What You Need to Know
In the U.S. you can find ports of entry by land, air or sea.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) performs two crucial roles in facilitating trade to and from the U.S. and around the globe: securing it from acts of terrorism and assuring that goods arriving in the U.S. are legitimate and that appropriate duties and fees are paid.
At U.S. ports of entry CBP officers or employees are assigned to accept merchandise, clear travelers, collect duties, and enforce U.S. import and export laws and regulations. Immigration policy and programs are also enforced here.
- Find a U.S. Port of Entry - Go to the CBP website to locate an air, land, or sea port of entry by state.
- Check Wait Times – Estimated wait times for incoming travelers at top major U.S. airports and major northern and southern border crossings are available via online applications.
- Traveler Entry Forms - Whether you are a visitor to the United States or U.S. citizen, each individual arriving into the United States must complete one or more of U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) entry forms.
Prohibited agricultural items can harbor foreign animal and plant pests and diseases that could seriously damage America’s crops, livestock, pets, and the environment – and a large sector of our country’s economy.
All travelers entering the United States are required to DECLARE any meats, fruits, vegetables, plants, seeds, animals, and plant and animal products (including soup or soup products) they may be carrying. The declaration must cover all items carried in checked baggage, carry-on luggage, or in a vehicle.
Importing goods without researching entry requirements in advance can be a costly experience. Prohibited items that are not declared by passengers are confiscated and disposed of by CBP agriculture specialists. In addition, civil penalties for individuals may be assessed for violations and may range up to $1,000 for a first-time offense or as high as $50,000.