At Luleå Airport there are no customs facilities and the luggage area is directly reachable from the outside world. More than 90% of passengers are domestic and almost all international flights are to EU destinations, but there are also occasional charter flights to and from Turkey. When passengers travel back from Turkey, how are customs checks performed?

See also: Is there an airport which will lose UK connection if the UK leaves the EU customs union?

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    Perhaps they have customs facilities for rare use but they are hidden from sight. Such that outside-EU-customs-union arrivals would not get their luggage on the regular luggage belts, but in a special zone that travellers never see otherwise. – gerrit Jan 16 '17 at 20:32
  • I am not sure I understand the question, customs checks upon entering the EU do not require much in the way of special facilities. You would typically find green and red-marked channels with one-way doors but I know many small and not so small airport where the channel is really just a door (not even a corridor with a table). A phone, a sign or a customs officer standing there would do in a pinch. There is no mandatory landing card, interview or anything like that nor are domestic, EU and non-EU flows kept separate after you pass immigration. – Relaxed Jan 16 '17 at 22:00
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    Passengers are still liable to seek a customs officer themselves if they have something to declare. Incidentally, where the flights serving the airport come from is somewhat immaterial, I assume Finnair and SAS let you through-check luggage to Luleå so even a bag on a domestic flight could com from anywhere. So a special facility is exceedingly unlikely to exist (as I said, even large airports don't keep those flow separate). – Relaxed Jan 16 '17 at 22:01
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    Given the fairly minimal attitude taken toward customs checks at many EU airports, I'm not sure a lack of facilities is a real problem. If the authorities find someone suspicious and want to talk to them, they can simply do that without purpose-built facilities, just as the authorities can pull someone aside for a chat in the baggage claim area after a purely domestic flight. – Zach Lipton Jan 17 '17 at 1:18
  • @Relaxed Are you sure that one can through-check bags to domestic Swedish airports when coming from outside Europe? I've always taken the train for the last leg so I'm not sure. – gerrit Jan 17 '17 at 1:26

If I understand you correctly, Aberdeen was such an airport. There was a telephone by the baggage carousel and anyone with something to declare was requested to use it to call for assistance. (I never once saw it used.)


Not sure about Luleå Airport itself, but most small airports with an occasional flight requiring immigration and customs, simply have an officer or two present to conduct the necessary formalities. There is no need for facilities themselves, just officials to handle the procedures.

  • How would they stop people from simply exiting the airport without consulting or even noticing that there is an officer at all? How do they tell apart people collecting their luggage from family members entering the airport to pick them up? I'm confused. – gerrit Jan 17 '17 at 1:24
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    This also applies at small ports. On the islands off the west coast of Scotland, it's quite common to find the customs officer also has two or three other paid jobs, when he's not (literally) wearing his customs officer hat! – alephzero Jan 17 '17 at 1:26
  • @gerrit - I would guess in the OP's example, a charter flight from Turkey, would be watched more carefully and family members would not be allowed to stroll up to the plane, rather would be asked to wait somewhere away from the plane. And likely a pre-disembarking announcement on the plane about having your passport ready to show to the official at the bottom of the stairs (or somewhere nearby). – user13044 Jan 17 '17 at 1:36
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    @gerrit One guy sitting in a back room with a laptop can access just as much information about international crime as anybody else in the world. If they want to pick somebody off the flight, most likely they already know what he/she looks like before he/she even gets off the plane. A one-off visitor trying to save the duty on a bottle of vodka isn't a very interesting target anyway. – alephzero Jan 17 '17 at 1:38
  • (+1) @gerrit How do they tell domestic travellers from people from other EU countries? How can they avoid someone walking through the green door? It's the same thing, the "facilities" at other airports don't do much. Unlike immigration they are not designed to perform systematic inspections. The basic rules and principles are still the same: It's up to the travellers to present themselves as soon as possible to the customs and customs agents can perform random checks wherever they feel like. – Relaxed Jan 17 '17 at 12:52

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