This would be the appropriate forum for this topic, yes?
Having been hassled a few times when returning from overseas gigs with my gear (nothing like a hard case to make border agents suspicious!) I used a Carnet on my last two trips. The process seems absurdly antiquated, and yet I'm having a hell of a time getting straight, consistent answers to some questions. Can anyone with more experience help me out on the following?
1) Do I really need to go through a full bonding process each and every time I travel overseas? How do people do this who are true road warriors, traveling all over at the drop of a hat? Common sense tells me that I can be bonded once, for the full amount of my equipment list, and then use that bond over and over for some period of time. As it stands, I'm finding myself getting forms notarized and overnighted, every time. Pain in the butt.
2) On my most recent trip, I drew a border agent who happened to do the Carnet training for her team. She implied that I could have a "master" equipment list (the green sheet) that I kept, and used over and over. That seems to mean that I would only need to get the counterfoils for the country(ies) I plan to visit on a given trip. Right now I'm getting a brand-new Carnet for every time I travel, which (along with the bonding process) seems a little expensive, and a little onerous.
I'd like to know as much as possible about the whole process. I'm finding that border patrol agents (both in the US and abroad) are not always very familiar with carnets, and I've had to talk them through what they're supposed to do - not easy, since I barely know my way though the forms myself. Any advice on how to streamline the process would be greatly appreciated!