How to Clear United States Customs When Returning From the Bahamas

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When returning to the United States from overseas, travelers must go through customs after departing the plane. No matter where the plane has come from, all travelers attempting to enter the United States must fill out the same customs documents and go through the same customs procedures at the airport. Travelers must adhere to several simple rules in order to pass through U.S. customs without problems.

Things You'll Need

  • Valid passport
  • Customs sheet
  • Luggage
  • Fill out the customs form that the flight attendants give out on the plane. The flight crew will hand those out, along with pencils or pens, a few hours before the plane lands. Make sure that all of the information that you have provided is correct. You will have to submit this form to customs at the airport.

  • Pack your suitcase well before you leave for the airport. Make sure that you have no forbidden items such as Bahamian animals, fruits, vegetables or any other kind of agricultural produce. Alcohol from the Bahamas is allowed, but it must not be opened until after you have passed through customs; in fact, opening a foreign bottle of alcohol on an airplane is illegal and will result in arrest upon landing.

  • Declare any items that you purchased in the Bahamas. This includes items that you bought while in the Bahamas and had sent to your home, any items you may have inherited from someone or any items purchased duty-free at the airport or on the plane. You must tell U.S. Customs on your customs form how much you paid for these items in U.S. dollars.

  • Join the "U.S. citizens" line at customs when you reach the airport if you are a U.S. citizen. If not, there is a separate line for non-citizens. When you get to the head of the line, hand the agent your passport and your customs form. If all is in order, you will be waved through. If not, the agent may request to open your luggage.

References

  • Photo Credit Digital Vision/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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