• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

Ethiopia and binoculars (1 Viewer)

dalat

...
Hi, any experience with binoculars and Ethiopian customs? I was just surprise reading in the Swiss embassies travel info that binoculars need to be registered. Is there a risk that they might be confiscated?

I plan to travel to Ethiopia for work. I will not go birding there, but I plan to do so right after on my next station in Rwanda. So while I won't need the bins in Ethiopia, I'd like to take them with me for Rwanda.

Florian
 

Mono

Hi!
Staff member
Supporter
Europe
The UK Government advice is "binoculars cannot be imported to Ethiopia without prior approval ".

Reading various recent accounts, folk seem to have their binoculars confiscated on arrival, to be returned to them on departure, having to pay a storage charge. There is one account of a party managing to get their binoculars into the country but it took many hours of haggling and form filling spread over several days and the paying of an import fee of 40٪ of their value!

Of course none of the offical Ethiopian websites mention any of this!
 

AveryBartels

Well-known member
My personal experience from March 2019 was fine. Both myself and my friend who arrived they day before me had no issues with our binoculars at customs.
 

jurek

Well-known member
I was on an organized tour in November, and we had a special representative from the ministry of tourism coming with a temporary import permit. Still, it took few hours and a strong no to get our bins.

However, if you are really serious, PM me.
 

Butty

Well-known member
it took few hours and a strong no to get our bins
What's a 'strong no'? And do you mean get your bins into the country and with permission to use them? - or get them back at the end of the trip having been deprived of them in the meantime?
However, if you are really serious, PM me.
Could you just say here what happened? I'm sure there are lots who would like as much info as possible on how likely they are to be able actually to see birds after they've committed weeks of their time and paid thousands of ££/$$ to get into the country,
If commercial, what company organized the tour?
 

jurek

Well-known member
What's a 'strong no'? And do you mean get your bins into the country and with permission to use them? - or get them back at the end of the trip having been deprived of them in the meantime?

Rockjumpers. Despite the representative from the ministry, the custom man still wanted to keep the binoculars. However, we firmly objected several times and finally got them. They are a bit flexible when faced with polite determination.

By the way, Ethiopia really shot itself in the foot. For few binoculars, they discourage whole tourism, and those few tourists who come will take the big foreign travel agencies, rather than directly local companies.

If you are going to Ethiopia and want more info, please contact me PM
 

Butty

Well-known member
Very very scary. And presumably means that, even if you do get your bins into the country, you're open to having them confiscated at any time if you accidentally bump into officialdom.
If this is really how it is, I could easily see tour companies cancelling tours and taking that financial hit rather than waiting for a tour to hit such a disaster in-country and then maybe facing even bigger claims for refunds/compensation. At the very least, they would have to be warning clients in advance that there is no guarantee that they would actually be able to bird on their birding tour! :( (n)
 

jurek

Well-known member
Very very scary. And presumably means that, even if you do get your bins into the country, you're open to having them confiscated at any time if you accidentally bump into officialdom.

Here I don't think so. Nobody cared afterwards.
 

Butty

Well-known member
Why would they care?! - their trip (as it happened to turn out) worked out fine! 🙄
Or do you mean that no officials cared about your bins after that? Well that's good to know but it's certainly no proof that it couldn't happen if it's a formal part of the country's rules and regs.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top