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Old May 17th, 2006, 12:00 PM
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Customs

When flying a direct flight from Frankfort,Germany to Cincinnati, Ohio. Where do you go through customs at? My husband is coming back from doing business overseas. Going over he just went through customs in Paris. He had to fly into Spain and did not go through customs there.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 12:06 PM
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You will go through customs in Cincinnati. If you're flying from France to Spain, you're flying within the European Union. In these cases, you don't pass through customs or immigration (if flying within the Schengen group of countries).
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Old May 17th, 2006, 12:08 PM
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direct or non-stop?

if it's a non-stop, then Cincinnati customs will welcome your husband back.

Direct flight does not mean there are no stops along the way, but here is the rule of the thumb. If his direct flight does connect anywhere in Europe, he will still only go through customs in Cincy, but if his direct flight stops somewhere in US before Cincy, that's where he will go through customs. In US it's the first port of entry.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 12:44 PM
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Good point, AAFF. So many people think that direct and non-stop are the same, and in cases like this it's important to know the difference.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 02:01 PM
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Delta does fly FRA-CVG non-stop.

He'll of course go through US immigration and customs at CVG. But at FRA, he'll also go through Germany's passport control for leaving Schengen.

Schengen is a zone of 15 European countries that share common passport control. Going between those 15 countries usually do not require going through passport checks. France, Spain, Germany are all members of Schengen. It's almost like going among US states.

[However, a country retains its rights to control certain crossings, and some do so regularly. For example, going by road from Spain to Portugal, one will go through the Portugese border control, even though both are Schengen.]
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Old May 17th, 2006, 03:54 PM
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Many people also use the terms customs and immigration interchangably, which is incorrect.


Passport control = immigration
Customs is the place that asks if you are importing any goods that you need to declare.

Going to Europe, your husband went through immigration into EU/Schengen zone in Paris, and assuming he was just connecting in Paris he went through customs in Spain. Chances are he didn't even know he went through customs either, as at many, if not all European airports it's just a sign above the exit door, either red or green. Green means nothing to declare, and red means you stop and tell them what you have. There will be guards standing at the exit from baggage claim watching folks, and occasionally they'll pull someone over to ask what's in the luggage.

Entering the US from international flights (except from Canada and I hear some Ireland airports as well) you will pass through both immigration (passport check) and customs (importing goods) at your first stop in the US, regardless whether you are continuing on.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 12:27 AM
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Actually it's all the major airports in Canada and Bermuda, Bahamas and both major airports in Ireland, Shannon and Dublin where US Immigration has stations. I know that Bahamas and I believe Canada also have US customs stations, don't know if it's the same in Bermuda and I know that Ireland does not, so coming back from Ireland still requires walk through the customs area but not immigration.
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