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has anyone ever, in the history of time, been stopped by UK LHR customs?

has anyone ever, in the history of time, been stopped by UK LHR customs?

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Old Sep 8, 07, 6:08 am
  #46  
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Originally Posted by stut View Post
Sometimes I wonder about human nature, as demonstrated on flyertalk.

If you have a US/Oz/Kiwi-style, heavy-handed customs area, it is window dressing, manned by 'goons'.

If you have a UK-style, surveillance- and intelligence-based customs, then it is a 'joke' as nobody is visible or visibly stopped.

So which is it to be? Or is it a case of "stop lots of people, just not me as I'm clearly innocent..."
Well, if you have been through the Australia customs, it is clearly not window dressing. They catch absolutely everything. I have been reprimanded for not declaring a bag of potato chips, which was discovered on the xray, and then confiscated. My bottle of vitamins was closely examined. Needless to say, they find more serious stuff too.

Given that we might assume the average passenger to be similar going into LHR, how is it that the UK has such a different policy? I can only assume that they're missing a lot.
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Old Sep 8, 07, 6:20 am
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Originally Posted by TA View Post
I can only assume that they're missing a lot.
I realise that biodiversity is a much bigger deal in Australia, but speaking as both a UK taxpayer and a LHR traveller, I'm pleased they aren't stopping people for bags of crisps. Will the odd punter's personal stash get through? Yes it will. Will a proportion of travellers takes the piss a little on duty free allowances? Of course, and I count myself among them. HMRC have bigger fish to fry.
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Old Sep 8, 07, 4:16 pm
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On my last 3 trans-cons I've come back with just a "few" Japanese DVD's and models and figures....Customs would have had a field day with me but then again they'd have had hell trying to work out the value of everything and especially so if I "lost" the receipts.

Never been stopped once although had a close shave at Gatwick where the person behind me got stopped ;O

-mrploddy
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Old Sep 8, 07, 7:41 pm
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Originally Posted by stut View Post
Sometimes I wonder about human nature, as demonstrated on flyertalk.
If you have a US/Oz/Kiwi-style, heavy-handed customs area, it is window dressing, manned by 'goons'.
If you have a UK-style, surveillance- and intelligence-based customs, then it is a 'joke' as nobody is visible or visibly stopped.
So which is it to be? Or is it a case of "stop lots of people, just not me as I'm clearly innocent..."
Well, FT attracts all sorts with all sorts of opinions. As I've indicated, I feel that the UK approach is pretty good.

If they stop me, they're not going to find drugs or guns or WMD. They will find that I'm over my duties limit. I approach that situation - should it happen - just like being nicked by a speed camera: unlucky, but if you break the law and get caught, expect to be punished.
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Old Sep 14, 07, 4:06 am
  #50  
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I think this thread jinxed me because I got stopped yesterday at T3. I think they thought I was giving the line of customs officials a guilty look when (I admit) I was just staring at the one very cute female officer in the line!

The guy seemed mainly concerned about whether I could afford my stay and how much money I had with me. He didn't ask me to open any bags. Over rather quickly and pretty painless, but a first for me.
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Old Sep 14, 07, 6:29 am
  #51  
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Originally Posted by Wingnut View Post
I realise that biodiversity is a much bigger deal in Australia, but speaking as both a UK taxpayer and a LHR traveller, I'm pleased they aren't stopping people for bags of crisps. Will the odd punter's personal stash get through? Yes it will. Will a proportion of travellers takes the piss a little on duty free allowances? Of course, and I count myself among them. HMRC have bigger fish to fry.
I have learnt my lesson when I fly home. Its often quicker if you do declare something, be it a bag of chips they will usually inspect it throw it out then send you on your way.

But we are trying to protect a fairly fragile ecosystem, so I guess its just something you learn to live with.
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Old Sep 14, 07, 11:13 am
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Only ever been searched once, that was at Waterloo coming off a Eurostar from Brussels when I was running late, first off the train and ran through the sliding doors into the customs hall and trod on the tail of the drugs sniffing dog that was directly behind the door - the handler seemed to take exception to this and decided I should have the full works, although the dog seemed happy enough.

You often see groups of customs officers at T4 LHR when the early morning East Coast flights from the US arrive, standing by the entrance to the green channel and watching people as they wait for their bags. On the other hand, I have never ever seen a customs officer at Manchester T3 when getting off one of the early arrivals from the US, possibly they don't start until later in the day.
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Old Sep 15, 07, 12:52 am
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Only once in 15 years or so of travelling. I was returning from the Seychelles, and was walking through with a colleague. I was pushing the trolley with both of our belongs on in, and we had purchased several hundred cigarettes which were in semi-clear plastic bags. We were stopped and asked if we had any more, to which we replied in the negative. (Even though we were over the limit), we were allowed on our way.


