Traveling to China with camera gear


So I just landed my dream freelance gig. Heading to China in a few weeks to film a documentary, well it's more of a corporate style video wrapped up in a doc, but that's okay. I've read through quite a few message boards and have searched this one as well, I'm just trying to understand how much gear I can get into the country and be okay (w/o a Carnet? Or will I need one?). I plan on bringing a camera (fs 100), batteries, media cards, 2 wireless lavs, tripod, 37" slider, ND filters and I'm still figuring out my light situation. I'll be solo production guy with a producer and traveling with a group of Chinese nationals, so translating/knowing the area should be a little easier too. Does anyone have any insight or advice to share on a project/trip like this?


You may be able to get thru but there's really no telling. I've been based in china for the past few years, in Beijing. We regularly travel in and out with lots of gear but we have proper visas and our gear is registered with China customs. China does not recognize they do not have to honor it if you show them one.
My advice is do not use pelican cases, as the customs guys know what to look for. If they do find your gear, be prepared to make a cash deposit, or bond of sorts, with China Customs...which you'll get refunded when you leave. This process won't be quick..
And your gear will be impounded in the meantime.....and all the other questions of what are you filming, etc....if it's not a sensitive subject, you're good. Judging by your list, it's not much with luck, you should be fine. Not sure what visa you have for China, either, that can make a difference certainly in the way they handle your gear at customs if they spot it.