Customs in Atlanta : How Long Does it Take to Clear?

Customs in Atlanta : How Long Does it Take to Clear?

Passengers traveling through Atlanta International Airport may be surprised to find those departing passengers are held up in the customs area for an average of two hours. This is one of the reasons airports like Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami, and Philadelphia are among the fastest for clearing customs.

The main reason that customs clears travelers at a slow rate is because of the number of countries they’re coming from, combined with space constraints in Atlanta’s customs area.

How long does it take to clear customs in Atlanta?

If you live in Atlanta and are planning to fly home after a vacation, be prepared for a long wait at customs. The goal is to clear the queues for flights quickly, but it can take hours or even days. If you’re a professional tourist, endeavor to arrive at the airport hours earlier than normal to avoid the slowest section of the queue.

The process of clearing customs in Atlanta

Clearing customs in Atlanta is a long and tedious process. Once you have left the plane, you will be directed to a customs agent who will ask if you have anything to declare. If not, you will then proceed through a short hallway to take your shoes off and walk barefoot or in socks through a metal detector. You then put your shoes back on and wait for a customs agent to search your bag before finally being released from the airport. Here is some step:

  • Be sure you have a valid customs form
  • Present a photo identification
  • State your citizenship and the country from which you are arriving from
  • Have no prohibited goods in your possession
  • Have nothing to declare
  • Proceed through customs

What are the rules for clearing Customs in Atlanta?

One important thing to know when visiting Atlanta and returning home is what you can and cannot bring back with you. It is important to be aware of food restrictions, certain drugs, and any plants or animals that may be dangerous to spread in the United States. Many countries have different rules about what you can bring back with you, so make sure to read up on the rules before your trip.

Customs in Atlanta is a complex process with many factors influencing the total time it takes to clear. There are four steps in customs clearance:

1) Arrival Process

2) Baggage Claim

3) Clearance Process

4) Departure Process. 

The time required for each action varies depending on how it happens to be busy, but if you average it among all those actions, you should be able to plan on spending about 20 minutes at each step, excluding the Arrival Process.

What are the fees for clearing Customs in Atlanta?

Coming into the U.S. from outside, sometimes travelers can get caught up in customs. There are so many things available that go into making up the clearance process, including passports, visas, and other documents. 

It is important to know what fees are involved in making sure you cover all your bases. The average for clearing customs in Atlanta is $6 per person, but it can also depend on other factors like destination city or length of stay.

What are the customs requirements for international travelers in Atlanta?

Some travelers may not realize before they arrive, but international customs requirements are often different than domestic. There are four customs locations in Atlanta for international arrivals, so you can’t just wait at the airport. Be sure to contact the Customs and Border Protection office before you travel to know about any specific items you need to declare.

The Atlanta International Airport strives to make traveling as convenient as possible for international travelers. With the help of their website,, international visitors can find out what they need to do before, during, and after their arrival in order to make it through customs smoothly. 

It is highly recommended that all electronics be charged in advance before arriving at customs. Once you have cleared customs, please take note that there are over 3500 parking options available at the airport.

What is the reasoning behind being detained at customs?

A typical traveler’s experience at customs will differ depending on whether they are traveling internationally or domestically.

International travelers will typically be detained for at least 30 minutes, whereas domestic travelers can expect to be detained anywhere from 5-30 minutes if their flight is early in the morning.

The reason behind this big disparity has to do with the airports’ security standards, which are higher for international travelers than they are for domestic ones.

There are two types of customs inspections: primary and secondary. Primary inspections are typically for the purpose of determining whether a traveler is trying to enter the country with contraband. 

If the traveler does not have any items to declare, the check will be quick, and the traveler will be allowed to go on their way. If the traveler does have something to declare, then they will be subject to a secondary inspection. This is typically done to determine whether or not the traveler is attempting to smuggle something into the country.

How can you avoid being detained by customs officers?

Customs officers are in charge of checking incoming people to make sure they are not hiding anything. This includes the pockets of their clothing, their bags, and sometimes even their bodies. 

What can you do to avoid being detained? 

First, it is important to remember that bringing costly items into a country that customs officers may confiscate as a potential bribe is illegal. Second, make sure that there is nothing on your person that would be considered contraband, such as drugs or weapons.

What steps will you go through if you are detained?

With the rise of terror and the number of travelers detained, it is very important to know what your basic rights are if you are detained by police or border patrol. If you are detained, remember that you have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer any questions.

You’re also allowed to ask for a lawyer and contact family members. The most important thing to remember is that we live in a country where we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

Why do Atlanta customs require extra time?

Atlanta customs is a busy airport with flights from all over the world. Many passengers do not realize that when they are entering the U.S, there are required steps for customs inspections. 

One required step includes filling out paperwork which can take a long time in a line that is often crowded and disorganized. There are also an increased number of security checks in Atlanta, which in turn leads to a longer wait time in line.

How can you make the most of your time in Atlanta customs?

It’s worth it to be prepared for your time in Atlanta customs. First, you need to review your luggage and make sure you’re carrying everything you need for entry into the U.S.

Once you’ve cleared security, make sure you know exactly where your gate is so that you can get there as quickly as possible. In Atlanta, many airlines operate from concourses A-D, which are connected by a moving sidewalk.

A Brief History of Customs in Atlanta

In Atlanta, customs can take up to 2 hours due to a large number of international travelers.

Atlanta is the busiest airport for international travel in the world.

Atlanta was one of the first major cities in America to have a large international population.

Experts say that Atlanta’s long wait time is a result of its geographical proximity to Europe.

The International Trade Administration says that 212,613 people passed through Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in 2015 alone. According to the TSA, in 2015, there were more than 200,000 international travelers.


In conclusion, clearing customs in Atlanta can take a little while, but it is still a simple process. Secure all necessary documents in advance so that you do not have to waste time at the airport searching for them to replace your documents.

You can also read out details about customs at JFK.

Md Sadikur Rahaman

Hi, I'm Md Sadikur Rahaman and I'm a passionate traveler. Through my website,, I share my tips, tricks and experiences from all over the world. My goal is to help you make the most of your time on the road by giving you insider advice that will make travelling easier and more enjoyable. Whether it's finding the best places to eat or planning an unforgettable adventure - I've got you covered. Follow me for helpful tips that are exclusive to TravelHelpZone! Join me on this journey and find out how far your wanderlust can take you!

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