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How NOT to ruin surprise of engagement ring if declaring it?

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How NOT to ruin surprise of engagement ring if declaring it?

Hello all,

I'm flying from the U.S. with an engagement ring valued at about $5000. Because this is considered "goods exceeding R5000", the SARS guide suggests declaring it. Yet, my girlfriend will be traveling alongside me, and I would like to propose to her while we are in SA -- and keep it a secret until the special moment. How on earth do I declare the ring without her seeing? I do have to declare my medications coming in, so nonetheless, I will be filling out the TC-01 card.

Also, it appears if I bring a valuable into the country, customs may have me pay a 20% fee, that they refund upon exporting the good back to my home. That's $1000 deposit and I certainly canNOT afford that. Should I try to hide the ring?! Eek.

Please advise!

18 replies to this topic
Chicago's North...
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1. Re: How NOT to ruin surprise of engagement ring if declaring it?

I’d say, make your life easy-er and leave it at home in a safe place.....and spring it on her when you get home...

OR, just spring it on her on the flight over, right before you land.....

My 2¢..........

Edited: 30 January 2018, 14:18
Long Island, New...
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2. Re: How NOT to ruin surprise of engagement ring if declaring it?

Why are you declaring medications? Unless they’re opioids or more than 3 months supply, nobody cares. Take them in their original packaging and take a prescription with you for security and customs if you get randomly checked (though you’ll need a local prescription to fill them f you need to). I travel with meds and nobody cares.

sars.gov.za/ClientSegments/Customs-Excise/Tr…

I doubt anyone has ever declared an engagement ring they wear so bringing one in won’t be an issue. It’s a personal item, not declarable goods. Even my ring is worth more than R5000 (but I think the limit is R25000 for goods bought on your trip) and I’ve never declared it - and I don’t always wear it. An iPhone is worth more than R5000, no one declares their phones, iPads or laptops. Personal goods. Hide it? No, but keep it with you in your carry on. Don’t check it or put it in your pocket.

Here’s the scoop - exactly what I’d recommend. Really great article.

travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/destination-…

Congratulations!

Cape Town Central...
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3. Re: How NOT to ruin surprise of engagement ring if declaring it?

Tourists are advised to not bring valuable jewellery. Your fiancé will want to wear the ring while on holiday which is the worst thing she should do. Please consider not bringing it at all. How about proposing with a silly plastic ring (and a photo of the real one) and then when she gets home she gets the real deal. If you think she may not accept until she sees the real ring then you have a problem. Seriously, don't.

Edit: in addition, not being used to the ring means she could leave it somewhere in a bathroom or such place ... don't just don't.

Edited: 31 January 2018, 04:22
London, United...
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4. Re: How NOT to ruin surprise of engagement ring if declaring it?

Agree with FrancoisAmor,

That is just a disaster waiting to happen.

Rather leave the expensive ring at home.

Perhaps buy something cheap and cheerful to propose with.

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5. Re: How NOT to ruin surprise of engagement ring if declaring it?

Thank you, cbir, for your reply -- you make a good point about not declaring your phone or laptop!

People do destination-proposals all the time, and I do not believe this is a disaster waiting to happen if you're smart about your valuables. She's the most level-headed lady I know, and won't flaunt it while overseas if it puts us at risk for losing it or theft.

Thanks for your replies, all.

Leipzig, Germany
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6. Re: How NOT to ruin surprise of engagement ring if declaring it?

incredible problems;

Leipzig, Germany
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7. Re: How NOT to ruin surprise of engagement ring if declaring it?

Maybe reconsider your destination and get more information about South Africa

Washington DC...
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8. Re: How NOT to ruin surprise of engagement ring if declaring it?

I never would have thought about this as even being an issue, just would have carried it in and proposed. People wear their jewelry all the time with no problems. I carry very expensive camera gear and no one's ever asked to see it or declare it or warned me not to take it because it's dangerous.

Here's a link that might help:

southafrica-newyork.net/consulate/customs%20…

It's your jewelry, paid for, and for which you have a receipt (carry a copy of it). I say go for it...totally romantic and something you'll both remember very fondly.

Pittsburgh...
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9. Re: How NOT to ruin surprise of engagement ring if declaring it?

I agree with this 100%. I work in the wedding and event industry and no matter where destinations proposals occur, most professionals will recommend that you have a "dummy" ring and a photo of the real one while traveling. If she hasn't been properly fitted for it yet, it may be too big and there's a chance she could lose it. Also, I leave all expensive jewelry at home period when I travel. There is a high risk of losing it or becoming a victim of crime because of it. This does happen in Capetown.

As a woman, I would completely appreciate the thoughtfulness of having the real ring, but in Cape Town, I wouldn't wear it out anyways. I would be excited about the proposal itself and for getting to see a photo of the ring. Then it would be like a proposal all over again when I got home and finally got to see the real thing! (You can get a cheap CZ ring on amazon in the meantime so she has the feeling of being engaged.

Leipzig, Germany
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10. Re: How NOT to ruin surprise of engagement ring if declaring it?

Once again , incredible problems

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