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customs

flying from seattle/london/venice-where will i have to go through customs--and return rome/o'ohara/seattle-where will i go through custom

Posted by
8889 posts

"You" never go though customs, your bags go though customs. Customs is the check on the contents of your bags, and whether any customs duties (taxes) need to be paid. This is a non-event.
Immigration (passport control) is the check on whether you are allowed into the country, and for how long. This is where they check and if necessary stamp your passport. This can take 5-50 minutes.

Assuming you have this booked as one through ticket, your bags will be labelled through to Venice, and you will not see them until then.
You will stay "Airside" in London, and not have to go through immigration or legally enter the UK.
At Venice the following will happen:
1) Get off plane
2) Immigration.
3) Pick up bags
4) Walk through customs (exit labelled nothing to declare). 99%+ of passengers are not stopped.
5) Exit the terminal.

Posted by
5301 posts

You should not be going through immigration in London, as long as you are on the same ticket (not staying in London for a few days or flying out on a separately purchased ticket. You very well may have a security screening in London though. In Venice it will be as the previous poster noted.

On return, you will process through immigration and customs at O'Hare (Your first US stop).

Posted by
16 posts

wont have any check-on baggage--going to go with a carry-on---will this chang any thing

Posted by
21202 posts

Need to keep the terms straight. First it is immigration or passport control where you are granted entry to the country. Your passport is checked, may answer a couple of questions, and your passport stamped. That can be the time consuming activity. After that it is customs - a check on the goods being carried into the country. For the most part it is simply a walk through the Green door in Europe - Nothing to Declare. The US is close to that in that you only have to turn in your declaration form and keep walking.

Posted by
5654 posts

RE: The US is close to that in that you only have to turn in your declaration form and keep walking.

US Customs is a walk through as long as you didn't need to check one of the boxes. If you check the visited a farm box (close proximity to farm animals) you get diverted to the Agriculture inspection line. I haven't tried bringing back meat products but an affirmative would likely subject you to additional questions.

Posted by
650 posts

Just a though having returned last night from a week in London. When you arrive and go through immigration/passport control there will be 2 separate lines: one for EU citizens, the other for anyone else. The line you will stand in is very long and may take some time. I stood in line for almost 2 hours at Heathrow before I got my passport stamped.

Posted by
9801 posts

Troller931, you will not have to go through UK immigration so don't worry about the lines. Just follow the flight connections signs. You will have to go through security again in London.

Immigration and customs will be in Venice going and Chicago returning

Posted by
650 posts

I apologize for not being clear. It doesn't matter if it it is London, Paris, Barcelona or Venice. The fact is that there will be 2 lines. EU citizens in the short and quick line and everyone else in the long slow line. The opposite will happen at O'hare...you will breeze through there.

Posted by
650 posts

Too add, if you are a US citizen you WILL NOT fill out a declaration form upon arrival in Chicago. You will go to immigration, scan your passport into a machine, check the boxes for maybe 4 questions, take your picture and it will print. Show that and your passport to the immigration officer. Then you are free to board your next flight. It is very simple and there are people to assist if you need it.

Posted by
8889 posts

MrsEB, yes this site needs a "Dummies and first timers guide to crossing borders". Explaining:
1) The difference between customs and immigration.
2) The sequence at airports: Immigration, then luggage reclaim, then customs. Immigration slow, customs zero time.
3) Schengen and the EU, and the difference between the two, and which countries are in and out of each
EU is a customs union, no customs between EU countries.
Schengen is a passport Union, no passport controls (immigration) between Schengen countries.

Posted by
9801 posts

Steve, that is the procedure for Global Entry and at some airport terminals. At others, U.S. citizens still have to go talk to someone.

Posted by
650 posts

Frank, I appreciate knowing that. This was the procedure I followed on my last 3 trips. Good to know it could vary depending on the airport. Thanks!!

Posted by
21202 posts

We came into the US in February and the declaration form was alive and well and wanted. And even in Chicago, after immigration everyone walks through customs.

Posted by
650 posts

I understand customs. But I returned from London 2 days ago and actually filling out a paper form was not required. Same for my last trips in 2016, 2015 and 2014. You go to immigration and are directed to a machine where you scan your passport, check the answers to the questions, take a "selfie" print it and give it to the immigration official. This is what I did in Detroit, Atlanta, and Dulles DC.

Posted by
5654 posts

A number of major US airports have Automated Passport Control machines prior to talking to real people.

Automated Passport Control (APC) is a U.S. Customs and Border
Protection (CBP) program that expedites the entry process for U.S.,
Canadian and eligible Visa Waiver Program international travelers by
providing an automated process through CBP’s Primary Inspection area.
Travelers use self-service kiosks to respond to CBP inspection related
questions and submit biographic information. APC is a free service,
does not require pre-registration or membership, and maintains the
highest levels of protection when it comes to the handling of personal
data or information. Travelers using APC experience shorter wait
times, less congestion, and faster processing.

Once passengers have completed the series of questions, a receipt will
be issued. Travelers then bring their passport and receipt to a CBP
Officer to finalize their inspection for entry into the United States.
The kiosks allow people residing at the same address to be processed
together.

If the first machine doesn't work, try another.