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Old Sep 16, 07, 5:05 pm
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I would agree with the posts above about all not being as it seems. The green channel may look unmanned but you can be assured that there are teams of people standing behind the two way mirrors and watching all the CCTV footage. Even better, I have certainly seen what I take to be plan clothes customs officers observing people in the queue for their passport check and while waiting for bags to show up on the belt. I think this is actually quite an intelligent approach - you will learn much more about someone's intentions if they think they are not being watched, or from how easily they recognise their bags, or how they react when handling the bags.

I have noticed US airports moving in this direction too. Of course they still have the officers collecting forms, but I have seen places like IAD installing quite prominent-looking observation posts in baggage reclaim.
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Old Sep 16, 07, 5:08 pm
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Originally Posted by ag51 View Post
On the other hand, I have never ever seen a customs officer at Manchester T3 when getting off one of the early arrivals from the US, possibly they don't start until later in the day.
They're definitely around - just that they're not standing in the green channel. They have been known to set up special welcoming committees for other halves of football players on their way back from NYC:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/m...er/3716690.stm
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Old Sep 17, 07, 2:41 pm
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Originally Posted by mjgodden View Post
Only once in 15 years or so of travelling. I was returning from the Seychelles, and was walking through with a colleague. I was pushing the trolley with both of our belongs on in, and we had purchased several hundred cigarettes which were in semi-clear plastic bags. We were stopped and asked if we had any more, to which we replied in the negative. (Even though we were over the limit), we were allowed on our way.


Mark
This actually matches my experience with US customs as well. I routinely go though with 2x my liquor limit - since a Whisky I'm particularly fond of unavailable in the states. Following the advise of my traveling colleagues, I just leave the bottles in plain site on the top of my luggage and no one ever says a word. They seem fairly forgiving if you don't try to hide something.
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Old Sep 17, 07, 4:22 pm
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Originally Posted by bensyd View Post
I have learnt my lesson when I fly home. Its often quicker if you do declare something, be it a bag of chips they will usually inspect it throw it out then send you on your way.

But we are trying to protect a fairly fragile ecosystem, so I guess its just something you learn to live with.
If they were really protecting the ecosystem (from potato chips?), they would not throw them out. The dangerous chips would be put into a special container and quickly incinerated.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 12:41 pm
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Originally Posted by TA View Post
this is just a random question, asked aloud. In my two dozen+ times entering the UK at LHR (T3), I have never seen a single person stopped or spoken to while exiting the green lane. The whole area (that has the inspection tables, etc) looks deserted.

What kind of security is this? It's in complete contrast to the situation in Australia which is highly visible and where they check all of your bags. Even in comparison to the US's relatively bare procedures, the UK is almost ridiculously non-existent.

Or maybe there are hidden measures? I just have never seen *anyone* being examined.
hi I was pulled to one side when I was leaving st Pancras Eurostar station . By border control my daughter who is 16 also was stopped. Were wuestiomed then had our passports taken away and our bags searched and scanned, by a light bulb type devise which was put on a monitor. They took my cheese and xrayed it. I was t allowed a chair and I went dizzy . The man was very rude and quite nasty like I was s criminal
it was horrible and held us up and caused me distress. Can I complain? He said did I know drugs weapons and bombs were illegal? And asked why I had three bags
and said because I had a flight tag in my case toamsterdam yet Id come back on train it was suspicious?
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Old Aug 31, 18, 8:21 am
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Out of 85 international flights I took into MAN last year, I NEVER once, even saw someone around the customs area. Always looked like it was abandoned. Always joked with my wife that anyone could bring whatever they wanted.
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Old Sep 2, 18, 1:28 pm
  #60  
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Originally Posted by stut View Post
A few times - even been questions at the airbridge once by HMRC, on return from AMS.

The one time I actually needed them, though, to get a carnet stamped, we were waiting for an hour in T1 arrivals...

There are definite hidden measures, though. Look for the two-way mirrors, the cameras... People behave differently when there's an official staring at them.
I once went through the red channel because I, too, had a carnet. While they were stamping it, the customs guys asked me if I could estimate the value of a semiconductor chip that another passenger was trying to bring in! (It was about $5)
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