Travelling with microphones - wisdom of the crowd...

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Secretary AES Melbourne Section Inc

Nov 26, 2017, 5:35:20 PM11/26/17
One of our long term members has asked me to seek comments from anyone with recent experience of travelling internationally with microphones in hand luggage. His request is below:

I have a question for the group if that may be possible please? I am travelling OS this week through the Middle East and Europe and taking some microphones with me. I intend carrying them in hand luggage. Has anyone had any problems with security scanning mics, looking a bit dodgy I guess? I would like to be prepared if there is something I could do.

Can anyone help?

One thing I'd wonder is if the type of microphone would be relevant.
Would a Shure SM58-style mic be less troublesome than a small diaphragm condenser (AKG/Schoeps/etc)?

I'd be interested to see the responses.

Peter Smerdon.
AES Melbourne Section 
Ph 0437-422-458

Gerald Stewart

Nov 27, 2017, 6:42:03 AM11/27/17
Hi Peter 

I regularly travel both within the wider Middle East region and outward to other destinations (Asia / Australia / USA / UK etc etc) with a SLM in my hand baggage. This unit has the 1/2” industry standard microphone and I occasionally get asked by customs to open up for a look. The Mic is always protected in a foam sock and I just tend to let the customs guys know I am an acoustic engineer. 

USA can be a bit tense but Its never an issue and honesty is the simplest policy. 

Be aware that on returning to Australia you will need to declare them as business equipment if they are likely over the custom declaration value or if you use them for income. 
Aus Customs can be tricky so if they have been bought in Aus take the original receipt with you. Despite being Australian, Customs tried to charge me duty once bringing some kit (originally bought in Australia) back from the UAE for my office and it was close to being confiscated AND a hefty fine for not declaring.

If the person wants to give me a call please pass on my number happy to assist.


Gerald Stewart.

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Leon Suter

Nov 27, 2017, 7:17:08 PM11/27/17

Only issue I had was with a microphone with large rare earth magnets. It scanned as a strange colour on their machine and they asked to see it. Magnets can be assessed as dangerous goods and they are getting harder to ship internationally.


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