Norwegian Customs Handled By Machine

Next time you’re traveling through Norway and have goods to declare, chances are your transaction will take place at one of the world’s first automatic customs tellers.

The Finance Minster is excited because the move leaves his “personnel to fight more serious smuggling,” and I agree. You can always tell with customs officials are bored — they grab the first shaggy-looking college student they can find, haul him off to the side, and rifle through his stuff. Just because he’d had an 8-hour layover in Amsterdam and looks (and smells) a little inebriated. (Just to use a completely hypothetical example.)

Good news for travelers is that the device appears to work. The first woman went through customs using the automated teller this weekend, declared an extra bottle of wine, and paid her fee with a bank card.

Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of these worldwide in the months ahead.