Jump to content
BANGKOK 19 March 2019 21:39
Jamaar

Carrying PC hardware and HDD's through customs to Europe.

Recommended Posts

Hi,

After having stayed for many years in Thailand, I will return to my native country, as I feel at 65+ with deteriorating health, that it is not responsible to stay here, while not having (or being able to get) a decent health-insurance.

 

Things I want to put in my carry-on luggage, to prevent those from damage by shocks,  are motherboard with CPU and memory, and my 3 hard-disks of total 7 Tb (of which about 50% is used).

Video-card and sound-card I will transport in the original boxes in the check-in luggage.

I'll carry copies of all bills of those items. Mobo+CPU+DDR4 is 1 y.o., the rest 3 y.o. or more.

My disks contain no trace of nudity, but do contain loads of music, tv-series and movies. Way too much for cloud-storage.

 

I am worried about a possible examination by Thai customs at Suvarnabhumi, if they would happen to check the carry-on luggage. 7 Tb of HDD's is simply a lot.
Not only could an extensive examination make me miss my plane, but I have also read that there are hefty (jail-) penalties in Thailand for possession/export of IPR infringing goods, and I am not sure if that includes material obtained through torrents, stored on hard-disks, or only illegal CD's/DVD's.

 

A sound fear for imprisonment in Thailand makes me think, that sending the 3 disks by EMS might be a  better option. Of course, that will mean a far bigger risk of damage to the disks, no matter how much bubble-plastic I wrap them in. And, there is of course the risk that Thai customs will examine the parcel with disks and still confiscate them; I simply don't know their policy.

 

My music (735 Gb) collected over many years, would be a big loss; most tv and movies I could probably download again.
Therefore I consider to also backup the music on 3 memory cards and send those separate from the hard-disks, as memory cards are much less likely to be damaged by shocks.

 

Any comment welcome, especially on how to send the HDD's as safe as possible by EMS (services like DHL are not available in my region), and on how to best send the 3 micro-SDD's - undetected - by EMS.

It would be a wry experience, if the music both on the HDD AND on the SDD's would be confiscated by Thai customs. A possible check by customs in Europe would be no problem: there it is allowed to possess audio/video content downloaded through torrents; only distribution is not allowed.

Thanks for any reply, but please no insinuations that the SDD's contain prûn. That is nowadays so widely and free available, that I would be a damned fool to spend 6,000 Thb on 3 SDD's for such content.

Edited by Jamaar
removal of unnecessary double words, grammar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never suggested that HDD's or a motherboard are prohibited, but am unsure about rules in Thailand about content of the disks, and in how far customs is likely to check that.

I'm sorry if I did not make my concern clear.

 

I think that encrypting disk or partitions only will raise suspicions, and may well lead to even tougher examination and thus cause more delay.

Especially in Europe every single male who has stayed a long time (even just months) in Thailand can expect to be examined for underage content.

Refusing customs access will lead to confiscation of the disks. Prompt co-operation may help to limit it to a quick browsing of the disks. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Leaving Thailand there is normally no customs check for these kind of things. They are mostly concerned with drugs, weapons and artifacts etc. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took my 4 hard drives back in carry on bag to England,came back to Bangkok with 5 hard drives in carry on and new motherboard cpu memory etc in suitcase no one batted an eyelid...they where only concerned about belt buckle and steel toecap shoes setting off the metal detectors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi John G.

 

Thanks for that very to the point information about your experiences with what I asked about.

Makes me think that I can take the risk to also take the disks in my carry on luggage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I travelled through Europe several times with my PC and encountered no problems. The only place I was ever ordered to surrender my PC was in Taipei and then they were not looking at hard drive contents, only for anything suspicious, so no I would not expect any problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No check in Thailand, but possibly in Europe


Gesendet von iPad mit Thaivisa Connect

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've travelled throughout Thailand with high-end PC components. Your biggest concern is a careless baggage handler damaging something. Avoid that by taking expensive bits like your GPU in your carry-on luggage.

 

I have also travelled recently with a 24 inch monitor. When I checked in (don mueang) I told the lady what it was, and she put stickers on it and made sure it was dealt with carefully. No problems at all. They wrapped it up for me and it didn't even get a finger print on it. No extra charge.

 

Smaller components like hard drives can be wrapped in a t shirt for extra protection and put in your suitcase. If you're going back to Europe then I would never post them. There's a good chance they may never arrive.

 

You can buy a 4TB external hard drive at Fortune Town for around 3000 baht. Buy one, back everything up to it and take it on as hand luggage, seeing as it will be smaller than a pack of cigarettes. I don't have as much data as you so use a tiny seagate 2TB drive and keep it in my hand luggage.

 

My 2TB external harddrive is probably the size of 4 credit cards stacked on each other, and I bought it in a UK supermarket for £35.

Edited by pr9spk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ditto to what pr9spk has said. I would make a backup and send it by EMS. If you run into problems you have the backup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I left Thailand, I left behind half a dozen portable hard drives (too many pounds of luggage and several side trips on my way back the the USA) and asked a co-worker to mail them to me by Thai Post.  Thai Post refused to mail them, citing some "new law".  

 

I'm not claiming to know what that "new law" is, whether it affects all hard drives to all countries, or whether it affects hard drives sent via FedEx and other commercial carriers (as opposed to the Postal Service).  All I know is what my co-worker told me when she tried to send them by the method I asked her to use.  It's worth inquiring the current regs with your intended carrier before counting on them.

 

She ended up hand carrying them when she came to visit the USA.   Eezy peezy- for me anyway...

 

BTW, that was fall, 2018.

 

Edited by impulse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But how would the postal worker know what was in the box? If they ask, just say computer parts and leave it as that.

Edited by pr9spk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't see it being any different to taking a laptop as carry on. Just dont tell them in security, just let them do their job and scan your luggage. Then, IF...they stop you in security just explain but I cant see it being a problem.

 

I've had 2 laptops with me before, and my streaming TV box as hand luggage, 2 mobile phones and 2 power banks and never got stopped when I finished working in BK and returning back to the UK. I was flying emirates business and fast track in BK but doubt that would make a difference. 

Edited by virtualm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I carried over 10 HDDs and SSDs both into and out of Thailand in my hand luggage, along with a motherboard and a router. Anything with sensitive information on it was on a fully encrypted disk (Veracrypt/Truecrypt) which is indistinguishable from an unformatted disk. I was not stopped either in Thailand or in the UK. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...