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CBP advises public as Memorial Day starts 2024 summer travel

U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued recommendations to make international travel safer and easier into Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport.

With the Memorial Day weekend, the summer travel season begins. U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued recommendations to make international travel safer and easier into the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU).

“As the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport experiences record-breaking arrivals, we strongly encourage travelers to be ‘travel ready’ and use CBP’s various mobile apps to improve their safe travel experience,” said Roberto Vaquero, director of San Juan Field Operations. “These technological enhancements are integral parts of CBP’s efforts to improve the travel experience while maintaining safety for all travelers.”

The Global Entry traveler program is one of the tools the agency recommends having, as it allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Global Entry members can also use the new Global Entry Touchless Portals, now available at SJU. The portals reduce physical touchpoints and expedite arrival processing by eliminating paper receipts and protecting passenger privacy.

Travelers who are not Global Entry members may also opt for faster processing by using the free Mobile Passport Control (MPC) application. U.S. citizens, Canadian B1/B2 visitors, and, starting this December, returning travelers from Visa Waiver Program countries can download the app for use. MPC users even have their own designated line for arrival processing.

Additionally, as of June 2023, non-U.S. citizens from 41 Visa Waiver Program countries can use the new ESTA app, available in 25 languages, to apply for an ESTA authorization from their mobile devices.

For additional ways to “travel smart” when arriving at U.S. ports of entry, CBP offered the following tips:

  • Enrollment on arrival: Global Entry applicants who have not yet received an interview prior to their international trip may still opt for faster processing at select airports with Enrollment on Arrival (EoA). This initiative allows conditionally approved applicants to complete their interview upon returning to the U.S. without an appointment, utilizing the documents they would normally carry when traveling internationally.
  • Prepare your documents: Before embarking on a trip to the United States or returning from an international trip, travelers should be sure they have a valid U.S. passport and identification card. Be prepared to present them and other travel documents that may be requested by the CBP officer. Although a Global Entry card is not always required, trusted travelers are advised to carry their cards in case they are asked for it.
  • Report food, cash and memorabilia: Both U.S. citizens and non-citizens must declare everything they bring into the United States from abroad, even if purchased in a duty-free shop. Some foods, merchandise and total currency of $10,000 or more can be brought to the United States but must be declared. Failure to do so can result in stiff financial penalties and loss of those goods.
  • Avoid counterfeits when traveling: Be cautious when buying from street vendors or questionable shops while on vacation. These items could support criminal activity, violate intellectual property rights and can be unsafe for consumers. More information on intellectual property rights can be found here.
  • Consider duty exemptions: Items brought abroad for personal use or as gifts are eligible for duty exemptions. If a traveler is bringing them back for resale, they are not eligible for duty exemption. More information on duty exemptions can be found here
  • Consider medications: Be aware of traveling with medications. Many foreign-made medications are not approved for United States use and are not permitted in the country. When traveling abroad, bring only the medication you will need, and make sure it is in the original container.

CBP’s mobile apps can be downloaded free from the Apple and Google Play stores.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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