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Immigration and Customs Controls
Immigration and customs controls are always carried out on leaving and entering a country. Each country establishes its own regulations regarding the documents and/or visas required for entry and for the import/export of products within its borders.
Leaving the country of origin:
Bear in mind the check-in time as well as the immigration procedures and security controls, especially during the holiday season when airports are much busier.
For security reasons, airports may introduce more frequent and stricter controls of both passengers and their hand or checked baggage, so you are advised to keep your ticket, boarding pass and ID document handy.
Remember, it is your responsibility to have all your personal documents in order, and you may be denied entry to the country of destination if you fail to comply with its basic immigration and customs regulations.
Each country has its own restrictions regarding typical products such as coral, icons, caviar, etc. that you are allowed to take out. In case of doubt, check with the embassy of the country you are visiting.
Arriving at the country of destination:
The first step when you arrive is to go through immigration control and customs again, but this time to enter the country of destination.
You will usually be given the immigration and customs forms on the aircraft before you arrive at the country, so fill them in before you land to save time. If the forms are not given out on the aircraft, you can request them on arrival.
In certain countries, the visa is obtained at the destination airport, where you will probably have to pay for it in dollars. In other countries you may have to pay airport taxes or a tourist tax.
As a general rule, if you enter a country in the European Schengen area to travel to another country that has also signed the treaty, 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 airport of arrival in the country.
If in doubt, you are advised to check at the airport of origin where you will need to go through these controls.
Remember, all customs authorities impose limits on how much alcohol, tobacco and perfume you can take into the country. Some countries also limit or even prohibit animals, plants and food.
For more information on entering any country in the European Union, click here
If you have nothing to declare, go straight to the exit with the sign "Nothing to declare" (usually on a green background) and then you will be free to leave the airport.