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Immigration and Customs Controls
Before travelling, check all the documents you need and the specific procedures and requirements of the destination country.
Leaving the country:
Bear in mind the time you will need to check in and go through the passport and security controls, especially in holiday periods. You should have your ticket, boarding pass and documents to hand, and it is your responsibility to have your personal documents in order. Remember, if you do not meet the passport or customs control requirements, you may be denied entry to the destination country.
Each country has its own restrictions when it comes to taking out a typical product from the country. If in doubt, check with the embassy of the country you are visiting.
As a general rule, if you enter a country in the European Schengen Area to travel to another country that is also in that area, you will go through passport control at the first point of arrival and through customs with your baggage at the final destination. If the countries are outside the Schengen area, you will go through both procedures at the end of your journey.
In the United States you will have to go through immigration and customs with your baggage at your first arrival airport in the country. If in doubt, check at the departure airport where you will need to go through these controls.
Arriving at the country of destination:
The first step upon arrival will be to go through immigration and customs again. Immigration and customs forms are usually handed out on the plane before arrival in the country so that you can save time by filling in the details before you land. If the forms aren't given out on the plane, you can request them on arrival.
In certain countries, the required visa is obtained at the destination airport, where you will probably have to pay for it in dollars. In some countries you may have to pay airport taxes or a tourist tax.
Remember, all customs limit the amount of alcohol tobacco and perfume that you can take into the country. Some countries also limit the entry of animals, plants and food.
Check the other entry requirements for each country in the European Economic Community.
If you have nothing to declare, look for the “Nothing to declare” sign (it usually has a green background) to exit the airport faster.
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