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CBP Announces Expanded Filing of Joint Customs Declarations

Release Date: 
December 13, 2013

Washington— U.S. Customs and Border Protection sent today to the Federal Register a Final Rule designed to broaden  the definition of  “members of a family residing in one household” to more accurately reflect relationships for U.S. citizens, residents and international visitors who are traveling together as a family.  The expansion of the term will include long-term same-sex couples and other domestic relationships which would allow more returning U.S. citizens, residents and international visitors to file a joint customs declaration for items acquired abroad. The rule will be effective thirty days after publication in the Federal Register.  

The change in regulation will create less paperwork for people who are traveling together as a family and will result in increased efficiency for CBP by streamlining passenger processing.

“Domestic relationship” would be defined to include foster children, stepchildren, half-siblings, legal wards, other dependents, and individuals with an in loco parentis or guardianship relationship. 

Also included within the definition two adults who are in a committed relationship including, but not limited to, long-term companions and couples in civil unions or domestic partnerships where the partners share financial assets and obligations, and are not married to, or a partner of, anyone else.

“Members of a family residing in one household” will continue to encompass relationships of blood, adoption, and marriage. 

More information can be found on the travel pages.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021