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Travel Tips - Dominican Republic - Customs

Discussion in 'Travel and E-Cig' started by Zurd, Feb 15, 2016.

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  1. Zurd

    Zurd Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 10, 2010
    Montréal
    Just got back from Dominican Republic, lovely people there, nice weather and magnificent vegetation, everything you expect from a tropical country! I wouldn't recommend Puerto Plata though, we never saw a beach that awful. We're never going back to that particular place.

    On the way back, at the airport, going through DR customs, I had my 2 ecigs that I brought with me, both the same, an IPV D2 with an IGO-L dripper atomizer on top of it (not a tank, no liquid in it) and both using an 18650 battery.

    I put them in the tray with my keys and stuff so that it goes through the x-ray machine. When they came out, one custom agent told me I can't bring my ecigs with me even though they were both powered down. Didn't make sense to me so I started arguing on why and he wouldn't give me an answer. I had up to 4 customs agent around me and no one could give me an answer. I wasn't going to let them go. Something was fishy. I really think they wanted to keep them for themselves.

    So I started dismantling them. I thought that I might as well salvage as much as possible. So I took the battery out, told them "this is just a battery, I can keep it right?", put them in my tray and they didn't say anything. Then I had the battery cover on the other hand, I said "this is just a small piece of metal, I can keep it right?", put them in my tray and they didn't say anything. I was about to remove my drip tip then my atomizer but I think they understood where I was going with this and since it was pretty much a useless machine already they just told me its ok, you can keep it, move along. And the day was saved! :)

    If DR has a law against ecigs at the customs, it's not written anywhere and no one warned us about it like the people that tag your checked-in baggage.
     
    • Like Like x 7
  2. WattWick

    WattWick Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Feb 16, 2013
    Cold Norway
    The problem may be not having sufficient laws against Customs Officers.:nun:

    Sounds more like a case of acute Shinyitis than a legal matter, IMHO. Can't find it, but if my memory serves me, there was a similar thread not long ago. Good on you for saving the vape. :thumb:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Burn_notice_fan_NY

    Burn_notice_fan_NY Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 12, 2014
    Ithaca, NY, USA
    This was airport security and not customs, I believe. You do not go through customs when leaving a country, you go through them as you enter into the new country. The security in some countries will try to confiscate items for their own personal use or for reselling the items. Come with documents regarding the items permissible on the plane and show it to the security when you have these issues or be prepared to leave items behind. Your way of making the ecig less appealing worked to discourage them from wanting it. Well done.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  4. Cacique

    Cacique Super Member ECF Veteran

    May 4, 2014
    Orlando, FL
    Just like others have said, they wanted your stuff. I'm from Puerto Rico, and when I was in college another Puerto Rican friend was coming back from PR from break and was bringing a few liquor bottles. They were all brand new and sealed and prepped just like needed, as he flies a lot and has friends who's parents have high up positions in the airport. Security harassed him and wouldn't let him through with it, so he walked the liquor bottles to the trash and dropped them in heavily so the bottles would break, as he knew they simply wanted it for themselves.

    That's a great trick there, thanks for letting us know about it. The trick about carrying proof of being able to bring it with you is great.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. JCinFLA

    JCinFLA Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 21, 2015
    I wrote in another thread about my own run-in with the people at the PP airport, when leaving on a flight. Not related to ecigs, but other things they removed from my carry-on that I'd just bought before entering the airport. Those things were also on "the allowed" list of things in carry-ons.

    Nope, they removed them, placed them in a bin under the table, and I knew what they were going to do with them. My sister-in-law had the same identical stuff in her carry-on...and it was allowed by another guy checking her bag 4 feet from me.

    Be careful going IN to the DR as well there. I had 6 of 14 Florida T-shirts I'd gotten to give to little village kids there in nearby Cabarete...taken out of my bag right in front of me by Custom's Agents! The "police officer" nearby, just turns around so he doesn't see them take things. Another friend who lives down there part-time and takes med supplies, school supplies, new shoes, etc. to give to people down there...routinely has Customs taking handfuls of the stuff she takes down there. Not a D*mn thing anyone can do about it at all.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. subwayaznm

    subwayaznm A Geek with a Cool slice Verified Member

    Jan 24, 2016
    USA
    Good move at taking them apart; also the authorized carry on list should help. Shameful and these folks are supposed to protect us from????What protection is needed from them more than anything else:rolleyes:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Zurd

    Zurd Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 10, 2010
    Montréal
    Looks like I'm not the only one that had trouble at the airport in DR :)

    Next time I go on vacation, I'll make sure to print the list of allowed items!
     
