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Global Entry Kiosks Declarations and Food Questions

Global Entry Kiosks Declarations and Food Questions

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Old Sep 6, 18, 3:23 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 2, 12, 7:20 pm
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Global Entry Kiosks Declarations and Food Questions

If I return to the US with souvenirs (less than the $800) allowance, do I automatically get the "X" on my receipt and have to speak to a CBP agent, or is the kiosk allow you to enter items that you may have purchased?

Thanks

Matt
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Old Jan 2, 12, 7:30 pm
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Originally Posted by mattfusf View Post
If I return to the US with souvenirs (less than the $800) allowance, do I automatically get the "X" on my receipt and have to speak to a CBP agent, or is the kiosk allow you to enter items that you may have purchased?

Thanks

Matt
The kiosk questions are much simpler and less detailed the the paper form you fill out. You don't itemize items. IIRC, there were four questions on one screen. Don't recall the exact questions, but they are yes-no answers (ie, one of them might have been 'are you bringing back goods worth more than $800). I think one of the questions might be about food, so if you answer that 'yes', you'll get an 'X'.
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Old Jan 2, 12, 7:32 pm
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Thanks, didn't want to get hung up over a few t-shirts, postcards, and the like.

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Old Jan 2, 12, 8:07 pm
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I always used to worry about that - forgetting to declare some random bit of something or other and getting in trouble if I ever got secondaried and 'audited'. I'm never remotely close to the limit, so it's great to not worry about it any more.
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Old Jan 2, 12, 8:44 pm
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the only caution I would advise

based on reports here and my own experience - if you have ANY kind of food, even a bar of chocolate, some CBP's consider that "food" or "dairy" and you should declare YES at the kiosk.
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Old Jan 2, 12, 8:47 pm
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Originally Posted by squeakr View Post
based on reports here and my own experience - if you have ANY kind of food, even a bar of chocolate, some CBP's consider that "food" or "dairy" and you should declare YES at the kiosk.
However, be prepared for a CBP officer to ask 'Is this it? Why are you wasting my time - this is just candy'. (This was at LAX).

Still, better to be safe than sorry, given the possible consequences if you encounter a CBP officer having a bad day.
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Old Jan 3, 12, 10:25 am
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Originally Posted by chollie View Post
they are yes-no answers (ie, one of them might have been 'are you bringing back goods worth more than $800).
That is basically how it is phrased.
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Old Jan 3, 12, 11:01 am
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same exp at LAX for me as well

Originally Posted by chollie View Post
However, be prepared for a CBP officer to ask 'Is this it? Why are you wasting my time - this is just candy'. (This was at LAX).

Still, better to be safe than sorry, given the possible consequences if you encounter a CBP officer having a bad day.

but at SFO they were appreciative that I declared having candy.
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Old Jan 3, 12, 1:57 pm
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I literally just got back from my global entry interview at BOS. We actually talked about food and I specifically asked what about chocolates etc (I travel frequently to Switzerland
He was very clear that chocolates are not necessary to declare and pointed out that on the kiosk, it doesn't use the vague term "food" as on the form and it is quite specific, making it more clear that candy/chocolates are ok.
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Old Jan 3, 12, 5:03 pm
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Originally Posted by kchaudha View Post
I literally just got back from my global entry interview at BOS. We actually talked about food and I specifically asked what about chocolates etc (I travel frequently to Switzerland
He was very clear that chocolates are not necessary to declare and pointed out that on the kiosk, it doesn't use the vague term "food" as on the form and it is quite specific, making it more clear that candy/chocolates are ok.
I'm going to have to remember to pay attention to that next time. I absolutely do not remember anything on either the paper form or the kiosk that clarifies what is meant by food. I am pretty sure the relevant screen only has four yes-no questions.

(edited to add): OK, this was bugging me. Looks like our own FT'ers have already sorted this issue out. See post #807 and post #809. It appears that an FT'er's inquiries may have even been responsible for the clarification. Go FT!

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/pract...hwhile-54.html

Last edited by chollie; Jan 3, 12 at 5:14 pm
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Old Jan 4, 12, 11:09 pm
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Originally Posted by chollie View Post
The kiosk questions are much simpler and less detailed the the paper form you fill out. You don't itemize items. IIRC, there were four questions on one screen. Don't recall the exact questions, but they are yes-no answers (ie, one of them might have been 'are you bringing back goods worth more than $800).
Four sounds correct from my experience at YVR last week.

Originally Posted by chollie View Post
However, be prepared for a CBP officer to ask 'Is this it? Why are you wasting my time - this is just candy'. (This was at LAX).

Still, better to be safe than sorry, given the possible consequences if you encounter a CBP officer having a bad day.
Prior to GE/NEXUS, I had a US CBP at YUL give the "why are you wasting my time" response, but I agree, better safe than sorry.
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Old Feb 15, 12, 12:19 am
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Originally Posted by chollie View Post
However, be prepared for a CBP officer to ask 'Is this it? Why are you wasting my time - this is just candy'. (This was at LAX).
To which, the answer is this statement

Failure to declare food products can result in up to $10,000 in fines and penalties.

which appears on the CPB page here.
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Old Feb 15, 12, 7:48 am
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Originally Posted by pdquick View Post
To which, the answer is this statement

Failure to declare food products can result in up to $10,000 in fines and penalties.

which appears on the CPB page here.
Indeed--at my interview the CBP guy told me a tale of a woman who was GE and brought in KinderEggs, which for those who don't know are German chocolate eggs that have a small toy inside. Turns out they are illegal to import because the CPSC or someone has determined that the toys present a choking hazard to children and as part of a food product therefore shouldn't be allowed.
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Old Feb 15, 12, 10:48 am
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Originally Posted by squeakr View Post
based on reports here and my own experience - if you have ANY kind of food, even a bar of chocolate, some CBP's consider that "food" or "dairy" and you should declare YES at the kiosk.
The kiosk notes the specific categories they want declared (some of which may well be admissible, and just need to be inspected). It notes "fluid milk" instead of plain "dairy" and doesn't have a generic "food".

Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
Indeed--at my interview the CBP guy told me a tale of a woman who was GE and brought in KinderEggs, which for those who don't know are German chocolate eggs that have a small toy inside. Turns out they are illegal to import because the CPSC or someone has determined that the toys present a choking hazard to children and as part of a food product therefore shouldn't be allowed.
Its not just CPSC. There is also a very old food safety law that is on the books that also is used. Its ridiculous, but they are very serious about Kinder Eggs. Don't bring them.
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Old Feb 15, 12, 11:14 am
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Originally Posted by N1120A View Post
The kiosk notes the specific categories they want declared (some of which may well be admissible, and just need to be inspected). It notes "fluid milk" instead of plain "dairy" and doesn't have a generic "food".
This makes a lot of sense, when you think about it. Usually to get GE, you have an interview, at which time presumably CBP can explain in a bit more detail that "no, 'food' doesn't mean milk chocolates and chewing gum." CBP probably also operates on the assumption that many/most GE members are relatively experienced travellers who are, by definition, supposedly less likely to bend or break the rules.

I could be wrong, but I don't think the kiosk question was originally quite that specific about food. If it has changed, it is probably because of folks like me who took no chances, only to get told, rather snippily, "'This? This isn't food. Why are you wasting my time?" I've been honest, I declared things with GE that I never would have declared prior to GE, 'out of an abundance of caution.'
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