Tag: Customs

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Heading Back to the States from Dubai May Get a Smidgeon Smoother

June 17, 2014 at 8:07 AM | by | ()

The global passport party is on the move yet again, as it now sounds like the folks over in Dubai are eager to get in on some of the loving the US Customs and Border Protection has been handing out.

Abu Dhabi got in on the US customs pre-clearance fun earlier in the year, and there’s been rumblings that Doha could be in discussions for the same; however, all eyes are on Abu Dhabi's Emirati neighbor Dubai, as it's also hoping to set up another pre-clearance facility.

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US Customs Pre-Clearance Might Be Arriving Over in Qatar

Where: Qatar
March 5, 2014 at 6:44 AM | by | ()

There’s a few spots where flying back home is pretty darn easy, as outposts of US customs and border control are set up at foreign airports. This has been the deal up in Canada for quite some time, and there are a few other locations as well. Basically you go through all the welcome to the USA paperwork overseas, and then when you land safe and sound in the nifty fifty you’re free to just grab you bag and head into a taxi.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection opened up a spot like this over in Abu Dhabi earlier in the year, and it sounds like Dubai is getting in on the fun as well. However, we’re thinking officials over in Qatar are jealous over all of this, and now they want their very own chance to throw their very own version of a passport party.

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5 Ways to Kill Time in a Long Customs and Immigration Line

October 29, 2013 at 11:24 AM | by | ()

When traveling internationally, even if your flight gets in on time, you still need to budget an extra hour on the ground after you land for the dreaded customs line (Unless you are a member of Global Entry returning back to the States, then you can skip this part...and this post.)

Not only is the line often long and slow-moving, you're not allowed to use your cellphone, not even to play Candy Crush, er, flip through your sightseeing photos. So what can you do while you wait to have your passport stamped? Here are few suggestions. Add yours in comments below!

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Australia's Easy, Breezy SmartGate Now Welcomes US Passports

Where: Australia
November 28, 2012 at 12:21 PM | by | ()

If you are planning on heading to the 'Land Down Under' to escape the pending grip that winter will have on much of the US, you may be able to wiggle your toes in the sand a lot quicker after your plane touches down. The speed and ease of customs and immigration will be streamlined for selected passengers thanks to some reciprocity of Australia's SmartGate technology.

SmartGate allows Australian and New Zealand passport holders to quickly pass through customs with a swipe of their chip-enabled passport, collect a paper receipt and head to the special computerized gates. After inserting a receipt—similar to a parking garage ticket—travelers get a facial recognition scan and, if all goes well, the gates open up to collect luggage. This clears up the massive winding lines we have all encountered and which we all dread after a long flight.

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Five of the Best Banned Items You Absolutely Can't Bring Back Home

July 26, 2012 at 2:15 PM | by | ()

If you’re not happy with the souvenir options from the airport, there’s always thinking outside the box. Just be sure to watch where you shop, because some stuff that’s cool abroad isn’t as cool once you arrive at US Customs and Border Patrol. Here’s a list of some of the best stuff you just have to leave behind. Oh, and skip the bootleg purse or watch—those are banned too.

Kinder Eggs

A couple from Seattle learned this the hard way recently, as they were detained at the border over their chocolate contraband. Kinder Eggs—popular pretty much everywhere but the US—aren’t allowed to be brought into the nifty fifty. Basically the issue is that the little toys inside the chocolate eggs are a choking hazard, and the FDA isn’t too cool with them because food with non-nutritive objects in it is a big fat nope. So for now keep your candy separate from your toys, and you’ll be okay.


Wander through an overseas liquor store and you might come across the green fairy, but just be sure that you consume what you need aboard—the real good stuff isn't looked kindly upon in the United States. Even though most absinthe isn’t the stuff of literary legend, anything with just the word "absinthe" on the label is questionable. According to Uncle Sam it’s also against the law to import any absinthe beverage especially if the label shows artwork or pictures hinting at hallucinogenic or mind-altering effects—bummer.

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A Million Dollars Cash is Not Carry-on Friendly

July 3, 2012 at 11:31 AM | by | ()

Mo money, mo problems. Sounds like a problem we all wish to have, if at least for a minute.

Even millionaires, billionaires, and trillionairs have cash problems and Christo Wiese is no exception. Back in 2009, South Africa's third wealthiest man ran into some issues with border officials in the UK when he tried to fly from the London to Luxemburg with 3 suitcases full of cash. We're talking full of cash to the tune of the equivalent to $1 million US dollars.