  8. ~erin~

    ~erin~ New Member

    I just came back from Punta Cana on the 29th of Feb. They do indeed have a book and in that book it states NO E-CIGs. The security guys were nice enough to allow me to go back to the airline and transfer them via an agent (skipping security) but they do definitely have it in writing - I saw it. The other part of their law is, not in checked baggage either. Seems there are gonna be a lot of criminals leaving DR. I'll take mine in carry on for arrival but check them for departure for my next trip. I'm hoping a lot of flak will change these laws.
     
  9. retired1

    retired1 Administrator Admin Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Apr 5, 2013
    Texas
    Moved to Travel and E-Cig
     
  10. Zurd

    Zurd Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 10, 2010
    Montréal
    So can't leave DR with an ecig. Who made those laws? :(
     
  11. edyle

    edyle ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    dismantle;
    put battery in protective case and carry battery on carryon. (or maybe forget battery altogether)
    the other parts can go luggage
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. juicynoos

    juicynoos Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    After my own experience having 1 mpv + 1 ipv mini removed by security on departure from Tortola I'll be doing what @edyle said! Avoid security issues or strange interpretation of airline policy when travelling in the Caribbean/Central American regions.

    I carry only a cheap ego style pen now when in transit except for USA or European destinations. Then unpack my good stuff later in comfort.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. juicynoos

    juicynoos Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    DR Security has a nice collection but were asking for a dna 200 in stabilized wood if anybody can oblige:lol:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Mrez

    Mrez Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Glad to know about security issues in the DR. We almost booked a vacation there this April, but decided for Jamaica instead. Anyone have an official link to those permissible items? Does it vary by air port or air line? We were in Jamaica last November, and I had a few bottles of juice, 3 sets of batteries, a Snow wolf, a SMPL clone and a few atties all in a separate bag. Had no issues into or out of Jamaica, but I dont think vaping is very big there. I always dismantle everything and keep them in separate clear plastic baggies. I recently picked up a travel case to keep everything a bit more organized, that i can zip open, show them, then shut it. Has separate mesh pouches for juice, and attys, and batteries and mods will fit in as well.
     
  15. juicynoos

    juicynoos Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I'd email the airline you will be using for departure asking them about their policy for ecigs as carry ons and if positive, print out and carry it with you just in case!
     
  16. gibson_x

    gibson_x Full Member

    Sep 21, 2015
    Northern Ontario
    I also just got back from Punta Cana... They had signs at check in stating no e-cigs of any sort allowed in carry on luggage, I had to move everything to checked-in luggage, then back to carry-on when I got to Toronto for my connecting flight... :facepalm:
     
  17. Zurd

    Zurd Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 10, 2010
    Montréal
    If your ecig has a battery inside and you can't remove it, it is a hazard in the checked-in luggage. This no ecigs regulation in DR doesn't make any sense, I hope no other country will follow a ridiculous thing like that.
     
  18. Steamix

    Steamix Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 21, 2013
    Vapistan
    'You can have a king,
    you can have an emperor,
    but the man you have to fear is the customs officer'

    ( Cuneiform inscription on a clay slab - approx 3000 BC )

    Some things don't change...
     
    • Like Like x 3
  19. craw169

    craw169 New Member

    May 7, 2016
    I have been in Dominican republic many times. 3 times I went with vape gear. Twice I had no problem. The last time (this april 30) they confiscated $300 worth of gear from me (my ecig and my wife's) at Samana airport. Since I had no problems before I thought it would be okay and I brought my good stuff. Big mistake. I tried the trick of taking it apart and saying well I can keep this part right? but there weren't having any of it and were kind of treating me like I had a bomb so I only argued a little. I asked him to show me where it says it isn't allowed (hoping to see some paper rules) and he brought me and showed me the prohibited items case containing knives, liquids and an ancient ecig. Note you only see this long after checking your bag. I wouldn't check an ecig anyway but I might have saved my 2 tanks. They are free to make their own rules, but they should at least publish them SOMEWHERE. I have sent an email to several addresses at CESA (Dominican TSA) but no response. I guess I have to find a new place for vacation...too bad.
     
  20. Zurd

    Zurd Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 10, 2010
    Montréal
    So sorry to hear about this! I hope you had some backup at home when you got back!

    Showing a prohibited case of items isn't what I would call a definitive law, it should be written somewhere but I can't find anything on the internet where it officially says it. But gibson_x in a post above said he saw signs saying no ecigs allowed.

    This is what I found:
    Customs: Regulations, Export-Import Procedures by Customs of Dominican Republic.
    http://www.puntacanainternationalairport.com/images/services-airport/pdf/directiva-de-seguridad-no.7b-%282010%29.pdf

    Guess it's time to start a list of ecig-friendly countries :(
     
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