“We are strongly committed to the facilitation of travel and tourism to the United States, all while maintaining the highest security standards in the world”, said Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in a CBP release. “Mobile Passport Control is an important step and one that we think the traveling public will embrace".
Thus far, only Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has embraced the technology in its test case, and it's only available on iOS. But CBP says it plans to roll out MPC to other airports by the end of the year, with an Android version planned for Fall 2014 as well.
This rollout follows CBP's installation of Automated Passport Control kiosks at about two dozen airports in the last year, as Skift notes, which are the Customs equivalent of a self-checkout lane. CBP claims the kiosks have alleviated wait times by "as much as 25-40 percent, even with continued growth in international arrivals".
With the advent of kiosks and an app, maybe CBP is just an ugly duckling, after all.
Probably not, though.
Ryan Craggs is Thrillist's Travel Editor. He has had ham and champagne confiscated at Customs. Those were sad days. Follow him @ryanrcraggs.