With the recent Federal Sequester airports have seen unprecedented lines at Customs. Now major airports like Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles have been experiencing customs lines over 4 hours long. Nothing like spending a few hours just waiting to be interrogated to drain the romance from your honeymoon trip!From my years of traveling I’ve got a few tips for customs and practical advice on how you can quickly clear customs following your overseas honeymoon. Before you leave
- Check-in online and print your boarding passes, saving you more time for security checks. Yay!
- Plan a lay over with enough time to clear customs if your return flight involves a connection.
Know the process
- Form 6059BFirst you must clear a passport inspection, so be sure to have it ready!
- Next, you’ll interview with a CBP Officer who will review your Declaration Form 6059B and ask questions about your trip, including what items you’re bringing back with you.
- Both you and your spouse will each be required to complete declaration forms, its not per couple. You’ll be given these while onboard the plane, go ahead and fill them out in the air.
- You and your spouse (or anyone else traveling with you) will need to go through Customs together.
Duty Free?? Know the rules
- Each person entering the United States is eligible to bring in up to $800 in goods without paying any duty fees or taxes, except alcohol and certain tobacco products.
- You can bring up to 1-liter of alcohol, 100 cigars (non-Cuban), and 200 cigarettes into the United Sates without paying Federal excise taxes. You’re welcome to bring more of your favorite spirits or smokes back, you’ll just pay a flat rate tax on the additional items. Which can often still be cheaper than purchasing within the US.
- No fresh back fruits, vegetables, or meats of any kind are allowed. You can bring baked goods, spices, etc.
- For complete list of rules visit, Customs and Border Control online.
Register your Valuables
- If you’ll be traveling abroad with any high-value, personal items like cameras, laptops, sports equipment, or basically anything with a serial number, register these items in advance with Customs and Border Patrol.
- Complete Form 4457 and present to an agent for review and signature prior to departure. Generally, it takes only a few minutes and far less hassle on your return. Totally worth it!!
Save your receipts
- Carry a laminated envelope or even a zip lock bag, and anytime you make a purchase drop the receipt inside. It makes completing the declaration form much easier! This way I know everything that I bought and how much I spent (yes, sometimes its not fun to add it all up).
- Check out this cute receipt wallet on Etsy.
Pack everything together
- I always try to pack everything I purchased in just one, or maybe two places. This makes it easier if the customs officer asks to see them.
- Anything that you’re bringing back into the US that you didn’t leave with must be declared, regardless if you bought as a gift or it was given to you, every single thing must be declared.
- This even includes any items you purchased duty-free or tax-free too.
At the end of the day Customs is just part of the process of traveling abroad. I do believe that by being organized and having patience you can however minimize the headache and time spent clearing customs. If you’re ready to start planning your honeymoon or destination wedding abroad complete our quick online request and let’s talk!