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Passport control and Customs in EU with Connecting Flights

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I have a flight going to Poland from the U.S. that has a connection in Berlin Tegel. The flight is a single ticket, but the flight to Berlin is operated by United and the flight from Berlin on is operated by Lot. The connection is a little tight (although the airline says anything over 45 min is enough). The airline also says I will have to go through "Customs." I'm wondering if anyone has experience there and if I will need to go through passport control only or full customs. I'm trying to decide if it will be faster to check my bag (which it would if they will check it all the way through to Poland) or if they will make me pick up the bag to go through customs like they do for connecting flights back to the U.S. and then check it again, which would make carry on luggage easier. Any suggestions?

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