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Baggage Certificate Question

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Aranthama
8/3/2019 15:38 EST

Baggage Certificate Question - I am shipping used clothes and books that I have had for years from US to Portugal. In applying to SF consulate for a Baggage Certificate, does anyone know how I can provide the required "documented evidence showing that the personal goods have been used for at least 6 months"? Unlike a refrigerator or TV, I obviously do not have receipts for these old personal items. Any advice on how to handle this is welcome.

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JAfan333
8/6/2019 06:46 EST

Firstly, see my post toward the end of the thread on this subject which you started Aug 1: the "baggage certificate" process is not for everybody, it really only applies to new residents shipping goods with a freight handler directly to a Portuguese port-of-entry. Secondly, check the costs and limits for bringing personal belongings with you as you fly - the limit is higher (~ 400 euros total?) for what is in your lugage and any extra baggage you may have paid to bring. No certificate is required, but you do need to show proof of residency and the belongings should not appear to be shiny new purchases from abroad.

Thirdly, bureaucrats in general and Portuguese ones in particular are famous for including phrases like "documented evidence showing that the personal goods have been used for at least 6 months", which sound perfectly logical to somebody sitting behind a desk, but which present ridiculous challenges to any poor schmuck who takes it literally as either owner or customs agent. People working in customs are realistic enough to know that your only option to make a list with your own price estimates for used items (in groups) and I'd be astonished if anyone batted an eye about how you chose to value used clothing and books, unless they are obviously designer originals and rare first editions. Customs people focus on electronics and similar items (which come with manuals, and before you bring anything that plugs in, check to see if it runs on 240V, if it only runs on 117V, you can almost certainly find a replacement from a European source. If you really want to bring such items, for ones which are relatively new, try briefly to either find your original receipt or locate the same item on EBay and copy ads to document what other people are paying for them, or failing that just make your best guess.

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