What Does Customs Look For?

What information does US Customs have access to?

Information on the crossing—such as name, date and country of birth, and other biographical information; the dates and locations of previous border crossings; citizenship or immigration status; and a host of other related information—is stored in the TECS database, which contains a master crossing record for every ….

What happens when you go through customs in the US?

As you’ll be carrying every piece of baggage that you’re traveling with right there, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol will essentially do an audit of what you say you’re bringing into the country. CBP Agents are primarily looking for anything taxable, illicit, illegal, prohibited or suspicious.

Why are passports scanned?

By scanning all passports Border Force are able to conduct thorough checks to identify criminals, prevent illegal immigration and protect the public. … With the advent of new chip enabled travel documents the Border Force uses passport scanners which automatically undertake several fraud and security checks.

What does it mean to go through customs?

Going through customs: a way for a passenger from one country to gain entry to another country. Usually it means presenting necessary documents, but also verification that you have followed the laws of the host country.

What do US immigration officers see on their screen?

So when the immigration officers scan, the scan process recreates information on the screen from whatever database of info which is needed to re-verify from the passport we present (hard document). A lot of things. … He can also see if the passport is fake or if you are using a stolen passport or a friends passport.

How do I clear customs quickly?

What are some tricks for getting through customs fast?Get Global Entry. … Don’t bring home anything that you’d need to declare. … Walk fast after deplaning. … Use the stairs. … Wait to use the bathroom until after immigration. … Seriously, get Global Entry. … Download the Mobile Passport app. … Sit at the front of the plane.More items…•

What do I have to declare at customs?

You must declare all items you purchased and are carrying with you upon return to the United States, including gifts for other people as well as items you bought for yourself. This includes duty-free items purchased in foreign countries, as well as any merchandise you intend to sell or use in your business.

Are passports scanned at the border?

Source: I worked the airport border and commercial shipments for four years. The scan verifies that the passport has not be tampered with. The two rows are called MRZ (Machine Readable Zone). It duplicates most of the information in the top of the passport and makes sure someone didn’t muck around with it.

What can you not bring through customs?

Examples of prohibited items are dangerous toys, cars that don’t protect their occupants in a crash, bush meat, or illegal substances like absinthe and Rohypnol. Restricted means that special licenses or permits are required from a federal agency before the item is allowed to enter the United States.

What do they see when they scan your passport?

Originally Answered: What is seen when my passport is scanned? The computer chip in modern biometric “e-passport” or the machine readable zone at the bottom of all passports reveals your name, place of birth, date of birth, passport number and the issue and expiry dates of the document.

Can US Customs look through your phone?

Federal agents can search your phone at the US border, even if you’re a US citizen. … Customs officers are legally allowed to search travelers’ personal electronics without a warrant — whether they’re visitors or American citizens.

Why does my passport not scan?

If you have a passport with a chip and an NFC enabled phone, you should be able to scan your passport chip. It might not be scanning because: you haven’t aligned the NFC reader on your phone with your passport; or. your passport chip might not be working.

Do you get your bags before customs?

It’s sometimes called “passport control” or “border control” depending on the airport. “Customs” is about the stuff those people are carrying with them. … You can go through immigration without your luggage, but customs will be located after baggage claim.

What to know before going through customs?

Tips for Getting Through Customs QuicklyUse Mobile Passport Control. Mobile Passport Control is a free app run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection that can shave hours off your wait. … Know the Rules. … Save Receipts. … Avoid Farms and Agricultural Stations While Traveling. … Leave Food Items Behind. … Pack Carefully for Your Return Trip. … Declare Everything.

Do you go through customs when leaving a country?

Generally speaking, you only clear customs if you’re leaving the airport and entering into the country, not heading on to connecting flights.