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Lesson One - Customs

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TASK 1. Read and act out the conversations.

At Customs

Customs officer (CO.) : Good morning. Can I see your passport?

Man : Certainly. Here it is.

CO. : Yes, that’s all right. Have you got anything to declare?

Man : Yes, I have.

CO. : What have you got?

Man : I’ve got some whisky and some cigarettes.

CO. : How much whisky have you got?

Man : A litre.

CO. : That’s all right. And how many cigarettes, have you got?

Man : Two hundred.

CO. : Fine. What about perfume? Have you got any perfume?

Man : Er... No, I haven’t.

CO. : Good. Open your case, please.

Man : Pardon?

CO. : Open your case, please. Open it now! Oh, dear! Look at this! You’ve got three bottles of whisky, four hundred cigarettes and a lot of perfume!

Passport Control

CO.- Customs officer

Sm.- Mr. Smith

P.- Passenger

T.- Terazinni

The officer is checking passports.

CO.: Have your passports ready, please. Your passport, please.

Sm.: Here you are.

CO.: Are you British?

Sm.: No, I am not. I`m American.

CO.: Sorry... That`s all right. Your passport, please.

P.: Here it is.

CO.: Thank you. Passport, please.

T.: Yes,... Just a minute. It’s in my bag. Ah, here it is.

CO.: Thank you.

The customs officer is looking at the suitcases and opening some of them.

CO.: Have you anything to declare?

P.: No, I haven’t. There are only personal belongings in my suitcase. Shall I open it?

CO.: No, thank you. It’s all right. Is this your suitcase, sir?

Sm.: No, it isn’t mine. That blue one is mine.

CO.: Oh, I see. Are you on a private visit?

Sm.: No, I am not. I am a businessman. Shall I open my bag?

CO.: No, you needn’t. You may go through.

CO.: Anything to declare, sir?

T.: No um ... nothing.

CO.: I see, sir. Will you open your bag, please?

T.: Why?... O.K.

CO.: What’s this?

T.: What?

CO.: A professional video camera. Why haven’t you declared it?

T.: But ... but that’s impossible. It’s not mine.

CO.: ... And I suppose this pile of pornomagazines isn’t yours either.

T.: Hm-m..., but they are very soft (porn).

CO.: As far as I can see it’s hard porn. Well, sir, you should know that when you smuggle things, you lose them. And you pay a fine as well.


customs officer - таможенник

to check passports - проверять паспорта

Have your passports ready, please. - Приготовьте ваши паспорта, пожалуйста.

Here you are.

Here it is. - (Вот) Пожалуйста!

Have you got anything to declare? - У вас есть что-либо заявить?

Have you got anything liable to duty? - У вас есть что-либо,

подлежащее обложению таможенной пошлиной?

personal belongings - личные вещи.

a private visit - частная поездка

to go through the passport control - проходить паспортный контроль

a professional video camera - профессиональная видеокамера

a pile of -пачка чего-либо

pornomagazines - порнографические журналы

soft porn -эротика

hard porn -порнография

to smuggle - заниматься контрабандой

to pay a fine -платить штраф

TASK 2. Answer the following questions.

1.Have you ever had to go through customs?

2.Did you have anything liable to duty?

3.Did the customs officer ask you to open your own suitcase?

4.Did you carry any spirits or tobacco for your own use?

5.How long did it take you to go through customs and other formalities?

6.Do you think you would be allowed to carry a toy pistol on the plane?

7.Do you always understand the announcements made at the airport?

8.Why are specially trained dogs used at airports? Have you ever seen such a dog?

TASK 3. Translate from Russian into English.

1.Проходить таможенный досмотр, паспортный контроль.

2.Таможенник просматривает паспорта.

3.Приготовьте ваши паспорта, пожалуйста.

4.Вы гражданин Великобритании?

5.Таможенник осматривает чемоданы и открывает некоторые из них.

6.Вы желаете что-либо заявить?

7.У меня в чемодане только личные вещи.

8.Это ваш чемодан, сэр?

9.Так понятно. Это частная поездка?

10.Почему вы не внесли это в декларацию?

11.Но ... но это невозможно! Это не мое!

12.Сэр, вы должны запомнить, если вы занимаетесь контрабандой, вы теряете все. И к тому же платите штраф.

TASK 4. Read the text paying attention to the key words. Make a short summary of it.

Travelling Abroad by Air

After having arrived at the airport, you are supposed to begin with going through customs, you’d better fill in the customs declaration before you talk to the customs officer. An experienced customs officer usually “smells” the smuggler, but he may ask any passenger routine questions, for example, “Have you got anything to declare?” or “Any spirits, tobacco, presents?” The usual answer would be “Yes, I’ve got some valuables, but I’ve put them all down in the declaration,” or “I’ve got two cartons of cigarettes for my own use” or something of that kind.

Then you go to the check-in counter where your ticket is looked at, your things are weighed and labeled, a claim-check for each piece of luggage is inserted in the ticket and you are given a boarding pass, which has a seat number on it. Of course, if your luggage weighs more than 20 kgs, you have to pay extra.

The next formality is filling in the immigration form and going through passport control. The form has to be filled in block letters. You write your name, nationality, permanent address and the purpose of your trip. In most countries there is also a security check when your carry-on luggage is inspected. This is an antihijacking measure, and anything that might be dangerous or disturbing to other passengers must be handed to one of the crew and only returned to the owner after the plane has reached its destination.

