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Changing Flights in Paris, De Gaulle?


Oxo
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We are traveling from the US to Paris, De Gaulle (CDG) airport then to Barcelona. It has been a couple of years going through De Gaulle.

 

Are you required to go through customs in De Gaulle to board your next flight to Barcelona? 

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Yes.  You will go through passport control at CDG since it is your first entry port into the Schengen area.  You don't do customs, though. It's not like what you think - over there it is a red/green light system that you self-choose to do.  There are agents who do watch and if they think you choose poorly, they will pull you over.  I've never seen it, though.  

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"Customs" is often used as a misnomer for "Immigration", but they are very different things. Immigration cares about who you are, customs cares about what you have. As mentioned - your first point of entry to Schengen cares about who you are, but the country you're finishing in cares about what you have. 

 

I've gone through customs in Europe literally hundreds of times and have never once been stopped. It's very simple, as mentioned above. 

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As @Zach1213 says...Immigration (Passport check in Europe) and Customs are two entirely different things. Immigration can take a while, given lines, etc. Customs is the red/green system, usually takes, no exaggeration, 5 seconds, to select the red line (if you have something to declare, or to select the green line (nothing to declare) and you simply exit, without even stopping. Believe me, Customs is rarely your main concern. Immigration is much more serious.

 

This is commonly discussed on the Cruise Air board, here:

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/77-cruise-air/

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went thru D' G' enroute Bergen last month ... JFK, Paris, Bergen

 

bags checked thru .... no worries about them

 

in Paris follow the lines ... had to pass thru a TSA like security screening & an electronic check of passport then a 'person' who checked things again and stamped the passports. Entire process was maybe 10 minutes.

 

In Bergen when we claimed our bags there was the mentioned red/green lines and with nothing to declare we walked straight out with no issues ..... no questions

 

btw our return flight was Iceland to JFK then Orlando and we DID need to claim our bags at JFK then recheck the bags and have had experiences where the entire process took a LONG time.

 

We have GE and there was ZERO wait time to get thru immigration / passport control. We waited a good bit for our bags - none came off for a long while ... ours were not 'unusually delayed' ...

 

Biggest surprise was we were able, once bags in hand, to simply walk out and never approached or asked diddly by Customs. Previous experiences always saw a queue to join ..... not this time. Recheck was available yards from the customs exit with no wait.  Sum it up? Despite an international arrival the process took NO MORE TIME then had we been domestic

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2 hours ago, Oxo said:

Are you required to go through customs in De Gaulle to board your next flight to Barcelona? 

Not so much customs, but do remember to ensure you have not bought duty free alcohol in the US.  If in your hand luggage from Paris to Barcelona, you will have it confiscated if it is over the current "hand luggage maximum liquids rule" so you need to check what the current rules are. And as your checked  luggage will transfer through to Barcelona without you reclaiming it along the way, you won't have an opportunity to put it into your checked luggage.

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11 hours ago, edinburgher said:

Not so much customs, but do remember to ensure you have not bought duty free alcohol in the US.  If in your hand luggage from Paris to Barcelona, you will have it confiscated if it is over the current "hand luggage maximum liquids rule" so you need to check what the current rules are.

 

Have EU airports stopped recognising US STEBs? I thought that if you buy duty-free alcohol (or other liquids) in the US and it's sealed into a compliant STEB, then it will be accepted through security screening in EU airports.

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2 hours ago, Globaliser said:

Have EU airports stopped recognising US STEBs? I thought that if you buy duty-free alcohol (or other liquids) in the US and it's sealed into a compliant STEB, then it will be accepted through security screening in EU airports.

.Pre pandemic it used to only be good for your first outward flight, but within the EU on connecting flights it was only the 100 ml rule which applied. There was a fairly recent announcement that following the introduction of new  more sensitive scanning techniques, the 100 ml rule could change by 2024.  There have been so many changes post pandemic that I cannot answer  so it is something you would need to research yourself. One other way of finding what others experienced as recently as this summer  would be to  consider starting a thread to ask that question.  And if your flights both outside and within the EU are with the same airline, you should maybe start there, and if nothing helpful on their website, contact them directly.

 

We gave up buying duty free alcohol many years ago, because of the 100 ml rule and when weight restrictions for hand luggage became tighter, and a litre bottle of spirits weighed around one kilo. Also didn't want a spillage risk. We found that it was easier and not a lot more costly to simply buy locally when we arrived at our destination.

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10 minutes ago, edinburgher said:

Pre pandemic it used to only be good for your first outward flight, but within the EU on connecting flights it was only the 100 ml rule which applied.

 

No, this is not correct: Pre-pandemic, if your over-size duty-free liquids were sealed in a compliant STEB, they were good for any security screening at any connecting point that accepted the STEB. (Compliance requirements included a visible receipt showing the date and time of purchase, and the STEB would be valid for 24 hours from that time.) This applied to purchases in the US by passengers connecting through (and being security-screened) at Heathrow, as well as to connections made at other European airports that required security screening of connecting passengers.

 

On my regular routes, the only exception was flights inbound to Australia, which did not recognise STEBs and required the application of the 100ml rule at the last boarding point before arrival in Australia, save for purchases made at that point and delivered by the shop directly to the aircraft door.

 

In any case, there are many European airports that will now accept US security screening, so that further security screening is not required if you connect at one of these airports. If no security screening is required at the connecting point, then obviously you can continue to carry whatever liquids you already have on you.

 

I'm not aware of any of these basic rules having changed since the pandemic, hence my question as to whether you think that they have. So the OP may well be perfectly safe to buy duty-free in the US without any risk of it being confiscated in Paris before boarding their flight to Barcelona.

 

This has nothing to do with the newer scanners, although their introduction will be very welcome to us all. They've already made a difference to the experience at my local airport.

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2 hours ago, Globaliser said:

I'm not aware of any of these basic rules having changed since the pandemic, hence my question as to whether you think that they have

I didn't say that these basic rules had changed, only suggested that it was worth checking as there have been so many changes across many areas of everyday life from pre-Covid times, and some airports or airlines may have tweaked some of the rules they used to have in place.

 

Personally I/we never thought buying duty free was worth the hassle especially when some spirits could be bought tax paid in some countries as cheap as or cheaper than here in the UK.

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5 minutes ago, edinburgher said:

Personally I/we never thought buying duty free was worth the hassle especially when some spirits could be bought tax paid in some countries as cheap as or cheaper than here in the UK.

 

That may well be true, although it will be for each passenger to decide for themselves.

 

However, that's a different issue from whether duty-free liquids bought in the US will be confiscated at the connection point in Europe.

 

Basically: if it's in a compliant STEB, it won't be.

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1 minute ago, Globaliser said:

However, that's a different issue from whether duty-free liquids bought in the US will be confiscated at the connection point in Europe.

 

Basically: if it's in a compliant STEB, it won't be.

OP Oxo will be pleased to know that.

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On 8/15/2023 at 2:47 PM, slidergirl said:

Yes.  You will go through passport control at CDG since it is your first entry port into the Schengen area.  You don't do customs, though. It's not like what you think - over there it is a red/green light system that you self-choose to do.  There are agents who do watch and if they think you choose poorly, they will pull you over.  I've never seen it, though.  

Just to clarify, for the OP's itinerary, even the red light/green light situation wouldn't be at CDG, it would be done upon leaving the airport upon arrival to BCN.

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