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USA Customs Regulations at USA airports PDF Print E-mail
Written by Yuga Srinivas   
Wednesday, 04 July 2012 13:21

USA Customs Regulations at USA airports

What are US Customs?

Hassle-free travel is every travelers dream. Dealing with baggage checking and customs regulations are perhaps the second most overwhelming parts of the travel. We are assuming that keeping travel documents safe and arriving at the port of departure is the first priority! That said, things can get very simple if you pack your luggage as per the restrictions. On the other hand if you are clueless about what luggage you should and should not carry you will have to clear customs and entry regulations. This may result in loss of items that are not allowable at the port of destination. In this context, understanding USA customs and import regulations will help you to pack wisely. If you are returning to USA from India, you have to declare everything you brought back that you did not take with you when you left the United States. For example, any purchases made in India. These are subject to minimum allowable limits and some restrictions. Here is what you should expect.

Tips on customs regulations in USA

On board

You will be asked to fill out a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) declaration form on board. If you do not receive this form, ask the air staff to give you the customs declaration form. A sample form is attached at the end of the article.

Fill the CBP form

It is easy to fill out your declaration form and clear the customs if you:
  • Have sales slips for all purchases made in India.
  • Pack things that you have to declare separately to save time during inspection.
  • Fill information related to items you are carrying The declaration form provides CBP with information on
  • your travel itinerary,
  • your basic information such as name, passport number, and,
  • particulars about what you are bringing into the country, such as fruits, vegetables, other agriculture products,
  • any recent visit to a farm, especially prior to traveling to the United States.

One form for the family

If you are traveling with other immediate family members, you do not have to fill multiple forms. You can simply complete one form for your entire family.

Declare Foreign Exchange/Currency

You have to declare foreign exchange/currency before the custom officers in the following two cases:
  • If the value of foreign currency notes exceed US $ 5000 or equivalent.
  • If the aggregate value of foreign exchange including currency exceeds US $ 10,000 or equivalent.

Import of Indian currency is prohibited. However, for an Indian resident who is visiting their home country and are returning to U.S. Indian currency up to Rs. 5000 is allowed. Hence you do not have to give away all your Indian currency before you reach the Indian airport. In fact, it is always good to keep some Indian currency for expenses on the airport.

Duty Free Allowance

Items For Passengers 10 years and above For Passengers 10 years and below
Used personal effects (like clothing, shoes, etc) but not including jewelry No duty No Duty
Other articles carried on person or in accompanied baggage
1) If stay in India is more than 3 days
2) If stay in India is up to 3 days
Valued up to Rs. 25,000/-
Valued up to Rs. 12000/-
Valued up to Rs. 6,000/-
Valued up to Rs. 3,000/-
I. The free allowance does not apply to the following goods
  • Fire arms
  • Cartridges of fire arms exceeding 50.
  • Cigarettes exceeding 200 or cigars exceeding 50 or tobacco exceeding 250 grams.
  • Alcoholic liquor or wines in excess of 2 liters.
  • Gold or silver, in any form, other than ornaments.

II. Alcoholic drinks and tobacco products imported in excess of free allowance also attract customs duty. These items are chargeable to custom duty at the rates applicable on their commercial imports (Customs tariff Act).

III. You can also carry one laptop computer (notebook computer) over and above the said free allowances mentioned.

IV. The goods over and above the free allowances shall be chargeable to customs duty @ 35% + an education cess of 2% for a total of 35.7% as the effective rate.

V. If the value of one item exceeds the duty free allowance, the customs duty is calculated only on the excess of such amount.

Green Channel: Green means go!

If you are not carrying any items listed on the form just tick the box 'No'. Once you get through immigration and take your luggage you can simply walk to the exit from the Green Channel. If you do not have any dutiable items simply walk out of the green channel. Please read the signs in the arrival area.

Red Channel: Red means stop!

If you are carrying any items listed on the form please mark 'Yes'. Once you get through immigration and take your luggage, you will have to go to the red channel. The Customs Officers will then inspect all dutiable goods that are in your luggage. Once you pay the duty you can proceed through the final CBP checkpoint.

Understanding the customs regulations in the U.S. will help you to travel safely and know what to expect in advance. http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/travel/clearing/cbp_inspection_process.ctt/cbp_inspection_proces.pdf

Last Updated on Saturday, 14 July 2012 17:54
US Map with States and their Abbreviations PDF Print E-mail
Written by Yuga Srinivas   
Wednesday, 04 July 2012 12:44

US Map with States and their Abbreviations

State Capital State Capital
Alabama (AL) Montgomery Montana (MT) Helena
Alaska (AK) Juneau Nebraska (NE) Lincoln
Arizona (AZ) Phoenix Nevada (NV) Carson City
Arkansas (AR) Little Rock New Hampshire(NH) Concord
California (CA) Sacramento New Jersey (NJ) Trenton
Colorado (CO) Denver New Mexico (NM) Santa Fe
Connecticut (CT) Hartford New York (NY) Albany
Delaware (DE) Dover North Carolina (NC) Raleigh
Florida (FL) Tallahassee North Dakota (ND) Bismarck
Georgia (GA) Atlanta Ohio (OH) Columbus
Hawaii (HI) Honolulu Oklahoma (OK) Oklahoma City
Idaho (ID) Boise Oregon (OR) Salem
Illinois (IL) Springfield Pennsylvania (PA) Harrisburg
Indiana (IN) Indianapolis Rhode Island (RI) Providence
Iowa (IA) Des Moines South Carolina(SC) Columbia
Kansas (KS) Topeka South Dakota (SD) Pierre
Kentucky (KY) Frankfort Tennessee (TN) Nashville
Louisiana (LA) Baton Rouge Texas (TX) Austin
Maine (ME) Augusta Utah (UT) Salt LakeCity
Maryland (MD) Annapolis Vermont (VT) Montpelier
Massachusetts (MA) Boston Virginia (VA) Richmond
Michigan (MI) Lansing Washington (WA) Olympia
Minnesota (MN) Saint Paul West Virginia(WV) Charleston
Mississippi (MS) Jackson Wisconsin (WI) Madison
Missouri (MO) Jefferson City Wyoming (WY) Cheyenne

Time Difference Fundamentals

  • Pacific Standard Time (PST): States like California, Washington, Oregon etc. come in this zone.
  • Mountain Standard Time (MST): States like Utah, Colorado, Wyoming etc. come in this zone. MST is ahead of PST by 1 hour.
  • Central Standard Time (CST): States like Texas, Indiana, Iowa etc. come in this zone. CST is ahead of MST by 1 hour and PST by 2 hours.
  • Eastern Standard Time (EST): States like New York, Massachusetts, Florida etc. come in this zone. EST is ahead of CST by 1 hour, MST by 2 hours and PST by 3 hours. For example: If it is 9:00 A.M. in San Francisco, it's 10:00 A.M. in Montana City, 11:00 A.M. in Texas, and 12:00 P.M. in New York.
What is the current time in a particular State in USA? Checkout at USA official time website.

Last Updated on Saturday, 14 July 2012 17:53
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