of working while I am there, taking tools and materials with me. A
big question is what is the correct way to approach customs in a
situation like this, the materials will leave in one form and return
either as finished workor at least work in progress, the tools will
be making a round trip… anyone out there done something like this.
How did you handle getting the tools there, shipping ahead, or
traveling with? Any experience people have with this kind of
work/travel would be helpful.

Christine Mackellar



Locate in advance a recommended metalsmith school and set up a
meeting with both admin and a professor in Latvia. Ask the school to
send a letter that you will be visiting the school for educational
purposes. Take your tools to the airport in advance and let a
supervisor examine them and tell you if any will be unacceptable on
a flight. On the flight take your tools carry-on, not checked
luggage, and be willing to let them be examined by pre-flight
security. You may be asked to hand them over to the cockpit if
requested during the flight and retrieve them when the flight lands.

In a previous corporate life I worked for a major airline and this is
one of the ways for safely transporting tools. Letters of
introduction are extremely helpful.

You an also ask the airlines for trusted air mail services, maybe
even Fedex, and mail tools in advance.

You also can call the U. S. embassy in Latvia and ask for best
practice info.

Tools are a major target of theft in airline travel.

I would leave my best tools home. A good school in Eastern Europe
would be willing to help you make new tools.

Good luck. MA


I dont know about American regulations re. flying, I can assure you
that any item, even a tiny pair of scissors or a large tube of tooth
paste will be immediately consigned to the bin. You will not get
them back. Just ask my wife. Tools, knives domestic items etc can
only be carried in the hold to be picked up prior to customs. I have
no knowledge as to Latvian import regulations.

David Cruickshank (Australia)