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Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport - US Customs Pre-Clearance

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Feb 15th, 2016, 07:19 AM
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Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport - US Customs Pre-Clearance

Does anyone know if the US Customs Pre-Clearance is now in effect in Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport for US citizens returning to the US? I know they are on the list as one of the 10 countries who are being considered. I'm hoping that it is now in effect. It's a great system and a definite time saver!!

Thank you!
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Feb 15th, 2016, 07:43 AM
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It is not in effect that I am aware of.
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Feb 15th, 2016, 12:23 PM
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Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport - US Customs Pre-Clearance
Posted by: Jbasinger on Feb 15, 16 at 10:19am
Posted in: Europe
Tagged: Netherlands


Not as of September last. But there was no landing card for DTW. I swiped my passport on arrival. Then the machine took my photo and compared it with the mug shot on file. Then I answered 4 easy Y/N Qs and proceeded to checkout.

My daughter flew out of Dublin in August and did enjoy pre-clearance. This is the only European airport listed so far at http://www.cbp.gov/border-security/p...s/preclearance
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Feb 15th, 2016, 12:27 PM
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You missed Shannon, spaarne.

There has been talk of this happening at a few European airports in the future, but so far only talk. It requires quite a bit of reorganisation by the airports, and quite a bit of expense. I guess they have to be convinced it will be worth their while doing it. It would effectively mean they have to have dedicated US gates, which can only be used for US flights, which isn't very efficient.
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Feb 15th, 2016, 01:29 PM
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I view US Customs Pre-Clearance as a time reallocation and not a slam dunk time saver. Whether saving time is realized or not depends on which side of the flight one has more time and the US airport one is flying into. I go through Pre-Clearance coming back to US from Canada, but it adds more to the departure side of the equation. For those arriving at US airports with clogged customs, it can be a good trade-off.
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Feb 15th, 2016, 01:36 PM
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Yes it can be a good trade off for the person flying. Arriving in the US after a 9 hour flight the last thing you want, as a non US citizen, is to stand for over an hour to clear immigration, in a never ending snaking queue, but for the airports involved there is little to be gained as I said, they have to dedicate gates, and reorganise and invest money which they probably won't see a return on.
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Feb 15th, 2016, 03:08 PM
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I don't quite understand what customs would have to do with waiting in line for immigration, these are two different things. I can't recall ever having to wait more than a couple minutes at customs when I return to the US, it's the immigration line that can be long. I usually return to IAD and there isn't a long customs line but I don't remember one at any other airport I've arrived at either (I did just arrive back through DTW a couple months ago and I don't even remember customs, so it couldn't have taken long).
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Feb 16th, 2016, 06:05 AM
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Thank you everyone for all the information. Back in 2014, I did have the opportunity to use the US Customs Pre Clearance on a flight from Dublin to the US. It was great! It was a quick and easy process in Dublin and saved a great deal of time when we arrived in the States. Albeit, Dublin is a smaller airport as compared to Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, and I wasn't aware of the issues that can surround implementing a Pre Clearance. However, I am disappointed that the pre clearance is not yet available at Schiphol. Especially since we have a connecting flight to catch when we arrive in the US at a very busy airport for International flights!

Again, thank you for the info. At least now I know what to expect and how much time to allow in getting to the Schiphol airport and I'll keep my fingers crossed that all goes smoothly and quickly so we catch our connecting flight.
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Feb 16th, 2016, 08:10 AM
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Your connecting flight???? What does that have to do with getting through anything at Schiphol which you control by getting there in plenty of time. Now, I'm confused.
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Feb 16th, 2016, 08:32 AM
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OP is confusing customs with immigration. In Ireland one can go through immigration at the Irish airport, meaning upon arrival in the US one can just walk out of the airport or onto your connecting flight as if it were a domestic flight. I don't know about customs but I assume that is also covered in Ireland.

They just need to allow enough time to clear immigration and customs upon arrival in the US when booking an onward flight.

It was suggested last year that this would become available at other European airports, including Schiphol, but it is not yet available, and it remains to be seen whether it ever will be.
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Feb 16th, 2016, 09:17 AM
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The connecting flight may present another challenge. If you buy duty free liquids at Schiphol (there is a great selection available) you can not carry the package on board your connecting flight, unless the "liquids" rule has changed. On arrival in the USA you must claim your checked luggage and stuff your duty free liquids inside and check the bag to your destination. This was a down-to-the-wire ordeal for me a few years ago.
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