SFO mobile passport app goes live at airport

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (BCN) — Starting Thursday, U.S. citizens and Canadians traveling abroad can use a new mobile app at San Francisco International Airport to speed up their re-entry into the U.S., according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.

By submitting passport information and a customs declaration form via the app before arriving, travelers can reduce their wait time because they won’t have to complete a paper declaration form, customs officials said.

Similar to Automated Passport Control, the customs app is free to use, requires no pre-approval and collects no new information from travelers, officials said. Automated Passport Control is a self-service system that allows travelers to submit their declarations form and personal information via a kiosk in the airport’s passport control area.

Travelers can download the customs app for free from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store for use on iPhone and Android phones.

CBP officials said it’s the first authorized customs app for travelers to the U.S.

“CBP is pleased to offer Mobile Passport Control as an option to expedite travelers’ entry into the United States at five of the country’s busiest international airports,” assistant commissioner Todd Owen, Office of Field Operations, said in a statement.

Owen said San Francisco International Airport is the fifth airport to launch the app, which he said maintains security standards at theirhighest level.

CBP officials plan to put the app into use at 20 airports by the end of next year. Travelers can use the app by downloading it, creating a profile, completing the “new trip” section when arriving, submitting a customs declaration form via the app to obtain an electronic receipt and bringing a passport and phone or tablet with the receipt to a customs officer.

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