Eclipse Phase | AUSTIN, TEXAS | 2015-2019 A.D.
Arrival and Disembarking
Arrival and Disembarking
Upon arrival, passengers are once again confined to their cabin or the lounges for the final approach maneuvers. After docking is complete, the stewards and courtesy staff help passengers move their luggage to the arrival customs inspection area. Disembarking passengers are greeted by customs and immigration officers in offices where their documents are checked again. After their luggage is inspected, passengers are allowed entry. Once passengers have cleared customs, they are free to travel to their final destination at their point of arrival.
Travelers must have a medical doctor perform an examination and provide a medical certificate prior to departure, and customs officers will check this document. Passenger service providers will not allow seriously ill persons, or persons with contagious or communicable diseases, passage aboard their vessels, but some people may not develop symptoms until after departure. Any person suffering suspicious symptoms, or that has a suspicious medical history or information present on their medical certificate, is redirected by customs officers for an on-site medical exam. The person is effectively quarantined for the duration of the examination and the time required to return any test data. International treaty does not allow medical quarantine for longer than 72 hours without sufficient medical evidence of danger to the general population. Of course, this has received wide interpretation of the “sufficient” clause.
Customs and Immigration
Customs and Immigration are two functions that all governments have in place to protect their borders, such as they are. Borders are very subjective, but they are normally defined as any point of entry into the nation from another nation. Therefore, any station, colony cylinder or settlement has a designated entry point where foreign travelers are admitted and subjected to the customs and immigration process. Nations also have a departing customs inspections to ensure that certain products and technologies are not exported illegally, or exported without payment of any taxes or tariffs. Emigration inspections of departing travelers are increasingly common as the cold war between the Jovian Junta and the rest of the Outer System heats up. The major reason for this is to prevent military intelligence and other secrets from getting to the enemy.
The customs officer is a person who performs all the duties of an inspector and bureaucrat. Each traveler and their baggage must be checked by a customs officer. The officer will check the person’s identification and background for authenticity. Generally, criminals are not allowed to travel internationally without special permission (although many nations have differing definitions of criminality; political dissidents from Mars have no trouble gaining entry to the Titanian Commonwealth, for instance). The person may also be restricted from leaving or entering a nation for any number of other reasons, but this check is meant to prevent any incidents or other complications that may occur as a result of legal limitations. Random baggage inspections are standard procedure, though the customs officer is empowered to perform any inspection they feel has reasonable likelihood of finding contraband items. Generally, any item with a Restricted Class of D or greater is not allowed beyond international borders.
In addition to checking arriving and departing travelers, the customs officer will inspect import and export containers of products and resources, or any other cargo crossing international boundaries. With the present political situation between the various Solar nations, tariffs and duties of various forms are likely to be imposed as a matter of foreign policy. Mandatory checks of all private vessels not following normal schedules are in place as a means to protect national security. Scheduled commercial traffic is also inspected for any number of potential security violations.