Passing through U.S. customs with the ESTA

The ESTA travel authorization is a permission to present oneself at the American borders. The issuance of an ESTA does not guarantee access to the United States. Admission to the United States is the responsibility of US Customs and Border Protection. The U.S. Customs Service conducts its checks upon your arrival at the border crossing. The control and the final decision are made in your presence. There are posts at international airports and along the borders that permanently control access to the United States.

US Customs and Border Protection is the entity that manages ESTA applications and issues these visa waivers. This service is part of the Department of Homeland Security; U.S. visas are the responsibility of the U.S. State Department.

ESTA and customs services at the border

The issuance of an ESTA authorization is therefore subject to the scrutiny of the U.S. authorities in charge of national security. In a relatively tense international climate, simplified procedures have been put in place, but they still guarantee the security of American space.

The conditions for entry into the United States of specific goods or products are strict and subject to applicable regulations. Obtaining an ESTA does not exempt you from these rules. All goods must be declared to the customs service and must meet certain conditions to be accepted on American soil.