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The Australian TV Show You Really Don't Want to Be On

Where: Australia
May 8, 2012 at 10:02 AM | by | ()

Watch out. On your next trip down under, you could end up on TV before even getting through to baggage claim. Just like in America, international travelers to Australia get their passports stamped, collect their baggage and then head off to quarantine to declare anything which might not be welcome on Aussie shores. And now all this is a TV show called "Border Security."

The 30-minute guilty pleasure is filmed primarily in Sydney and Melbourne, but the chance of catching a glimpse of the reality show being filmed elsewhere is pretty good. It has also stopped to film in Brisbane, Perth and some seaports across the nation.

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Israel Bans the iPad; Gadgets Will Be Confiscated at Airports

April 14, 2010 at 12:55 PM | by | ()

So you just dropped several hundred dollars on a shiny new Apple iPad, and understandably you'd like to take it along on your long flight to pass the time. But wait! Not every country is as excited over the new gadget as the US is, and not every airport will welcome it. Take for instance Israel; Israel has banned imports of the iPad for now, and your iPad will be confiscated at the airport.

Right now, Israel isn't too sure about the device, preferring to wait to accept it until its wireless technology "is acceptable with Israeli standards." According to Haaretz, customs at Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion International Airport said yesterday "they have confiscated 10 iPads, including those their owners declared and on which they offered to pay the 16% VAT required by law." Declaring or not declaring; they'll catch you either way. When it is seized, it goes to a customs warehouse and you are charged "rent" for each day it remains there until you can send it back overseas or fly out of Israel.

Apple better work this out, otherwise other countries could follow suit, seeing it as an easy way of grabbing some extra fines and perhaps a few iPads of their own.

Related Stories:
· Beware at Customs: Government Has Banned iPad Imports [Haaretz]
· Gadgets in the Wild: Our First Hand iPad Travel Review [Jaunted]
· The TSA is Cool with iPad, But What About International Airports? [Jaunted]
· iPad Travel news [Jaunted]

[Photo: Jaunted]

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Facial Recognition Technology Will Check You Out At Sydney Airport

October 1, 2009 at 5:24 PM | by | ()

Sydney Airport has just gotten smarter: passengers with modern e-Passports arriving in Sydney now have the option of going through SmartGate, which means they can go through passport control without speaking to a real person.

At the 12 SmartGate kiosks now operating at the airport, travelers can insert their e-Passport to be scanned, then answer the standard declaration questions on a touchscreen. After that they are issued with a ticket, take it to the exit, insert it there and then the camera scans them to check they are the person shown in the passport.

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Lindsay Lohan Gets Interrogated at Customs in Canada

Where: Montreal, QC, Canada
May 8, 2009 at 8:46 AM | by | ()

Lindsay Lohan may have taken one of Jaunted's ideas for a vacation to heal her soul but she's obviously not dedicated to making it work.

Just last week, she headed up to Montreal to host a gig at a nightclub. Remember Lilo, it works if you work it.

However, her trip through customs in Canada didn't go quite as planned. While we usually get admonished for having our cell phones out or for not having our passports ready quick enough, Lindsay Lohan was actually "hauled into a backroom by border staff" at the Montreal Airport.

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The Uncertainty of Handing Over Your Passport at Border Crossings

March 24, 2009 at 1:26 PM | by | ()

Every savvy traveler knows the universal rule of globetrotting: If we must hold onto one single thing when traveling, we hold onto our passport. Only Official Dudes get to touch the almighty passport, and then they give it back, scanned and stamped, right?

Well, what happens when we can't tell for sure the Official Dude is an Official Dude? What happens when we hand it over and we've got to cross the border to a developing nation and collect our passport on the other side? How do we explain this act of moronic behavior later in a worst case scenario, when we were just following directions and going with the flow?

And what will our parents say after years of preaching how sacred the U.S. Passport is, and how they'd prefer not to have to take out a loan to pay off a hostage situation?

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Travel Referendums: Keeping Your Laptop and Data Secure

October 20, 2008 at 4:30 PM | by | ()

This November 4 is about more than just deciding between McCain and Obama. Other issues that directly affect travelers are up for decision, and this week we're taking a closer look at some of them.

While customs agents have long had the authority to search the luggage of passengers arriving in the United States without cause, recent court decisions have asserted that border officials can also rifle through any electronics carried into an international airport. Password protected laptop? They'll make you enter your password--or crack it for you while you miss your connecting flight.

Travel writer Christopher Elliott thinks that's a breech of the Fourth Amendment, and while the courts so far don't agree, at least four Democrats do.

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