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West Virginia

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Going through customs

Thursday, November 01, 2007 at 16:19

We plan a visit to Panama in January for a lengthy stay to see if we want to relocate or not.

How tough is going through customs and how long does it take. I would like to know about US customs as well as Panama customs - leaving US and arriving in Panama and leaving Panama and arriving US

I read somewhere that an expat preferred flying through Houston instead of Miami since the Houston customs seemed less of a hassle. Thanks in advance.

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Posts: 245
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Thursday, November 01, 2007 at 18:11

The last time I went to Panama I arrived on a flight from Colombia. There was almost no one (passengers) at customs and no one asked us any questions.

Another time I went to Panama from Costa Rica and customs was mobbed with people (passengers). Someone was going through the line waiving people through... we were lucky and didn't get inspected.

On flights from Panama to Costa Rica, Costa Rican customs was always very aggressive, nasty and had agents going the lines harassing passengers. On flights from Colombia to Costa Rica most of the time customs was completely closed.

If they think something is up with a passenger on a flight you can be sure that they will be alert and aggressive. Though, normally you shouldn't expect any hassle.


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Tuesday, December 18, 2007 at 13:20

well as for me, my mom told me, who worked there for a long time, said that Panama's customs were not so strict. a lot of time you can get by them, but if ever you got asked, it actually no problem at all.


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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 at 04:11

I think the United States breeds people who are afraid. Maybe it is the US's overly aggressive police, immigration and law enforcement that makes American's believe the rest of the world is like that.



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Just hassled!

Sunday, January 03, 2010 at 06:10

Be glad you are just hassled and not denied entry. Some countries have rules that prohibit the entry of "hippie looking" people.


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No Hippies

Friday, January 22, 2010 at 07:15

Here is a link to one such story...


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Morroco too!

Friday, January 22, 2010 at 07:19

Entry may be refused to travellers with a 'hippy' appearance.

International Citizen )

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Not sure who you would ask

Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 10:21

I am not sure who you would ask about this, I would assume Panama customs. There is a customs office at the duty free shop in Amador, so they might be able to tell you what the laws are before you drive all the way to the airport. This would probably be your easiest approach. If nothing else, they can tell you who to ask.

But, I would be concerned about entering the US with seashells as well.

The US might have a problem with out of country shells. They are pretty about anything "natural" like that. I would check with them before you fly all the way there.

Ron Jay

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 21:46

Panama customs was a breeze , June 17, 2010. got stamped smiled and that was it. Los Angeles was slow only because you have to take a bus to customs from were you get off the plane but once there took maybe 20 min.


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Why worry?

Saturday, December 22, 2012 at 14:31

You all are not smuggling anything so why get stressed out about customs. Remember it is Latin American and not the USA. The police are not stressed out, angry zombies, read to explode and instead take it out on you.

Just get in line, relax and in a moment you'll be on your way.

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