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  4. Global Entry Members Violate CBP’s Trust after Officers Catch them with $36k in Undeclared Merchandise at Dulles Airport

Global Entry Members Violate CBP’s Trust after Officers Catch them with $36k in Undeclared Merchandise at Dulles Airport

Release Date
Thu, 03/14/2024

STERLING, Va. – Two women learned first-hand about the importance of complying with our nation’s laws and with the simple requirements of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s trusted traveler program on Tuesday at Washington Dulles International Airport after CBP officers caught them deliberately underreporting the amount of merchandise they purchased overseas to avoid paying duty.

CBP officers assessed a total of $7,069.80 in duty and penalties and submitted both women for revocation from CBP’s Global Entry trusted traveler program. CBP is not releasing the women’s names because they were not criminally charged.

CBP officers also initiated a revocation of the travelers’ Global Entry memberships for deceptively violating the terms of their trusted traveler agreement.

CBP officer on a roving enforcement team keeps watch over travelers at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Both travelers returned on Tuesday aboard a flight from Frankfurt, Germany. CBP officers, who conducted roving operations around the baggage claim area, selected the pair for a secondary examination after the travelers claimed to having made purchases of very small amounts overseas.

Travelers are allowed personal duty exemptions on the total value of merchandise they purchase overseas. In most cases, the personal exemption is $800. Travelers may bring back more than their exemption, but any merchandise value exceeding the personal exemption is subject to duties. Read more about Customs duty.

During a secondary examination, both travelers made binding declarations of purchases below the $800 duty exemption. However, CBP officers discovered 18 items, including designer brand name jewelry, handbags, shoes, clothing, and belts with receipts totaling $36,185.80. CBP officers assessed a civil penalty of three times the duty the travelers owed on the purchases. The travelers paid the duty penalty and departed CBP’s inspection station.

“Customs and Border Protection places a significant measure of trust in Global Entry members, and trusted traveler status cannot be used as a license to deliberately violate our nation’s laws,” said Marc E. Calixte, CBP’s Area Port Director for the Area Port of Washington, D.C. “Trusted traveler programs are a cornerstone to our border security mission of facilitating lawful trade and travel, so ensuring the integrity of these programs and holding violators accountable remains of paramount concern to us.”

CBP, as the nation’s second largest revenue generator, is charged with collecting duties on merchandise imports at our nation’s ports of entry. During fiscal year 2022, CBP collected over $111 billion in duty, taxes, and fees.

CBP urges all travelers to visit CBP’s Travel website to ‘know before they go’ and learn rules governing travel to and from the U.S., which products are prohibited or inadmissible, and what they must declare to CBP upon their arrival.

Global Entry is CBP’s widely popular Trusted Traveler Program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. While the goal of Global Entry is to provide pre-vetted, trusted travelers with an expedited entry process, members may still be randomly selected for further examination. Trusted traveler members are expected to comply with all U.S. laws and regulations and to be truthful during questioning by a CBP officer.

CBP's border security mission is led at our nation’s Ports of Entry by CBP officers and agriculture specialists from the Office of Field Operations. CBP screens international travelers and cargo and searches for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, invasive weeds and pests, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality.

See what CBP accomplished during "A Typical Day" in 2022. Learn more about CBP at

Follow the Director of CBP’s Baltimore Field Office on X (formerly Twitter) at @DFOBaltimore for breaking news, current events, human interest stories and photos, and CBP’s Office of Field Operations on Instagram at @cbpfieldops.

Last Modified: Mar 14, 2024