Customs and Border Control

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Customs and Border Control

Post  LinxHusky on Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:17 pm

As taken from the Anthrocon.org forums for international travelers (regarding border control & fursuits)

Vulpes Rex wrote:Security concerns itself with items which could be used as anti-personnel weapons (guns, knives, sharp pointy things, anything with which you could assault or threaten someone), and items which could potentially destroy the aircraft - the objective which they are trying to prevent is some hostile force either gaining control of or destroying the aircraft and its passengers.

As far as I know, a fursuit isn't much of a threat in this regard. The TSA will likely open the bin or box carrying the suit, and "swab" the box for samples of whatever it is that explosives release which reveals their presence.

Customs concerns itself with collecting duties on imported goods, mostly things which are either made cheaper overseas, or american-made items which are priced cheaper overseas, in either event competing with a domestic industry of a specific sort (this could include prescription drugs bought in large quantities). Their primary concern here is goods imported for sale to others.

They also prevent the importation of proscribed and banned materials, such as Cuban Tobacco and child pornography, parrots, elephant-tusk ivory, and Tiger parts. Also fruits, vegtables, and meat products which could harbor insect pests, or not meet FDA/USDA standards for human consumption (1). Customs also involves itself with preventing the export of critical technologies to unfriendly countries.

So...unless your fursuit was made by forced child labor, contains hemp products, is constructed with tiger parts or uses elephant ivory for some function, and is not intended for resale here in the USA, you should have no problems. Just state that it is an article of personal wear, specifically a performance costume, NOT made with any animal product, and that you will be taking it back with you when you return home.

As taken from the Anthrocon.org forums for international travelers (regarding airport security checkpoints)

BlackJack wrote:It's probably true that most travelers get concerned about the security checkpoints they
have to pass through.

Uncle Kage already posted the following:

Quote:


12) When you go through the security line, pay close attention to the instructions. They're repeated over and over but people still ignore them and cause big backups. If you have a laptop it must come out of its case and go through the X-ray machine separately (don't worry -- X rays won't hurt it). Take all metal out of your pockets. Have your passport and your boarding pass in your hand through the metal detector -- don't leave it behind because they'll check it on the other side of the detector. You may have to take your shoes off and put them through the detector as well.

13) Often they will take you out of line and pass a metal detecting wand over you. Don't worry. It's routine procedure.

I'd like to add some advice to people traveling through security as well.

First of all, I can't overemphasize Uncle Kage's advice about arriving early at the
airport. It's a LOT better to find ways to waste time in the airport than have to
rush through the airport. Furthermore, I'd rather burn off nervous energy by walking
the airport once I'm through all the stops. That way, I have less of a problem being
cooped up in the little airplane seats.

Second, what's security concerned about?
The checkpoints of various types are concerned about 1 of 2 things (or both):

A) Are you carrying anything they interpret as a weapon?
That can be a very broad category, so check the websites of the airlines and the
airports to see what they're concerned with lately. Generally, the sillier items include
"no liquids on the plane." (There's pharmacies close to the hotels for the conventions,
so if you're sorry to leave something behind, you can probably find a close copy
once you're safely checked in to the hotel.)

They also concern themselves with anything they can pretend is a knife. That includes
pen knives, Swiss army knives, and nail clippers, nail files, and so on. In fact,
ANYTHING metal can get their attentions (pens, etc.) So, what I do before passing
through the detectors, is take everything metal I'm wearing (belt buckle, loose change,
pens, anything) and shove them in my check-in bag which they will X-ray. That includes
devices like a camera, cellphone, whatever. If they feel the need to look it over,
they can do so in the seconds before you get it back-which relaxes them. Hang on to
your passport and documentation-none of that is metal. Jackets may or may not go on
the x-ray machine, so, as Uncle Kage said, listen closely to the instructions.

Now, they're concerned about batteries, since they're needed for some weapons.
So, don't have batteries in your checked baggage. (I had a few with my camera, which
went through the x-ray machine. I wasn't stopped.) Again, we have all sorts of places
to buy batteries- like the pharmacies I mentioned- so don't worry you'll have trouble
replacing any standard batteries.

So, "weapons"- liquids, metal, batteries, etc. Leave them out if at all possible.
Laptops go through separately from their case and anything else.

US airports, at least, ask for shoes to be removed and x-rayed. (Someone once tried to
set his shoes on fire on a plane. I SWEAR I'm not making this up.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] )

In general, try not to bring anything a slow-witted person might confuse for a weapon.
(One military officer was wearing a medal that resembled a shuriken or throwing star-
and none of the security personnel recognized the Congressional Medal of Honor,
possibly the highest award given in the US Armed Forces.)
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Ok, so you've gone through your pockets and luggage, and unpacked anything that even
a paranoid person could misconstrue into a weapon. That leaves one more thing for the
checkpoints to concern themselves with.

B) Importing.
This is much less a concern on the US end of many trips, but you may face it returning
home. They want to make sure you'll pay your taxes (duties) when bringing stuff into
their country. As for "stuff", I mean "anything that's worth money." I can bring lots
of paperbacks and t-shirts and they won't care much. However, electronic
devices tend to get a LOT more attention.

The general rule of thumb is "personal use."
Once you've passed the security issues of "is your device a bomb?", there's the issue
of "is your device meant for you, or is it for resale?" The "personal use" I'm
speaking of is "is this meant for your use on the trip?" If you bring a laptop, it's
probably for you to use on your trip. If you bring 6 laptops, that's something else.
ONE mp3 player on a plane-you're listening to music. A dozen mp3 players, that's
something else. You get the idea.

Once you've worked your way past those considerations, security will just be a matter
of waiting in line, following instructions, and picking up your stuff from the X-ray
machine. Really, it's generally painless- just a line to deal with.

LinxHusky
Lead Coordinator
Lead Coordinator

Posts : 7
Join date : 2011-07-07
Age : 32
Location : Canberra, Australia

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