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customs inspection

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    Originally posted by moriond View Post
    Probably there are concerns over pirated movies, computer games, and music that are in violation of copyright
    Exactly. Previously, my mom would have brought over like a hundred or so of these... at like 1 USD (or less!) each! Of course they were for personal viewing (vs. selling), but pirated is pirated.

    Originally posted by moriond View Post
    although the NAXOS brand of highly regarded budget classical CDs has its headquarters in Hong Kong, and widely distributes legal recordings in mainland China.
    I didn't know that! But I still bet it'd be hard to convince Customs officials.. like anyone could probably fake a NAXOS label/packaging? We just kind of took the safer route. Though on my most recent trip, I did buy a legit music CD... only to return to the US and order a better version (more songs/extras) online through YesAsia. Sigh.


      Originally posted by maverick View Post

      but i don't agree the way in which they manage these situations. the officer was yelling at them. they were separated and questioned individually, and you could see the girl was scared out of her mind and crying. this was probably her first time in the u.s. the officer was in a room with the door closed, and you could hear him yelling at her in the waiting area. that is not right.
      You are right. There's absolutely no reason for them to behave like that. You can do your job efficiently as an immigration officer without being rude or yelling at people. I was yelled at once by US customs for absolutely no reason. I had forgotten to fill one line on the customs form and the lady at customs said "you forgot to fill this line. Go and fill it in." Since there was a pen right there I reached for it and started filling the form. All I had to do was write my name. She yanked the pen from my hand yelled "Not here! Go over there, fill your form and get back in line!" while she pointed to the tables at he end of the lines where people can fill in their forms.

      In another occasion, I crossed the border with 3 friends by car. The four of us were going to an academic conference in Michigan. I wasn't Canadian yet at the time but I had a visa to visit the US. They made me go inside the immigration office at the border to pay a fee. There were at least five officers inside and they all looked extremely bored and uninterested in their work. The man I dealt with asked me where I was going and after I explained he said "tell me, what will this conference do for you?" I wasn't sure how to answer that but I shouldn't have worried. As soon as I started mumbling something he turned his back to me and went to do something else. Actually, I shouldn't say he turned his back literally as he wouldn't get up from his chair, he just kept pushing himself around on his chair. They finally let me go. At the other end of the room there was this other girl who was being given a really hard time. I kept wondering if it was because she was a visible minority.

      Honestly. The whole experience left me with a really sour taste in my mouth. Immigration officers have an important job to do but they are also the face of your country as far as visitors are concerned. And the first impression many people get is a very negative one.

      It really doesn't need to be that way.


        we came back this morning through newark liberty international airport. we wrote on the customs declaration that we are carrying food. the customs officer routed us through a second scan which took just two minutes. they asked if we were carrying fruits and vegetables and we said no. they asked what we were carrying, and we said cookies and crackers purchased abroad, and lara bars, instant oatmeal, trail mix and hard candy purchase in the u.s. (food unused on the trip being brought back with us). they said okay, sent our bags through another x-ray and sent us on our way.