Customs means many things to many people. To the international traveler, Customs is the men and women in blue at the border station, airport or seaport who examine personal baggage upon return to the States. To the importer, Customs provides advice, protection and control of merchandise shipped into the country. To the smuggler, Customs is the planes, vessels, vehicles and dedicated people constantly monitoring the nation’s perimeter to thwart smuggling and attempts at illicit entry of merchandise.
As an international traveler, you should be aware of the rules of bringing items back from your trip. Please review the travel information titled Know Before You Go that is provided by the U.S. Customs Service.
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) requires U.S. and Canadian travelers to present a passport or other document that denotes identity and citizenship when entering the U.S. It is a result of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA).
The goal of WHTI is to facilitate entry for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors, while strengthening U.S. border security. Standard documents will enable the Department of Homeland Security to quickly and reliably identify a traveler.
WHTI will go into effect June 1, 2009 for land and sea travel into the U.S. WHTI went into effect for air travelers on January 23, 2007. Please review the required travel documents.