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Global Entry Kiosks Declarations and Food Questions

Global Entry Kiosks Declarations and Food Questions

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Old Sep 14, 19, 4:37 am   -   Wikipost
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Global Entry kiosks typically ask a yes/no question about whether you are bringing "food" into the country. The question is broader than on the deprecated blue form that asked about fruits, vegetables, meats, etc.

CBP answers the question of whether you must declare all "food" on its website:

Must I declare food items or products when using the Global entry kiosk?

Yes, all food items and products must be declared when entering the U.S.

You may be able to bring in food such as fruits, meats or other agricultural products depending on the region or country from which you are traveling.
General consensus is that the best practice is to declare any "food", include candies, cookies, snacks, etc. and then inform the CBP agent about your food. Experience has been that in nearly all cases the agent will wave you through with extremely minimal delay. As explained elsewhere, the primary focus of the question is to prevent importation of fruits, vegetable, and meats that could cause harm to the American food supply, but it is safest to allow the CBP agent to make the determination.

There is some debate as to whether items one can ingest for non-nutritive reasons (e.g., gum, toothpaste, medicine) should qualify as food. There does not appear to be an answer from CBP or experience showing the proper categorization of such items.
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Old Jan 22, 19, 3:28 pm
  #886  
 
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MCO said "food."

The de-facto international border crossing protocol still applies:
If you declare it (anything other than narcotics), no harm no foul, even if it's prohibited.
If you don't declare it AND they find it -- expect unpleasantness.
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Old Jan 22, 19, 4:25 pm
  #887  
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One issue is that agents can be REALLY snarky if you say yes to food and it's food they don't care about, like candy .
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Old Jan 22, 19, 4:28 pm
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Originally Posted by squeakr View Post
One issue is that agents can be REALLY snarky if you say yes to food and it's food they don't care about, like candy .
To me it's not as issue. I just do my duty and declare.
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Old Jan 23, 19, 1:26 pm
  #889  
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As do I, I just worry they will turn from snarky to revocation.

Originally Posted by TAHKUCT View Post
To me it's not as issue. I just do my duty and declare.
I wouldn't put it past a snarky agent to find some trumped up reason to revoke GE ....
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Old Jan 23, 19, 1:34 pm
  #890  
 
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Has anyone asked some official CBP source, for example, through their web site, for clarification of the policy on whether packaged snack food counts as food?
If so, what was the response?
During my GE interview, I asked the officer and got a non-answer (he said it depends on the individual agent).
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Old Jan 23, 19, 1:38 pm
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Originally Posted by richarddd View Post
Has anyone asked some official CBP source, for example, through their web site, for clarification of the policy on whether packaged snack food counts as food?
If so, what was the response?
During my GE interview, I asked the officer and got a non-answer (he said it depends on the individual agent).
No sure about CBP, but consensus here is if you can put it in your mouth, then declare.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 2:28 am
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Originally Posted by richarddd View Post
Has anyone asked some official CBP source, for example, through their web site, for clarification of the policy on whether packaged snack food counts as food?
If so, what was the response?
During my GE interview, I asked the officer and got a non-answer (he said it depends on the individual agent).
Like the reply above said, better be safe to declare than not declare and be sorry. I don't want to play Russian roulette with my Global Entry privilege. It only takes one chance to lose it forever?
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Old Jan 24, 19, 5:17 am
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Originally Posted by TAHKUCT View Post
No sure about CBP, but consensus here is if you can put it in your mouth, then declare.
Not sure about CBP? They are the government agency in charge of this. Border agents work for them. They are in charge of Global Entry and, among other things, they design the questions on the kiosk and, if they wanted or were convinced to do so, could clarify "food".
Am I misunderstanding your post?
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Old Jan 24, 19, 6:25 am
  #894  
 
