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Customs and Connections in TXL

Customs and Connections in TXL

Old Jan 7, 17, 10:05 pm
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Customs and Connections in TXL

Newbie here. Please forgive if posted in the wrong place.
Using Advantage miles to fly LAX to KRK (Krakow, Poland). Flight stops in TXL (Berlin, Germany) for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Does this give me enough time to go through customs and get on the connecting flight?

Do I need to get my luggage or does it transfer to the next flight?

Any help would be appreciated before I book.

Thx.
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Old Jan 8, 17, 12:33 am
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Your luggage will get checked through to your final destination (assuming that this is one ticket, which I assume).

It's essentially only the USA which requires you to pick up luggage at the port of entry, in Europe(well, in the Schengen area) you will go through immigration at your first stop in Europe, while customs inspection will happen at your final destination.
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Old Jan 8, 17, 7:32 am
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Originally Posted by cygnus View Post
... you will go through immigration at your first stop in Europe, while customs inspection will happen at your final destination.
Slightly incorrect. AFAIK, customs inspections take place both when entering the Schengen area and when arriving at your final destination within the Schengen area.

Just after entering the Schengen area, you are supposed to declare any declarable goods, that you carry in your carry-on. When arriving at your final destination (i.e. the place you are reunited with your checked luggage), you'll need to declare the declarable goods in your checked luggage.

That's as far as the theory goes. In practice, there's usually an empty desk just behind immigration and you have to ring somebody to arrive. I've never seen anyone declare something there. All of this is of course irrelevant to the OP as he probably won't need to declare anything.

---
Your bags are checked thru automatically if you bought the journey on a single ticket. You'll have to go thru immigration in Berlin and - provided you booked everything on 1 ticket - will just have to walk to the next gate and eventually go thru security again.
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Old Jan 8, 17, 2:36 pm
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Customs at TXL must be the most laid back job in the world because I can't think of a time I saw anyone declaring anything or anyone questioning a pax about their travels.
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Old Jan 9, 17, 11:21 am
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OP, you really don't mean customs, do you? You mean immigration, which will be very quick. Unless you are importing commercial good or have 8,000 cigarettes, you needn't worry about customs. The whole thing, if on one ticket, is very doable. (You would not have been sold the (single) ticket if it weren't.)
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Old Jan 9, 17, 4:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Ber2dca View Post
Customs at TXL must be the most laid back job in the world because I can't think of a time I saw anyone declaring anything or anyone questioning a pax about their travels.
I'm not sure I've seen anyone from Zoll waiting at the exit for the United flights since 1 was around $1.40.

Had some duty to pay on alcohol once, and since it was for a friend's collection, he wanted the duty receipt in case it should ever get sold. Went out of my way to wait in line behind the people getting export stamps for their Global Blue forms. Needless to say, they were surprised.
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Old Jan 13, 17, 9:45 am
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Originally Posted by Ber2dca View Post
Customs at TXL must be the most laid back job in the world because I can't think of a time I saw anyone declaring anything or anyone questioning a pax about their travels.
Rest assured, they are there. However more likely taking care of UAE or Canary Islands flights or inbound flights from LHR or AMS. Taking too much care of a US flight does not make too much sense with the Dollar at 1,10 to the EUR. The US is a too expensive place to go shopping nowadays.
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Old Jan 14, 17, 2:08 pm
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Originally Posted by WorldLux View Post
Slightly incorrect. AFAIK, customs inspections take place both when entering the Schengen area and when arriving at your final destination within the Schengen area.
Nope, there is no need for that, and there is no customs desk (empty or not) after transfer immigration, since there will be one once you try to get out of the airport.

