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A friend of mine went recently to the USA, and he was saying that he didn't go through customs when leaving. After asking at the information balcony in the airport he was told not to worry. Everything would be handled at the departure gate. Only the ticket was checked though.

Is this normal? how do they register the exit?

marked as duplicate by user 56513, Ali Awan, mts, Nate Eldredge, Giorgio May 28 '17 at 13:45

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Yes, there is no customs (and no 'emmigration') when leaving the US.
Whatever you are allowed to have inside the US, you are allowed to take with you when you leave, so why would they check? For what?

Note that the country you travel to will check when you arrive; and if you fly with a commercial plane, there are restrictions what you are allowed to take on the plane (but that's not customs).

Also, the government knows who is on each plane because the airlines provide them passenger lists; and the airline is responsible to check if you are allowed to arrive at their destination (have the respective passport/visa as needed for your citizenship and the target country)

  • So if I buy, say, a krytron at a California flea market it's okay to take it with me when I leave the US? Or legally acquired ammo? They do run checks from time to time and consequences can be severe. The US has more restrictive export laws than most other countries, especially for non-commercial quantities of goods and for related information. – Spehro Pefhany May 28 '17 at 13:27
  • @SpehroPefhany , if it is legal to own a 'krytron' (i'm not even sure what that is) while you are in the US, it is also legal to export it. Same for ammo. Don't mix restrictions from commercial flights with customs restrictions. – Aganju May 28 '17 at 14:25
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    Both those items require export licenses from State or Commerce. It has nothing to do with flights. Exporting a car (permanently) requires notification of US customs at the precise port of exit 72 hours in advance (and requires a stop at US customs on the way out where they verify the information). There are other examples. It's not as straightforward as you say. Would that it was- life would be simpler. – Spehro Pefhany May 28 '17 at 19:07

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