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Charity Gifts & Customs

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LEEDS
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14 posts
2 reviews
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Charity Gifts & Customs

Hi

We have 20kg Charity luggage most of which is new goods including 50 packs of new underwear.Plus many other new items of clothing and toys etc.

Should i take them out of their packets and remove labels?

Last time Customs never bothered us because we flew Kenya Airways via Nairobi into Mombasa but this time we are flying charter into Mombasa.

I have heard Customs can tax you on your gifts.

Fallen on Hard Times
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1,188 posts
36 reviews
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1. Re: Charity Gifts & Customs

On our last trip (Oct 2008) we took many things for underprivileged people. My baggage was not searched but my wife’s was. The (lady) customs officer questioned my wife as to why she had so many items in her baggage and were they presents for local people? My wife replied that indeed they were presents but they were not presents for specific people and she would decide who she gave them to during the holiday. That satisfied the officer. Where we can we remove packaging because it just creates extra weight. We usually leave tags on items simply because it might be the only time in a Kenyan's life that he was given something new! We always put a few carrier bags in our luggage which we use to pass the things on to people.

Telford, Shropshire
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2,417 posts
100 reviews
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2. Re: Charity Gifts & Customs

A small tip for you:

When we take things over, I usually go to ASDA or such like and by a roll of bin liners which are bio-degradeable for handing out the items or paper bags (which for me is not a problem as I get them from Lush - my favourite shop!). They're usually green in colour (surprise surprise)!! My reason for doing this is that a couple of years ago I drove past a rubbish tip in Kenya which had millions of carrier bags. Doing it this way is just my bit to help keep that down and if they're biodegradeable one would hope that they just rot away.

plymouth england
Destination Expert
for Kenya
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5,876 posts
15 reviews
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3. Re: Charity Gifts & Customs

OOOOh this always gets my goat !!!

poxy few gifts and they want to know the ins and outs of a cat`s ****,

remove the packaging by all means .but as said keep the label it really does make a difference. dont forget it is illegal in Kenya to give - buy second hand underwear so the label will prove they are new .. tell them your incontinent..when they looked in mine in July and saw all the drawers and sanitary pads .I think I saw a fleeting glimpse of pity cross the officers eyes lol!!!!!!!!!!

Oh and I am NOT incontinent !!!!!!!! honest !

Chicago, Illinois
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278 posts
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4. Re: Charity Gifts & Customs

When I went through customs on 11 October, I was of course stopped because I had 4 suitcases (and one was only mine).. I was of course loaded down with gifts and things like that for people I know in Kenya. I didn't have anything in packaging, and after they went through the bag, they were happy that they were "used" clothes (which they were not, but they didn't have labels). It all depends on the customs agent, but I don't think that you'll really be bothered. Just be friendly.

West Yorkshire
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49 posts
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5. Re: Charity Gifts & Customs

Hi Kenyagirl,

How did you mange to take 4 suitcases? did you pay for excess baggage? if so how much did it cost?

We are hoping to take whatever we can over but are limited to 20Kg each.

Any information you can give would be much appreciated.

Somerset
Destination Expert
for Mombasa, Diani Beach, Kenya
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7,018 posts
22 reviews
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6. Re: Charity Gifts & Customs

If you fly with KA you get 46 kilos per person in economy but each case must not be over 23 kilos plus 10 kilos hand luggage.

Welling, Kent
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120 posts
9 reviews
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7. Re: Charity Gifts & Customs

We have been trying desperately to convince Monarch to give us some additional luggae allowance to take over items for some of the orphanages, however they told us that under no circumstances would we be given the extra allowance for free and would have to pay £70 for an extra 10kg! We've decided to save the money and try and buy things while we are out there.

While you can undersatnd the airline being concerned about giving too much free space away on board, you'd think they might be a bit charitable considering we are travelling out right before Christmas.

If anyone has any additional ideas on how to get Monarch to change their minds (poilte thoughts only please!!!) or the email addresses/phone numbers of anyone we could try calling at the airline (we've already done customer services and got Thomas Cook to call them as well for us) please let me know.

Thanks

Paula

Leatherhead, United...
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39 posts
7 reviews
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8. Re: Charity Gifts & Customs

I'm a bit confused. I don't fully understand the situation re the taxation or illegality of underwear distribution???

If I take a bunch of stuff to give out to hotel staff, a school or orphange what is the problem? If we keep the labels on and say the clothes/toys are for our personal use on holiday then would this circumvent any taxation?

Why underwear? Surely if every charitable tourist brought underwear they'd be allright for that by now and in need of other clotheing types? If someone can tell me what to bring, what sizes and how to navigate the law then I think we can dedicate a suitcase to a good cause.

plymouth england
Destination Expert
for Kenya
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5,876 posts
15 reviews
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9. Re: Charity Gifts & Customs

Monarch although a crappy airline were- not so long ago very generous with the luggage but now have limited it to 20kgs even with a charity certificate they are not shifting in the stance to allow any freebies ..

as for £70 for ten kilos? pah!! you can buy plenty for that money ...

about the underwear ...

there isnt a "taxation " on underwear/ / only on bringing in gifts!

For the average Kenyan to buy a pair of drawers or underpants is a luxury... when you cant find 5/- for a bowl of rice then then to pay 100/- for a new bit of cloth to cover your rump is not hard to underhand .

so secondhand underwear was very popular . for 10/- a descent pair or 20/- for a bra ... then the government stopped all selling on the grounds of unhygenic and causing diseases so therefore for us as a visitor bringing in Gifts ..new underwear is a godsend ...

With over 5-6.000 street children and the same again in Orphanages it is never enough ..please understand washing is a another luxery - most clothes are worn until they fall off ..There isnt enough water to drink let alone usung it on material..

You dont have ot navigate anything ...

buy an assortment [ not strings or thongs] of pants from 3- 14yrs or size 8-20.. ALL WILL BE APPRETIATED...

THE SAME FOR BOYS underpants from 3-13yrs and boxers up to large ...

Brassieres cotton ..black ...all sizes [ Tesco Primark have two /three in a pack ...

fleece jackets again from 5yrs to 18yrs ..

etc; etc;

give them to the room boy the gardener take some on yuor safari ..to the boys and girls on the beach

share them out ..everything and anything will be gratefully appreciated ...

anyone want a shopping list of items most used in a home or school? please ask/

Chicago, Illinois
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278 posts
8 reviews
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10. Re: Charity Gifts & Customs

To PhoenixUK..

Here's what I do...

Since I fly from the US on KLM, I'm allowed 2 pieces @ 23 KG each. I can also get away with a rollaboard that usually is around 23-30kgs if I can really stuff it (I just have a family member keep that bag to the side when I check in to avoid questions -- this is all for a good cause in the end. AND I weigh half the weight of most Americans on the flight, so I feel I am entitled to a few extra kilos :-). I ALSO take aboard a very very large "purse" which is stuffed further with things. THEN, I'll also pay USD 150 for one excess bag. When it's on the trolley, it really looks like I have 5 pieces of "luggage" but really only paid for one extra bag.

Now, dealing with the Kenya Airways folks is a whole different tale.. they will not allow 2 kgs extra in your bags when you return and they weigh the hand luggage and FORCE you to check the bag if it's over 10kgs. I was at the desk at Moi Airport with my two bags open trying to shuffle things out of the hand luggage to get it down to 10kgs. very annoying, but in the end I had only 30kgs of luggage, just in the wrong amounts in the wrong bags.

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