General Question

andrew's avatar

When do you go through customs when flying to France?

Asked by andrew (16198points) June 27th, 2009

I know that going to Canada, you clear customs when you land when coming from US, and before you leave when leaving from Canada.

Will I clear customs in LA, in Boston where I stop over, or when I land at CDG? Probably at CDG, right?

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12 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

Probably in France. When I flew to London from SF we had to go through customs in London.

Jeruba's avatar

When you first enter the foreign country.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Going, you’ll clear in France. Coming back, you’ll probably clear in the first US airport. That’s what I did both times going to Europe—one of which was through France each way.

andrew's avatar

Merci ! Merci !

janbb's avatar

Yup – Empress is right. Customs is no big deal when you are going into France; passport control is where they look at your passport and ask what you are coming for. After that, if you have nothing to declare, you pretty much just walk through the customs area.

casheroo's avatar

nothing to add but I’m jealouse! have fun!

lillycoyote's avatar

If you have a direct flight it will be Paris. If not it will be the first European Union country you enter, I believe. I went to Rome several years ago and we changed planes in Frankfurt, where they processed our passports. When we got to Rome we just grabbed our luggage and walked away. It felt kind of weird not having our passports checked again when we arrived in Italy.

Jeruba's avatar

Speaking of customs—I was just going to ask what I think @lillycoyote answered. When you travel to one European destination by way of another (as you did going to Rome via Frankfurt), just stopping to change planes, do you stay within the security area? You don’t have to go out and go through security again, right?—or customs? So how long a layover do you have to allow?

janbb's avatar

It depends. My most recent knowledge is of the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris where I’ve changed from an internal flight (in France to Paris) to an international one (Paris to the U.S.) You do come out of a secure area and have to go through extensive (and slow) security again. Your bags, however, are checked through to your final destination. I would assume that in many cases you do have to come out and go through security again, but France is the only country I have actual knowledge of.

jlm11f's avatar

Aww man, I was so excited to answer this question but you guys have got it covered! Have fun!!

ottawop's avatar

I just flew through Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris twice in the past month. Both times, I was simply connecting between Air France flights. I was going from North America to Barcelona and back. Much to my surprise, I had to clear customs/immigration as well as security both ways!! Given that all my flights were into and out of same terminal (2F), I definitely didn’t expect this. I understand going through customs/immigration the minute I landed at CDG from my transatlantic flight, but why did I have to get pushed out of the secure zone? As for my flight from Barcelona to CDG, why do arriving passengers have to go through customs/immigration??? So much for the EU being one big community! I was able to drive from Spain to France with no controls whatsoever, but do the same journey by air and they put you through controls for some reason??...Does anyone know why they do this? And of course, it appears any connection (atleast at Terminal 2F) requires you going through security once again…. Arriving planes dump you off on the floor below the departures floor requiring you to clear security to get onto the departures floor… weird.

Are there any other airports in Europe that are friendlier to connecting passengers?... ie. don’t push you out of secure zone for every arrival and don’t force you through customs/immigration when arriving from another EU airport?

Wouldn’t be such a big issue if each of the customs/immigration and security lines at CDG weren’t horribly long and slow.

Thanks.

Qwertymuffin411's avatar

I just went and landed at CDG a few months ago. Upon landing in France you’ll go through customs, it went very smoothly and quickly, without problems. It takes much longer coming back to the US, however. Security is very tight, and it is a bit harder to get through. But don’t worry, chances are you’ll be absolutely fine.

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