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Five Tips to Help You Get Through Customs Faster

If you travel frequently, you know how frustrating a long customs line can be after an even longer flight. Use these tips to ensure your customs inspection is quick and easy.

Mobile Passport app

Launched in 2014, Mobile Passport was the first app authorized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). If you are an eligible traveler, you can simply download the app and submit your passport and trip information via your smartphone once you land. Once submitted, you will receive a QR code that is scanned by the CBP officer who will verify the information and finalize your inspection. Mobile Passport users are eligible to use an expedited line and often spend less time with a CBP officer.

Self-serve kiosks

Automated Passport Control (APC) expedites the customs process, as it eliminates the paper declarations form and uses self-serve kiosks instead. If these are available at your destination airport, you’ll certainly save time by using one. You’ll simply submit your information and a photo via the kiosk and are then issued a receipt. That receipt is given to a CBP officer who finalizes your inspection.

Get Global Entry

If you travel internationally often, applying for Global Entry is definitely worth your while. After going through an interview process and submitting an application fee, you’ll be eligible to use the Global Entry kiosk at customs using your fingerprint to identify yourself. With Global Entry, you’ll only be required to answer a few questions before you’re off to baggage claim. If you decide to apply for Global Entry, be sure to check with your credit card company, as some offer reimbursements for the application fee.

Declare everything

When going through customs, you’ll be asked to declare anything you acquired during your trip, including purchased items and gifts. If you do any shopping on your trip, be sure to save your receipts in a safe place to make this process easier.

Don’t pack food items

As much as you may want to bring some tasty international delicacies to friends and family back home, many countries have restrictions on what can come in, and are particularly strict when it comes to produce and meat. Packing these items will definitely slow you down when going through customs.

As a general rule of thumb, try not to plan international travel too close to any big meetings you have just in case passing through customs takes a little longer than you expected.

Do you travel internationally often? What tips have helped you get through customs faster? Let us know in the comments section below and be sure to contact us with any questions!

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