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We're travelling from Chicago to Norway with a layover in Munich. The layover is almost 2 hours long. There is a bus that I need to take right when I land in Norway. I wanted to clarify whether the more time-consuming process (passport control) happens in Munich, since it is the first port of entry or Norway.

The only confusion I still have after browsing the official websites and answers here is that whether a layover is considered a port of entry.

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3 Answers 3

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As Norway and Germany are both in the Schengen zone, the flight from Munich to Norway is effectively domestic as far as immigration goes, and therefore you will go through passport control in Munich. You will, however, have to go through Customs in Norway, so factor in some time for that if necessary.

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    Let's clarify that customs is the part where they check for goods to declare (as opposed to passport control where they check people's documents). In the vast majority of cases you just walk through the green corridor and nothing happens. Once in a while they may ask you a few questions and/or ask to see the contents of your luggage.
    – jcaron
    Commented Nov 18, 2023 at 13:08
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    @jcaron yes. And Norwegian customs are actually quite strict about, particularly, alcohol - so don't think you can buy a lot of cheap booze in Germany to party in Norway without the exorbitant prices. Commented Nov 18, 2023 at 13:59
  • There is also an additional customs check (hand luggage only) in the first EU airport (in this case Munich).
    – Relaxed
    Commented Nov 23, 2023 at 8:49
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For Schengen countries, the first place you land that is within the Schengen Area is always your port of entry. This means that’s always where you go through passport control for entry into the Schengen Area. However, customs is almost always handled at your final destination, not at your port of entry, so expect to need to take care of that in Norway, not at MUC (that said, unless you have things to declare or the officers think you look suspicious, customs should take no time at all).

As an aside, speaking from experience, a two hour layover at MUC is perfectly fine for dealing with passport control and getting to your flight. The line at passport control may look rather daunting depending on how many international flights came in recently, but the passport control officers there are generally very efficient, and the airport is well designed in terms of being easy to get around.

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    The customs part is wrong. Here this happens because Norway is part of Schengen, but not part of the European Union Customs Union, so there's a customs border between MUC and -say- OSL. But if he would travel towards another EUCU country, there wouldn't be more points to pass a customs check, just at MUC.
    – tevemadar
    Commented Nov 19, 2023 at 1:13
  • @tevemadar While that is how it works on paper, it is at odds with what I’ve experienced on almost every single trip I’ve taken with a destination in an EUCU member state. The only exception was a trip to ATH through VIE (and interestingly I technically went through customs at both VIE and ATH on that trip), but for every other trip I’ve taken to an EUCU member state (including through MUC) customs was only handled at my final destination, after baggage claim. Commented Nov 19, 2023 at 2:47
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    @tevemadar They have to do customs checks at your final destination rather than your point of entry to the customs union, because you may have hold baggage that’s checked through and so not available to be inspected at your point of entry.
    – Mike Scott
    Commented Nov 19, 2023 at 6:35
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    The final leg is "domestic" for EUCU. You board, fly, and and leave the plane together with people around you who have nothing to do with customs control, not even a "random" one. You are then led into a baggage reclaim area where there is no customs check. Facilities are likely present so the airport can use the area for non-EUCU arrivals too when needed, but that's all, no one will try to pick Mr. Nonschengen and his backpack out of other 300 passengers.
    – tevemadar
    Commented Nov 19, 2023 at 11:56
  • @tevemadar I don't know how much you travel in and out of the EU but that's completely wrong, the main customs check is definitely after the luggage area in every major EU airport I have been to. Next time you travel, pay attention and you'll notice passenger flows from inside and outside the EU are typically not segregated at this stage, there is no separate facilities for luggage collection or customs inspection for people coming from outside the EU. That's what the green stripes on luggage tags or the red and green (and in some countries blue) channels are about.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Nov 23, 2023 at 8:59
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I agree with the above two answers. From experience, passport control was done in the Netherlands (my point of entry) and customs was done in Norway (destination). Although Amsterdam airport was pretty busy, the layover time has always been enough in my case.

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