Even within Schengen, there are import restrictions, and each country has their own restrictions, therefore there is no point in declaring in Germany something you are importing to Poland as the rules may differ.
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Old Jan 14, 17, 2:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
Nope, there is no need for that, and there is no customs desk (empty or not) after transfer immigration, since there will be one once you try to get out of the airport.
Cf. EU rules on the matter
Are you taking a flight between a non-EU airport and an EU airport with a change of plane in another EU airport? (e.g. Tokyo - Copenhagen - Amsterdam with a change of aircraft in Copenhagen)
You will get off the first plane in Copenhagen where your hand baggage is liable to be checked by customs. Meanwhile, your registered baggage, which will have been given a normal label (no green edges) in Tokyo, will be transferred from the baggage hold of the first plane to that of the second).
On arrival in Amsterdam , your hand baggage will not, in theory, be liable to be checked by customs (Note 2), whereas your registered baggage may be.
If the second EU airport is not equipped for air traffic with third countries (See, for information, the list of international Community airports), your registered baggage will be liable to be checked in the first EU airport.
Source: http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs...velling-air_en

The question is rather tricky, given that most airports put up a small sign or a desk with a call button. They have them in AMS after the transfer immigration too and I've never seen anyone declaring something there.

The theory is however that you should be declaring there and a friend of mine did so in FRA while transferring. At his final destination the customs official wanted to look into his carry-on and he pulled out his receipt from the Zoll.

Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
Even within Schengen, there are import restrictions, and each country has their own restrictions, therefore there is no point in declaring in Germany something you are importing to Poland as the rules may differ.
The regulations aims to hinder passengers from avoiding duties, by entering the Schengen area claiming to declare at their final destination and declaring at their final destination that they bought it within the Schengen area or giving their goods to other passenger, etc... .
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Old Jan 14, 17, 3:07 pm
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Originally Posted by WorldLux View Post
The regulations aims to hinder passengers from avoiding duties, by entering the Schengen area claiming to declare at their final destination and declaring at their final destination that they bought it within the Schengen area or giving their goods to other passenger, etc... .
I don't quite see how those regulations (which I have never seen enforced) hinder such a thing, nothing prevents me from moving stuff from my carry-on luggage to my checked baggage (and v.v) before leaving customs, I even do it quite often in the form of putting my duty-free shopping into my checked luggage, or getting my jacket out or what ever the case may be.

There is also nothing preventing you from handing over goods to other passengers before entering Schengen (instead of before heading out of customs in your destinations), and actually there is nothing illegal in that.
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Old Jan 14, 17, 3:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
I don't quite see how those regulations (which I have never seen enforced) hinder such a thing, nothing prevents me from moving stuff from my carry-on luggage to my checked baggage (and v.v) before leaving customs,
And how do you access your checked baggage when you're transiting? Either you have it checked thru and you will only be able to access it at your final destination, at which point you will (at least theoretically) already have paid due duties on the items in your carry-on or you'll have to recheck your bags during transit, which means that you have to carry all your things thru customs and check them in (in turn you get labels with green stripes).

Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
There is also nothing preventing you from handing over goods to other passengers before entering Schengen (instead of before heading out of customs in your destinations), and actually there is nothing illegal in that.
And how that person has to go thru customs too. So you won't be able to avoid customs. If however they let you thru with your carry-on without checking, you could swap carry-on with an passenger traveling within Schengen, who could upon arrival pass customs without being checked (thanks in parts to the two green stripes on the luggage label).
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Old Jan 14, 17, 7:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
I don't quite see how those regulations (which I have never seen enforced) hinder such a thing, nothing prevents me from moving stuff from my carry-on luggage to my checked baggage (and v.v) before leaving customs, I even do it quite often in the form of putting my duty-free shopping into my checked luggage, or getting my jacket out or what ever the case may be.

There is also nothing preventing you from handing over goods to other passengers before entering Schengen (instead of before heading out of customs in your destinations), and actually there is nothing illegal in that.
We aren't talking just goods here. There are some areas where the system of hand luggage being checked at point of entry and checked luggage at destination play a more important role, such as transporting cash. Not likely to be in the checked baggage. Yes, someone with more than 10,000 could try handing something off to someone waiting in the bathroom or whatever to then have less than 10k, etc. But with *no* checks at point of entry it becomes even easier for smuggling of cash.


