FAQ

What happens to all of the paper forms you fill out for immigration and customs?
Years ago I worked at document management company.  There is cool software that can automate aspects of hand-written forms.  We had an airport as a customer - they scanned plenty and (as I said before) this was several years ago...On your airport customs forms, the "boxes" that you 'need' to write on - are basically invisible to the scanner - but are used because then us humans will tend to write neater and clearer which make sit easier to recognize with a computer.  Any characters with less than X% accuracy based on a recognition engine are flagged and shown as an image zoomed into the particular character so a human operator can then say "that is an "A".   This way, you can rapidly go through most forms and output it to say - an SQL database, complete with link to original image of the form you filled in.If you see "black boxes" at three corners of the document - it is likely set up for scanning (they help to identify and orient the page digitally).  If there is a unique barcode on the document somewhere I would theorize there is an even higher likelihood of it being scanned - the document is of enough value to be printed individually which costs more, which means it is likely going to be used on the capture side.   (I've noticed in the past in Bahamas and some other Caribbean islands they use these sorts of capture mechanisms, but they have far fewer people entering than the US does everyday)The real answer is: it depends.  Depending on each country and its policies and procedures.  Generally I would be surprised if they scanned and held onto the paper.   In the US, they proably file those for a set period of time then destroy them, perhaps mining them for some data about travellers. In the end,  I suspect the "paper-to-data capture" likelihood of customs forms ranges somewhere on a spectrum like this:Third world Customs Guy has paper to show he did his job, paper gets thrown out at end of shift. ------  We keep all the papers! everything is scanned as you pass by customs and unique barcodes identify which flight/gate/area the form was handed out at, so we co-ordinate with cameras in the airport and have captured your image.  We also know exactly how much vodka you brought into the country. :)
How and what forms does a customs broker fill out for imported goods?
Omg I really don’t know :)I am a permanent client of brokers from https://clearit.ca/ , they usually solve all the details so that I don’t need to worry about any forms and other things.I will subscribe to this question, I am really interested now.
Import/Export: Do you have to fill out a customs form every time you ship a product from the USA to the rest of the world?
Somebody has to fill out a customs form every time a product is imported into a country for commercial use. It can be the seller or the buyer but even if the import is duty-free there will be a form to complete. I'm sure there are automated solutions so a form doesn't have to be completed manually but the cost may not justify the benefit.
Returning from a short vacation in Mexico we breezed through customs without having to fill out a customs declaration, and without even a single question, only having to show our passports. How come?
It's just the way things are often done for US citizens returning home. Sometimes you'll get a question or three, sometimes not. They don't stamp your passports anymore when returning home, nor do you have to fill out a pen-and-ink customs declaration — just that kiosk thing. (Did you have to do that?)Everything is visible to the customs agents. They can see when you left the country. They know your passports are legit. They assume the reason you went to Mexico is obvious (short vacation). You don't fit any profile that would set off a red flag to them. Your bags have been scanned for obvious bad stuff, and probably sniffed by dogs. There's really not much for them to ask that they don't already know the answer to.For non-US citizens, it's a different story.
How do I find out how much the shipping import customs are going to cost?
Your government’s import duties for various items should be posted somewhere. Usually, online.
Do I need to fill out a customs form to mail a 1 oz letter? Would I put the customs form outside the envelope or inside?
No. There are specific envelopes that are used to identify mail under 16 oz and don’t require a P.S. form. These envelopes have a colored stripe along its borders which indicates to the shipper that it’s an international mail piece.