A port of entry
is a place where one may lawfully
enter a country. It typically has a staff of persons who check
and inspect luggage to assure that
is not imported. International airports
ports of entry, as are road and rail crossings on a land border
can be used
ports of entry only if a dedicated customs
presence is posted there. The choice of whether to become a port of
entry is up to the civil authority controlling the port.
States, for example, Los Angeles and San
Diego are ports of entry whereas Newport
Beach is not.
At some Ports of Entry, immigration procedures are carried out by
the armed forces rather than specific immigration officers. However
customs is still carried out by customs officers. Immigration clearance
at a few ports of entry have automated sections open to own
residents or citizens, such as the E-channel found in Hong Kong and Macau.
On some borders the concept of a port of entry
does not exist. Travelers may cross the border wherever and
whenever convenient. In some cases this may be restricted to
citizens of specific countries and to travelers who are not
carrying goods over the customs limits; others may only cross the
border at a designated border
during its opening times.