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World Record -Only 30 Seconds To Clear The Customs  
User currently offlineConnector4you From Canada, joined May 2001, 932 posts, RR: 2
Posted (11 years 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2929 times:

That's all it takes folks to clear the customs these days at Vancouver International. A new iris scan technology is operational at YVR. For as much as $ 50 Canadian / year you will save an average 45 min each time you are arriving, departing or connecting trough Vancouver.

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Photo © Dean Allchin
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Photo © Dean Allchin

Vancouver is now the first North American airport to utilize such advanced ID technology. Way to go YVR! Wonder which other airports from around the world are currently using this technology?

More info at:

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineCmckeithen From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 617 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (11 years 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2912 times:

Great....I am going to YVR on Friday...I will let yall know how customs went.


User currently offlineUal747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (11 years 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2797 times:

So what do they do when they wanna search your bags?


User currently offlineUnique From Switzerland, joined Mar 2003, 1703 posts, RR: 36
Reply 3, posted (11 years 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2682 times:

To clear customs is not a problem at all, but what about passport check/immigration? Also done in 30 secs.?

User currently offlineDoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (11 years 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2662 times:

I'm afraid I've passed through all that in less than 3 seconds.......

Just arrive at STN on a late Ryanair flight, and walk through the UK/EU passport control - you literally don't even stop, if you hold the photo page up as you pass through.

User currently offlineUTA_flyinghigh From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 6495 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (11 years 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2645 times:

What photo page ? Flying DUB to LHR there was NO ONE at customs/immigration  Laugh out loud 1/10th of a second to go through....

Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
User currently offlineQatarAirways From Qatar, joined Sep 2008, 0 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (11 years 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2629 times:

In Dubai they have a similar system but instead they use a laser scanner for your fingerprints and you pass through gates like those in train stations. It costs about US$40 a year for the service.

User currently offlineElal106 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 975 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (11 years 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2631 times:

I always do it in 10 seconds!!! come to Geneva or Zurich Airport!!!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6202 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (11 years 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2579 times:

Great.....is there anything the government won't know about me?

Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineBigphilnyc From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 4076 posts, RR: 54
Reply 9, posted (11 years 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2514 times:

I've never left the country. How long does Customs usualyl take to get through? Is is WORTH it?

Phil Derner Jr.
User currently offlineCancidas From Poland, joined Jul 2003, 4112 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (11 years 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2498 times:

Phil, depends on where you go. I've mostly been to Poland and there I don't even wait. Ah citizenship is grand. Then again, I never waited in the UK either. Down in the Dominican Republic it took like an hour to get to customs/ passport control but took us only a minute to clear. It all depends on what kind of passport you have and where you go.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
User currently offlineCmckeithen From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 617 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (11 years 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2457 times:

If you use common sense when packing and when going through customs (i.e having your necessary documents out and at hand), you can pass through with no troubles. Its the people who cant seem to follow simple instructions that hold things up.

I mean secuirty checkpoint at our airports should take no more than 15mins to get through....but you always encounter someone who has to make it tough on every one.

User currently offlineHlywdCatft From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5321 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (11 years 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2449 times:

I've watched customs in Detroit and they would get people through in under a minute for the most part- just ask a few questions- unless you needed your bags searched.

User currently offlineBostonBeau From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 462 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (11 years 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2401 times:

I think people are confusing "customs inspection" with "immigration (passport) control". At some airports these are combined so it's not surprizing. Things like iris scans, fingerprint checks, or palm prints allow you to bypass having your identity checked at passport control, since they have these features stored in their computers and can compare your live scan with what is stored. You may still be subject to a customs or agriculture check however. Those are separate government agencies in the USA.

Arriving at Boston, you first have your passport scanned and are interviewed briefly by an INS agent (while he waits for your account to come up on the computer), then after claiming your bags (which get sniffed by a cute little beagle usually) you are either directed to the red/green area to a customs agent, or if you are arriving from certain countries, your bags may be directed to an agricultural examination area (your bags may go through a machine that sniffs for plant/animal materials).

One time I was the first person off a VS flight from London (which usually gets directed to the customs examiner) which had arrived just after an AZ flight from Milan. I guess passengers arriving from Italy are more likely to be bringing food, and my bags were grabbed by the agriculture agent and put into the sniffer machine. The sniffer machine effectively bypasses the customs examiner....when my bags came out the other end, I was told I could just leave. I tried to tell the agent who collects arrival cards at the door that I had (slightly) over the $400 limit...but he said "that's OK....just go".

User currently offlinePmk From United States of America, joined May 1999, 664 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (11 years 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2316 times:

When I went to Iceland about four weeks ago theere essentially was no customs. I walked through the hall at Reykivic and they looked at my passport photo page, and waved me through. At Baltimore all the asked was "Where'd you come from?" "Iceland" "cool" And that was it.

User currently offlineFloris From Netherlands, joined Jun 2003, 243 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (11 years 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2276 times:

AMS has the same system. When you are traveling with hand luggage only, it saves you the 15 minute wait in the immigration line. If you are traveling with checked baggage, it obviously makes no sense at all.

User currently offlineConnector4you From Canada, joined May 2001, 932 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (11 years 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2181 times:

The initial link that I provided to a "Province" (newspaper) article related to the arrival of iris scan technology at YVR it's gone by now.

To clear up a bit the issue, here are some quotes from that article written by Lena Sin, highlighting advantages and restrictions of using this technology at Vancouver Airport:

"... allows preregistered travelers to pass through customs simply by looking into a camera that recognizes the irises of their eyes as proof of identity"

"... speeds up the customs process by taking people we know and people we trust out of the customs line."

"... intended to swiftly clear low-risk travelers and give customs officers more time to target higher-risk travelers"...

"Members insert their Canpass-Air (name of the program) cards into a machine, their irises are photographed, and they can enter Canada without further checks unless randomly selected for inspection. Taxes and duty can be paid using a credit card."

"Citizens and permanent residents of Canada and the United States are eligible to register with the program. Background checks are done, and only people with completely clean records will be allowed to enroll."

"... we will . . . make sure anyone [registered] has no infractions with police, CSIS, FBI, Interpol and customs ..."

" [IRIS SCAN TECHNOLOGY] ... It registers 240 data points, said Guy Lalonde of the information technology branch of Canada Customs. In contrast, fingerprints measure 80 data points."

"The chances of a false recognition are less than one in a million"

"[at YVR]...There are 1,500 members so far. The airport has four iris-recognition machines and the program cost $35 million."

Toronto is expected to implement Canpass-Air kiosks this fall and Montreal will have the program by spring 2004.

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