I’m thrilled that Flying with Fish (a mighty fine blog) wrote this blog post for me! I just say “Ditto”! No reason to get all in a panic about Form 4457 (and I have been getting way too many emails about this!)
I have only been asked once in 30 years for one of these forms and that was over 20 years ago when I was returning from Morocco with Lisl Dennis. I was her assistant for an Architectural Digest story and she had cases of camera gear. The official stared at all the cases and then pointed to my camera bag and asked for the certified list. I thought Lisl’s jaw was going to boink the floor when produced one (she didn’t have any).
I haven’t bothered with this form since then though.
On another note — last year a bored customs official in New Delhi open a Pelican case, that was crammed with extra wires, charges, flashes, etc., that I had stowed in a checked suitcase. He officiously informed me that I need permits for those wires. I was dumbfounded and resolutely insisted that I didn’t. I obviously was not giving in to his thinly veiled extortion and he finally let me go. I discovered that the suitcase had a white chalked X on it, which alerts customs to look inside. So now I keep a Wet-One in my pocket and when I see that chalked X (at least three times now in India and Myanmar) — I just discreetly wipe it away. Works like a charm!
And also, I have been hearing that carry-on is being weighed for inter-Asia flights with Emirates and other airlines so check before you fly with a new airline.