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Originally Posted by richarddd View Post
Not sure about CBP? They are the government agency in charge of this. Border agents work for them. They are in charge of Global Entry and, among other things, they design the questions on the kiosk and, if they wanted or were convinced to do so, could clarify "food".
Am I misunderstanding your post?
Yes, indeed CBP is in charge. Therefore they use "food" in the question just in case someone has something that is not permitted to be brought into USA. There can be a situation where they need to prohibit something on the day of your arrival that was permissable the day before due to the risk associated with that "food". The only way to catch it is to have a general question as it takes time to update the GE kiosk.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 7:09 am
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Originally Posted by TAHKUCT View Post
Yes, indeed CBP is in charge. Therefore they use "food" in the question just in case someone has something that is not permitted to be brought into USA. There can be a situation where they need to prohibit something on the day of your arrival that was permissable the day before due to the risk associated with that "food". The only way to catch it is to have a general question as it takes time to update the GE kiosk.
What are examples of things that were food one day and not the next?
A problem is that many people don't understand what is meant by "food". "Anything you can put in your mouth" is clearly not sufficient. I can put a marble in my mouth, but it's not food. You might say this is silly, but if you have to resort to some notion of common sense, then the definition is inadequate.
For that matter, if CBP want the rule to be that anything you can put in your mouth is food, they could say so explicitly.
Is gum ever good? Are gummy bears ever food?
At the moment, we have CBP agents who disagree on the meaning of the term food. A basic principle is that rules should be sufficiently clear, which they obviously are not. CBP could easily clarify them, on the kiosk, on their web site, etc.
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Old Jan 25, 19, 4:41 pm
  #896  
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i travel with my service dog. Do I have to check yes for the animal question
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Old Jan 26, 19, 2:56 am
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Originally Posted by Zurick View Post
i travel with my service dog. Do I have to check yes for the animal question
I don’t know what the correct answer is, but I would.

in my experience checking yes is just “please talk to me about X”. It’s not like they won’t notice the dog when they take the form.

I don’t know if it’s different for a service dog, but for “regular pets” there’s a bunch of paperwork you need (different depending on the country), so you’d check yes and present the paperwork.
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Old Jan 26, 19, 10:23 am
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Originally Posted by richarddd View Post
What are examples of things that were food one day and not the next?
A problem is that many people don't understand what is meant by "food". "Anything you can put in your mouth" is clearly not sufficient. I can put a marble in my mouth, but it's not food. You might say this is silly, but if you have to resort to some notion of common sense, then the definition is inadequate.
For that matter, if CBP want the rule to be that anything you can put in your mouth is food, they could say so explicitly.
Is gum ever good? Are gummy bears ever food?
At the moment, we have CBP agents who disagree on the meaning of the term food. A basic principle is that rules should be sufficiently clear, which they obviously are not. CBP could easily clarify them, on the kiosk, on their web site, etc.
Yes I often wonder why the word "food" is in the list leaving this open to interpretation and confusion. CBP could easily call out the list of items that should be declared and be specific about it or define what food is as you suggest. I understand the term "food" was not in the list until more recently when they threw in the "food" wording. I'm a relatively new GE member and I've always seen the food wording.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 9:49 am
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Originally Posted by richarddd View Post
Has anyone asked some official CBP source, for example, through their web site, for clarification of the policy on whether packaged snack food counts as food?
If so, what was the response?
During my GE interview, I asked the officer and got a non-answer (he said it depends on the individual agent).
I know of at least one travel reporter who told me they tried to get an answer to this and couldn't get anything official. CBP wants it vague on purpose is my guess, to handle changes in what is allowed and to avoid loophole-seekers who will say "but you didn't explicitly call out xxxxx in the list of prohibited items!". This means each agent will have their own opinion and that we will all be a little on guard/cautious (purposefully?). I used to be frustrated because I wanted to follow the rules; now I just say yes if I have candy, snacks, teas, whatever. I get asked what I have each time, I tell them, some agents are annoyed but let me keep moving, have never been sent to a secondary screening (and even if that happened once or twice I would call it small price compared to the overall benefits of GE -- until I miss a connection :-)). A friend asked me why it is vague, and I said it is like a parent telling their kid "don't do anything dumb" vs "don't do anything on this list" -- the list will never be comprehensive enough to capture all the possibilities and mom's idea of what is dumb enough to merit punishment may differ from dad's.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 5:35 pm
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Originally Posted by squeakr View Post
One issue is that agents can be REALLY snarky if you say yes to food and it's food they don't care about, like candy .
I just reply "thank you for letting me know" (and will go on continuing to declare it).
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