As far as goods, yes, someone with a long connection time could have goods worth the 430 in their hand luggage, go through customs and be legal, mail the stuff from the airport. Then when they arrive at their destination, the other 430 in goods in their checked baggage looks legal too.. But then that's a lot of effort to save not so much money.
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Old Jan 14, 17, 8:19 pm
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Originally Posted by WorldLux View Post

The theory is however that you should be declaring there and a friend of mine did so in FRA while transferring. At his final destination the customs official wanted to look into his carry-on and he pulled out his receipt from the Zoll.
FRA has some phones, but there is the one area airside that has a small red/green channel to go through, though I've often seen it unmanned with a note to go find some office... At least the time I needed to declare a pile of DM banknotes I had to go on a hunt for someone to stamp my form just in case there was someone at the next airport.

Granted, I suppose if one actively approaches a customs official at your final destination about declarable goods in hand baggage, I would guess most would be lenient, but might not always be the case if someone is having a bad day.
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Old Jan 15, 17, 1:55 am
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Originally Posted by WorldLux View Post
And how do you access your checked baggage when you're transiting? Either you have it checked thru and you will only be able to access it at your final destination, at which point you will (at least theoretically) already have paid due duties on the items in your carry-on or you'll have to recheck your bags during transit, which means that you have to carry all your things thru customs and check them in (in turn you get labels with green stripes).
I'm not accessing it while transiting, I am accessing it after I got it off the belt at my final destination and before heading out of customs.

Originally Posted by WorldLux View Post
And how that person has to go thru customs too. So you won't be able to avoid customs. If however they let you thru with your carry-on without checking, you could swap carry-on with an passenger traveling within Schengen, who could upon arrival pass customs without being checked (thanks in parts to the two green stripes on the luggage label).
Yes, of course that person will go through customs too, no problem there still, if I bring in say 2 packets of smokes while only allowed one, and that other person doesn't smoke, then he can take one packet through customs for me, there is nothing illegal about it.
Whether this takes place prior to entering Schengen or when leaving the airport at the destination makes none the difference, does it?

Originally Posted by Bigzamboni View Post
We aren't talking just goods here. There are some areas where the system of hand luggage being checked at point of entry and checked luggage at destination play a more important role, such as transporting cash. Not likely to be in the checked baggage. Yes, someone with more than 10,000 could try handing something off to someone waiting in the bathroom or whatever to then have less than 10k, etc. But with *no* checks at point of entry it becomes even easier for smuggling of cash.
But again, this bathroom transaction can take place before entering Schengen in the same way it can take place before leaving the destination airport, the again unless this customs check is really enforced in all transit airports within the EU, it is meaningless. I can't comment anything about airports in Germany since I never connected there, but take CDG or FCO as recent examples, there is not even a hint that someone should declare anything...
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Old Jan 15, 17, 4:56 am
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Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
I'm not accessing it while transiting, I am accessing it after I got it off the belt at my final destination and before heading out of customs.
And by then your carry-on will have been checked (at least in theory) or will be checked if you can't show that you've been on a itinerary with a transit at a Schengen airport before arriving at your final destination, which is a Schengen airport as well.

Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
[Snip] then he can take one packet through customs for me, there is nothing illegal about it.
It can still be illegal. Once you bring in goods that are not for you personal (or for your immediate family), the limits do not apply to these goods. Obviously, it's impossible for a customs officer to proof, that passenger bringing in smokes doesn't smoke.

Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
But again, this bathroom transaction can take place before entering Schengen in the same way it can take place before leaving the destination airport,
No, because anyone in the non-Schengen area will be liable to be checked by customs. Unless you are just slightly over the limit, there's no way past customs (at least in theory).

And please just stop. I've linked you the rules. Those are applicable regarding when and where your checked baggage/carry-on has to be checked by customs (at least in theory).
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