After fulfilling all these formalities you go to the departure lounge where you can have a snack, read a paper, buy something in the duty-free shop and wait for the announcement to board the plane. Some of these formalities are repeated when you arrive at your destination. The customs declaration and the immigration form are often filled in on board the plane. At the airport you may be met by a specially trained dog which will make sure that you are not carrying drugs, and the immigration officer might want to know on whose invitation you are coming and whether you have a return ticket. There is another inconvenience you have to be prepared for when travelling long distances by plane. It’s jet-lag, the difference between the time you are accustomed to and the new time.


formality - формальность

to go through - проходить

to go through formalities - пройти формальности

customs - таможня

to go through customs - пройти таможенный досмотр

a customs duty - таможенная пошлина

a customs declaration - таможенная декларация

to smell - нюхать, чувствовать

smuggler - контрабандист

to smuggle smth. - провести контрабандой что-либо (into the country, out of the country)

to declare - заявить, объявить

Have you anything to declare? - У вас есть что-либо для предъявления таможне?

spirits - спиртное syn. alcohol - алкоголь

tobacco - табак, табачные изделия

valuable - ценный

a check-in counter - стойка регистрации

to weigh -весить, взвешивать weight (n) - вес

label - бирка, ярлык

insert - вложить, вклеить

board - борт

to board a ship (plane) - сесть на пароход (самолет)

Your plane is boarding - На ваш самолет идет посадка.

boarding pass - посадочный талон

to pay extra - доплатить

an immigration form - иммиграционный бланк

block letters - печатные буквы

passport control - паспортный контроль

nationality - гражданство (подданство)

permanent - постоянный

a security check - проверка безопасности

hijack - угонять самолеты

measure - мера

disturb - беспокоить

crew - экипаж

destination - место назначения

departure lounge - зал ожидания

duty (customs duty, to pay duty on smth.) - пошлина (таможенное обложение, заплатить пошлину за что-либо)

duty free = not liable to duty - не подлежащий таможенному обложению

to make an announcement - сделать объявление

drug - наркотик(лекарство)

drugstore (Am.) - аптека

drug traffic - торговля наркотиками

inconvenience - неудобство

jet-lag - разница во времени при перелете в разные часовые пояса.

TASK 5. Translate from Russian into English.

1.Заполните таможенную декларацию.

2.У вас имеется что-либо для предъявления на таможне?

3.стойка регистрации;

4.для личного пользования;

5.вам выдают посадочный талон;

6.талон для получения багажа вкладывается в билет;

7.бланк надо заполнять печатными буквами;

8.постоянный адрес;

9.цель поездки;

10.проверка безопасности;

11.противоугонные меры;

12.ждать объявления посадки на самолет;

13.вы не везете наркотики;

14.разница между привычным вам временем и новым;

15.когда вы прибудете до места назначения;

16.прохождение таможни;

17.уплатить пошлину за что-либо;

18.не подлежащий таможенному обложению

19.зал ожидания;

20.провести что-либо контрабандой.

TASK 6. Answer the questions.

1.Have you ever travelled long distances by plane?

2.Where did you go?

3.Did you enjoy your trip?

4.Was it a business trip or a pleasure trip?

5.Did you have anything liable to duty?

6.Have you ever had to go through customs?

7.Did you carry any spirits or tobacco for own use?

8.What are you supposed to write in the immigration form?

9.Why does it have to be filled in in block letters?

10.Do you think a security check is a necessary measure? Why?

11.What can passengers do in the departure lounge?

12.Where are the forms filled in before arrival?

13.Which do you prefer - to travel by air or by land?

14.Do you like travelling or would you rather not experience all the inconveniences of a long journey?

15.Have you ever experienced jet-lag?

16.How long did it take you to get used to the new time?

TASK 7. Read and act out the conversations.


A.Excuse me, could you tell me the way to the British Airways counter?

B.Certainly. Can you see the escalator over there?

A. The escalator? Yes.

B. Well, go up the escalator and you will see the counter you’re looking for. You can’t miss it.

A.Thanks a lot.

B.You are welcome.


Passenger. I wonder why they aren’t making any announcements about flight 25 to Moscow.

Clerk. Just a moment, ma’am. I’m sorry there will be a 45-minute delay, so your flight will be boarding in about an hour.

P. Oh, I can’t find my claim-checks!

C.They are inserted in your tickets, ma’am.

P. Oh, thank you ever so!

C. You’re welcome. Have a nice flight!


Clerk. Will you put your bags on the scales?

Passenger. Shall I have my carry-on things weighed, too?

C. Yes, sir. I’m afraid you’ll have to pay extra.

P. How much?

C. Fifty dollars, please.

P. Here you are.

C. Thank you. Where would you like to sit?

P. I’d rather have a window seat.

C. Smoking or nonsmoking?

P. Nonsmoking, please.

C. O.K. Here’s your ticket. And hurry up.Your flight’s now boarding at gate 7.


Going through the Security Check.

Officer. Will you put your carry-on luggage on to the belt, sir? Passenger. O’kay.

O. Now go through here. Are you wearing any metal, sir?

P. Metal? Yes, this watch.

O. Please take it off and step through here again. Now it’s O.K. Thank you. Here’s your watch. Have a good flight.

P. Thanks.


scales - весы

gate - выход, ворота

belt - лента конвейера

TASK 8. Imagine the following situations:

1.You are going through security check. You don’t want to put your camera on to the belt, because you are afraid the film might be damaged. Ask the officer if he could check your camera by hand.

2.You are at London Airport. Ask someone how to get to the counter you want (you’re flying by British Airways plane). Thank the person who has shown you the way.

3.You are meeting a friend at an airport in Canada. The plane hasn’t arrived on time. Ask the clerk at the inquiry office why there is a delay and how long it is going to be. Thank him for the information he gives you.

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