Useful Info for Those Who’ve Never Gone Through Customs

by JRO on January 23, 2014

  • Sharebar

Going through international customs can be stressful for some people, especially if they have never had the chance to do it before. While going through customs is an inevitable part of international travel, knowing a few basic tips can make the whole experience much easier and less stressful. Below is some useful information for those who have never gone through customs before.

Knowing the Rules Before Traveling

Read up on your destination country’s custom’s regulations beforehand. Know which items are considered illegal contraband, and know which items to avoid buying during your travels.

Keeping Track of Valuables

Register your valuable belongings before you travel. This will provide you with a proof of ownership, which is essential for making sure that your valuables will not be confiscated upon returning to your home country. Make sure to carry your valuable items on your person instead of storing them in your checked baggage.

Preparing for Scanning

Getting through the scanning process quickly will go a long way toward making your experience stress free. Have any personal electronics, such as cell phones and laptops, turned off and ready for inspection. Be sure to keep them fully charged in case you need to demonstrate that they work properly. To make your way through the metal detectors quickly, put any keys, coins, belts, watches, and jewelry in your carry-on bag in advance. If possible, wear shoes that are easy to take on and off.

Filling Out Forms Properly

Always read forms carefully, and make sure to fill them out as soon as you receive them. To speed up this process, you can look at your in-flight magazine.

Declaring Certain Items

It is important to declare everything that you brought back with you from your travels, whether it was purchased or given to you. If you can, it is always a good idea to pack everything that you are bringing back in one place to make the process smooth if a customs officer asks to see something. It is also always a good idea to have a complete and organized list of items that you have packed, not only to make packing easier, but to ensure that you know exactly what you have with you. A customs officer may confiscate undeclared items.

Before traveling, it is also a good idea to know what your customs allowance is: if you bring back items that exceed your customs allowance, you will have to pay taxes on them.

Avoiding Agricultural Screening

To keep pests from entering the country, customs officers are in charge of making sure you are not bringing them with you. To avoid an additional and time consuming screening, consider avoiding farms and agricultural centers during your travels. Also, do not pack any fruits, vegetables, or meat products with you.

Keeping Papers Handy

Keep your personal identification card, plane tickets, and passport secure but within reach. Chances are good that you will be asked to show identification and plane tickets more than once. If you purchased your ticket online, it never hurts to keep a printout as a backup in case any problems occur.

Robert Perkins is a freelance writer who contributes material on international business, travel, immigration law, customs issues, global shipping & transportation and other related areas. Curious readers are encouraged to learn more by visiting the Houston customs brokers at Hawthorne Global.

No related posts.

Leave a Comment


Previous post:

Next post: