CBP Announces Joint Customs Declarations for Same-Sex Couples

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CBP Announces Joint Customs Declarations for Same-Sex Couples

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Contributed by Bryon Large, Senior Attorney

United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) today announced revisions to its regulations regarding joint filing declarations upon entering the United States.CBP has expanded the definition of “members of a family residing in one household” to include long-term same-sex couples and other domestic relationships without dependence on a traditional marriage.Same-sex spouses are now free to file only one customs declaration when entering or returning to the United States.

According to CBP’s press release today, also included in domestic relationships are “foster children, stepchildren, half-siblings, legal wards, other dependents, and individuals with an in loco parentis or guardianship relationship.” Furthermore, long-term permanent partners are included, regardless of whether they are married, in civil unions or in domestic partnerships. To file a joint declaration, a couple must simply share financial assets and obligations and not be married to, or a partner of, anyone else.

This is another amazing advance to legal recognition of relationships and equal treatment for couples, cutting down barriers and providing dignity and respect to our ever-evolving definition of family.

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