More Can Be Done To Speed the Entry of International Travelers

GGD-79-84: Published: Aug 30, 1979. Publicly Released: Sep 13, 1979.

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Travelers complain that they must wait for hours for separate inspection by the Departments of Immigration, Customs, and Agriculture when entering the United States. Immigration, Customs, and Agriculture have agreed to adopt a "one-stop" inspection process, which should reduce delays in the time-consuming clearance process. In the one-stop system, one inspector carrying out the functions of all agencies would screen individuals to separate the few travelers requiring detailed inspection from the majority that do not.

The one-stop procedure will be more effective if inspection policies are changed so that passengers undergo primary inspections before they claim their baggage and hand baggage is examined on a selective basis. The U.S. approach to one-stop inspection is based solely on the willingness of the agencies to cooperate; this has been a problem in the past. If lack of cooperation causes the current effort to implement one-stop inspections to fail, there are alternatives which should be considered.

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