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Where? Customs/Immigration

We are flying from Dallas - LHR - Munich (on BA). Where will we go through customs? Our return flight is LHR - Raleigh/Durham - DFW. Same question where do we go through customs/immigration.
Thanks!

Posted by
265 posts

Outbound: There is a security check in LHR, immigration and customs is in MUC. Immigration is in MUC since the UK is not a Schengen country. On the return, immigration and customs is always at the first point of entry to the US, here, RDU. In RDU, you will also have to collect your bags and re-check them

Posted by
6898 posts

First, there is no "Customs" in the EU. That's and American thing. Yes they do have immigration. I suspect that you will go through immigration at Heathrow before transferring to your flight to Munich. The flight from Heathrow to Munich will be a domestic EU flight. Coming home, I suspect it would be the reverse. Customs in Raleigh/Durham and a domestic flight to Dallas-Fort Worth.

Posted by
4536 posts

What Christophe stated is correct. Both immigration and customs in Munich on the way out. Both immigration and customs in Raleigh/Durham on the way back. I'm not sure what Larry means when he says "customs is an American thing." Customs is about the goods you are bringing into a country. Customs occurs on entry to the EU also ... it happens when you exit through the green "Nothing to Declare" or red "Items to declare" lane after exiting the baggage claim area. It might not be as obvious as it is in the States, but it does exist. Also, UK is not a party to the Schengen agreement and thus immigration occurs in Germany.

Posted by
8940 posts

"....First, there is no "Customs" in the EU. That's and American thing...." Customs is not an "American thing", all countries have such checkpoints...even the EU. It's done after you collect your checked baggage, and right before you enter the public portion of the terminal. For most people it's just a walk through, but agents do select people at random or based on a profile for inspection. More info about Munich Airport Customs: http://tinyurl.com/cfsvq7n

Posted by
9628 posts

Immigration/Customs at MUC and RDU. If you are checking bags, make sure they are checked through to Munich. BTW, your flight from LHR to RDU will be on an American Airlines plane.

Posted by
11261 posts

Just to clarify the meaning of the terms (which, I find, helps me keep straight which is going to occur where): Immigration is concerned with the movement of people entering and leaving a country. The US does not have immigration control on departure, but almost all (if not all) other countries do. And every country has this on arrival. Customs is concerned with the movement of goods entering and leaving a country. As said, every country has this, but in many places, you can just walk through a "Green Channel-Nothing To " lane, and never deal with a live customs agent. And I haven't filled out a customs form on arrival in Europe in many years. In the US, everyone goes through one line, and you have to fill out a form and hand it to an agent, whether you have something to or not. Until recently, for all flights arriving from abroad (except Canada and a few Caribbean islands), you had to go through customs and immigration at your first US airport, regardless of your final destination. However, just to confuse us, the US is starting to perform customs and immigration checks in some foreign airports, before departure, so your arrival in the US is like a domestic arrival. This has existed for many years in Canadian airports, but was recently expanded to Ireland, and will be in more airports in the next few years (per a recent New York Times article). And, the one that confuses my mother: Security is concerned with safety, which may involve people or goods. Security screening takes place on departure. When she bought spices in Turkey, her question was "will this be a problem with security?" I explained that unless they thought the spices were actually explosives, they wouldn't care about them, but that customs would be involved. Since spices are not people, immigration wouldn't be involved at all.

Posted by
11261 posts

Part 2: The US does not have "transit" passengers, meaning that everyone who lands in the US, even to change planes to another country, has to go through customs and immigration. But other countries do have transit. That's why you do not go through any formalities in London; you're in transit. You go through immigration at your first point of entry into the Schengen zone, and go through immigration at your final destination country. In your case, since England is not part of the Schengen zone, you do both in Munich. If you were flying, say, through Paris instead, you would go through immigration in Paris (part of the Schengen zone), but still go through customs in Munich. As said, unless you have something to declare, customs in Munich consists of you walking through the "Green Channel-Nothing to Declare" lane, without stopping.And don't worry about missing immigration - your whole planeload will be funneled to the immigration lines, and you can't bypass them when entering the country. Do be sure to allow a few hours for your layover in Raleigh/Durham, to allow time for the "formalities." You have to go through immigration, then collect your bags, then go through customs (as I said, not a walk through - the line can take a while if it's a busy time at the airport). You then recheck your bags (usually there's a desk for this just outside the customs door), then go through security again to get to your next flight. I'd allow 3 hours for this, minimum; if you have less, be prepared to miss your original connection and to be put on a later flight. If you have carry-on only, you do save quite a bit of time.

Posted by
9110 posts

'Immigration is concerned with the movement of people entering and leaving a country.' Nah. Immigration has to do with entering. Emigration has to do with leaving.

Posted by
9628 posts

The only "busy" time at RDU immigration is when the flight from LHR arrives. It's the airport's only international flight. Okay, technically there is seasonal service to Cancun and twice weekly service to the Bahamas, but that's it.

Posted by
25564 posts

First, there is no "Customs" in the EU. That's and American thing. That will be a surprise to the employees of HMRC - Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. There are hundreds of Customs inspectors in the UK.