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Are these customs violations for the purpose of global entry application?

Are these customs violations for the purpose of global entry application?

Old May 21, 19, 11:27 pm
  #1  
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Are these customs violations for the purpose of global entry application?

The global entry application is asking if I was ever found in violation of customs laws. I have 2 cases that I am not sure if they were violations.

1. I was returning from a trip from China in 2011. My uncle in China purchased wine for my dad and asked me to bring it to him in the U.S. I entered the U.S. at the Seattle airport, and was pulled over by an officer. I don't recall the specific details, but I do remember the officer confiscating the wine, and I remember having to sign something that said I give approval for them to dump the wine or something like that, and then I was allowed to go. I think he said the reason was because I was under the age of 21 (I was 18 at the time).

2. This occurred earlier this year. My dad and I were driving south of San Diego. We had some apples in the car that we purchased from a grocery store in the U.S. We wanted to get close to the Mexico border just to see what it looks like, and we accidentally crossed into Mexico into Tijuana. While going through customs into the U.S. at the border, we were pulled over, and the apples were confiscated.


Are any of these 2 considered violation of customs law?
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Old May 21, 19, 11:30 pm
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Nope.

This is one of those gimme questions. (Like the question "Are you a terrorist?") You will be disqualified for Global Entry if you say you've ever been in violation.
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Old May 21, 19, 11:34 pm
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Originally Posted by davie355 View Post
Nope.

This is one of those gimme questions. (Like the question "Are you a terrorist?") You will be disqualified for Global Entry if you say you've ever been in violation.
Ah I see. I saw a thread on here about someone being fined and being (I think) foudn in violation for bringing a foreign banana into the U.S. Isn't that the same as my apple (even though the apple originated from the U.S., but they still confiscated it) situation?
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Old May 21, 19, 11:43 pm
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In that thread, it was an undeclared banana carried by someone who already had Global Entry.

Non-members of Global Entry are given more leeway. If you check "no" to food when you're carrying an apple, but then you're pulled over and asked if you have any food and you say you have an apple, that may be considered a verbal amendment to your customs declaration.

Members of Global Entry cannot verbally amend their declarations.
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Old May 22, 19, 12:12 am
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Originally Posted by davie355 View Post
In that thread, it was an undeclared banana carried by someone who already had Global Entry.

Non-members of Global Entry are given more leeway. If you check "no" to food when you're carrying an apple, but then you're pulled over and asked if you have any food and you say you have an apple, that may be considered a verbal amendment to your customs declaration.

Members of Global Entry cannot verbally amend their declarations.
Oh I see!
Is the wine issue even a customs issue, or is that just an underage alcohol issue?
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Old May 22, 19, 9:39 am
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What's importunate is whether these items were declared or not.

Take a look at this threads:
$300 US Customs Fine for Undeclared Food?

GE and violation of customs laws
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Old May 22, 19, 10:00 am
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Originally Posted by TWA884 View Post
What's importunate is whether these items were declared or not.

Take a look at this threads:
$300 US Customs Fine for Undeclared Food?

GE and violation of customs laws
For the wine, I cannot recall if I declared them or not. if I didn't declare them, and got caught with them, is that a customs violation?



For the apples at the Mexico-U.S. border, I do not ever recall giving an option to declare the items. They pulled us over because I did not bring my son's passport, and I only had a copy of his birth certificate on my phone. It looks like they had to do some identification checking of their own, and after that they searched our vehicle and found the apples. They confiscated them and told us that we can go.

I haven't flown overseas since 2014, and IIRC, right when you're about to land in the U.S., the flight attendants gives you some sheets of paper where you have to make the declarations. No paperwork like this was given to us at the Mexico border when we went through by car. I don't think the CBP questioned if we were bringing produce because I would have said "yes." Unless they asked "are you bringing in foreign produce," in which case I would have probably been inclined to say no since the apples were purchased in the U.S.


Are you taking the stance that these might be customs violations?
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Old May 22, 19, 10:44 am
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Re apples, if you were not asked to declare them and they preemptively seized them and discarded them then it should not be a customs violation (GE or not). If you were asked if you had fruit (either on paper form or during questioning) said no, and they found them, then it could be a violation, which may or may not have been written up (seems likely not). Because California has heightened concerns about fruit imports, based on your description it sounds like they preemptively removed the fruit, which isn't a violation.

