5

Flight attendants sometimes hand out physical versions of US customs form (CBP Declaration Form 6059B) during the flight to the US. Is that of any use when using Global Entry?

enter image description here

If the citizenship matters, the traveler is a French citizen and a US lawful permanent resident.

4
  • 1
    The premise is not always correct. We flew AMS > SFO three days ago on KLM, and no CBP forms were distributed to the passengers. My wife and I have Global Entry, checked in with the machines, waved the receipt at the Immigration officer, and walked on through. At both Immigration and Customs, their only questions asked if we were carrying food. We hardly had to slow our walking pace. Aug 26 at 16:41
  • @DavidSupportsMonica thanks! Question edited accordingly. Aug 26 at 16:44
  • 2
    One quick caveat is that the form has space on the back to list and total up your purchases. The kiosk will ask if you're exceeding your duty free allowance, such as bringing in more valuable goods or liquor than you can duty free, and you're responsible for knowing what that allowance is and what you're bringing in. If you might be over the limits, it's a good idea to make a list somewhere (doesn't need to be the form certainly) so that you can accurately answer the declaration question and describe your goods to an officer if you need to pay anything. Aug 26 at 17:42
  • 1
    At JFK, at least, nobody has to submit these forms anymore.
    – phoog
    Aug 26 at 21:51
6

Global Entry members do not have to fill out the form.

Sources:

  • CBP brochure "It's About Time", Pub # 0101-0510. "As a Global Entry member, you must declare all goods you are importing into the United States. You will be required to answer the customs declaration questions presented on the kiosk, however you will not need to complete the paper customs declaration form (CBP 6059B) before arrival."

  • CBP brochure "Global Entry Information Guide", Pub #0154-0513. "With Global Entry, you do not need to complete the paper Customs Declaration form 6059B before arrival." (p.4)

Both are available from the CBP website at https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/publications/cbp-publication-catalogue. They are dated several years in the past, but are still being distributed, and I have never heard that there have been any changes in this regard.


That said, you will be asked to declare your goods at the Global Entry kiosk, and if you are over the exemptions or have anything restricted, you may be required to talk to a customs officer. If you know this is the case, it may be helpful to fill out that part of the form anyway, as a way to help remember everything you need to declare. You could also just write it down on a separate piece of paper, but having it on the official card might slightly streamline the process with the customs officer. (Thanks Zach Lipton for pointing this out.)

5
  • While it is true that GE members who get a receipt from the machine don't need that form, GE members who can't use the machine (e.g. who have an expired green card and I-797 extension, which was my case) do need to fill it out. I think everyone is required to have a piece of paper when they leave immigration to give to the customs officer. With no machine receipt that form is the required piece of paper.
    – Dennis
    Aug 26 at 20:45
  • @Dennis the last several times I entered through JFK, I was told that they don't use these forms anymore. I don't remember when the first such time was, but it was probably in 2019. The officer disposed of the form I had filled out without paying it much attention. The most recent time was in early July. There were no forms on the plane nor, if I recall correctly, on the floor of the immigration hall.
    – phoog
    Aug 26 at 21:53
  • @phoog, For about 18 months, ending in the fall of 2020, I traveled with a USCIS I-551 stamp in my passport which meant I had to go to secondary every time I entered (mostly SFO and IAH). When I didn't have that form I'd be given one to fill out while waiting for the escort; I'd ask for extra for future trips. I'd gone for years before that without filling in that form since I'd used GE machines when I could. It is possible they stopped asking for the form towards the end of that, though (I still have a filled-in one in my bag that wasn't taken), so you could be right that they're now obsolete
    – Dennis
    Aug 27 at 1:24
  • @Dennis last month, the whole customs situation at JFK was completely changed from how it used to be. I suspect that such procedural changes may occur at different times in different ports of entry. It seems that many of the these rules are established locally. For example, I've been repeatedly told by CBP officers at JFK that I can bring non-US traveling companions with me to the US citizens' line, but a few years ago I had an exchange with someone else here who had been told the opposite, also repeatedly, by CBP officers at an international airport in Texas (I don't remember which).
    – phoog
    Aug 27 at 1:59
  • 1
    @phoog, There is this dated a couple of weeks ago which suggests they expect 10% of entries to use the form, 20% to use APC and 70% to be oral declarations. Since (I think) only 60% of entries in a typical year are at a land border it seems oral declarations for air travellers must be a thing now, though the form still remains a thing as well.
    – Dennis
    Aug 27 at 3:35
2

Is that of any use when using Global Entry?

No.

However, you never know if Global Entry is going to be open and/or functional, so it doesn't harm to have one ready. I vaguely recall that on a recent arrival GE was not available. I went through the regular line but no one wanted to see this form either. Go figure.

US Immigration + Customs processes vary a lot and aren't particularly predictable.

2
  • Thanks! Good point about GE being dysfunctional at times. Aug 26 at 17:44
  • At JFK, at least, nobody needs these forms, I believe since 2019 or so, but I could be wrong about the timing.
    – phoog
    Aug 26 at 21:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.