The Global Entry program, run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, is expanding its international presence. Designed for international travelers who are "trusted," or considered low terrorism risks, it promises quicker airport customs clearance at automated kiosks.
Last week, U.S. Customs announced that the program will be expanded to include Germany, the second country to sign on after the Netherlands. Under the reciprocal agreement, U.S. travelers who are members of Global Entry can clear customs more quickly in Germany if they apply for and are accepted to Germany's Automated and Biometrics-Supported Border Controls program. Members of the German program will get similar access when they arrive in the U.S. if they are accepted into Global Entry.
Launched two years ago, Global Entry membership now totals about 42,000, and its kiosks are used at 20 U.S. airports. To enroll, applicants must undergo an interview and have a background check. Global Entry members scan their machine-readable passport or permanent resident card at the kiosks in customs and authenticate identification via fingerprints. Users then answer several questions. A receipt is printed, and members can proceed to baggage claim or a luggage-inspection booth.