Re wine, you are allowed one liter, which two bottles is more than. However, it's not a violation to bring them. Again, if you were asked to declare (on the blue form) and failed to disclose, then it could be a violation. Note, however, that the allowance applies only to people over 21, which meant your allowance was zero (and you can't pay duty on the excess). As with the apples, your description sounds more like they said "you are under 21 so you can't bring the alcohol" and didn't deem it to be a violation for non-disclosure.

If I were you I would apply, and be prepared to explain both scenarios if they come up. The wine may be a bit more difficult, but I think you can explain you brought it for father, didn't know the rule, but was fully forthcoming when informed it wasn't permitted.
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Old May 22, 19, 10:53 am
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No charges were filed and no fines imposed so just answer NO.

However you do happen to be a terrorist then you should admit that.

Enjoy GE.
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Old May 22, 19, 11:04 am
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Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
Re apples, if you were not asked to declare them and they preemptively seized them and discarded them then it should not be a customs violation (GE or not). If you were asked if you had fruit (either on paper form or during questioning) said no, and they found them, then it could be a violation, which may or may not have been written up (seems likely not). Because California has heightened concerns about fruit imports, based on your description it sounds like they preemptively removed the fruit, which isn't a violation.

Re wine, you are allowed one liter, which two bottles is more than. However, it's not a violation to bring them. Again, if you were asked to declare (on the blue form) and failed to disclose, then it could be a violation. Note, however, that the allowance applies only to people over 21, which meant your allowance was zero (and you can't pay duty on the excess). As with the apples, your description sounds more like they said "you are under 21 so you can't bring the alcohol" and didn't deem it to be a violation for non-disclosure.

If I were you I would apply, and be prepared to explain both scenarios if they come up. The wine may be a bit more difficult, but I think you can explain you brought it for father, didn't know the rule, but was fully forthcoming when informed it wasn't permitted.
Hmm, I really don't know if they wrote it up. I would imagine that they would find either my dad or me to blame, and no question of that sort was asked (unless they decided to write down both of us).

For the wine, I definitely recall their being more than 1 bottle and definitely more than a liter.

I assume there's no way for me to get access to the "blue form" that I think I filled out in 2011?
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Old May 22, 19, 5:28 pm
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Originally Posted by davie355 View Post
Members of Global Entry cannot verbally amend their declarations.
Do you have first hand experience this canít be done? CFR allowing for amendments make no mention that this does not apply for GE.
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Old May 22, 19, 6:47 pm
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Not just the CFR, but the statute as well. All you would need to do is to take your GE slip to an Officer and orally advise her that you wish to amend your Declaration. If the Officer cares about it, you will be asked to fill out a paper Declaration and to mark it amended. If it is something minor, the Officer will just waive you through.

As to the broader issue, unless you are certain that there was no citation or other record, the better practice is to tell the truth and explain at the interview. It is the kiss of death to lie, even if the underlying violation was of no consequence.

So, answer the questions truthfully and, at the interview, answer a question such as "do you have any violations" with "I am not certain. Let me tell you about the apples."
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Old May 22, 19, 6:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Not just the CFR, but the statute as well. All you would need to do is to take your GE slip to an Officer and orally advise her that you wish to amend your Declaration. If the Officer cares about it, you will be asked to fill out a paper Declaration and to mark it amended. If it is something minor, the Officer will just waive you through.

As to the broader issue, unless you are certain that there was no citation or other record, the better practice is to tell the truth and explain at the interview. It is the kiss of death to lie, even if the underlying violation was of no consequence.

So, answer the questions truthfully and, at the interview, answer a question such as "do you have any violations" with "I am not certain. Let me tell you about the apples."
Wait, so are you advising that I check "yes" on my online GE application?
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Old May 22, 19, 6:59 pm
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Awful advice.

I had an arrest when I was 16 and it was sealed under a youthful offender program. I answered NO to ever being arrested and they brought it up at my interview. Since it was sealed I told them that legally it’s like it never happened. They said ok and approved me.

In your case you weren’t fined to charged with anything so even if they bring it up then you can explain. But I seriously doubt they will even know.

Last edited by QtownDave; May 22, 19 at 7:06 pm
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