Customs Declaration Form |

The Guide to Properly Filling out a Customs Declaration Form blog: The Guide to Properly Filling out a Customs Declaration Form

When traveling to and from a foreign destination, immigration authorities require that airline passengers complete custom declaration forms. Each country has a different document although the information collected is generally similar. In addition to the data found on your passport like full name, nationality and date of birth, a declaration form inquires about the details of the trip. Customs declaration cards may go by the title of arrival card, incoming passenger card, landing card or disembarkation card in other countries. 

Responsible Party

Only one member of a traveling family completes the declaration card. While lone tourists must fill out a form for themselves, one responsible family member can answer immigration questions for the entire kin. In fact, a question on the form will ask for the number of family members traveling on the flight. Families consist of blood and adopted relationships as well as through marriage and domestic relationships. The team at recommends designated the responsible party before boarding as not to have multiple forms submitted due to confusion.

Trip Details

Passenger custom forms ask about specific aspects about your trip including the flight number, duration in the country and the reason for the trip. The flight number is for the flight you are on when the attendant hands you the form. You can find the flight number on your ticket or by asking a member of the flight staff. The reason for the trip can be vague, noting ‘business,’ ‘vacation’ or ‘education.’ The form may also ask for an address where you will be staying within the country. This may be the address of a hotel or house of family and friends. The U.S. customs form will ask for the list of visited countries as well as question of you or a member of your party visited a farm and touched livestock.

Belongings & Luggage

Concerned with what goods enter the country, officials use disembarkation cards to ask travelers about fruit, animal products, biological agents, soil and purchases. When entering the U.S., residents can bring souvenirs valued up to $800, duty free. Passengers must also state if they are carrying more than a specific amount of foreign currency. The team at advises passengers to be honest and declare everything, as you may be subject to fines if officials detect fraud. If you are traveling to countries like Australia and New Zealand, which are extremely concerned with bio-contamination, you may need to declare your hiking boots. Some locations, including the U.S. may have specific limitations on the amount of alcohol and tobacco you can bring into the nation.

Additional Details  

All dates, including your birthday, should be in the same format as stated, the MMDDYY format is typical. Some countries like Uganda ask about the passenger’s occupation. Whoever is the responsible party for filling out the form should check both sides of the document to verify it is complete. Select areas require foreign passengers to list their returning information. This allows immigration officials to follow-up on visitors to confirm they left when declared.