Tokyo Customs on Tuesday started to make electronic customs declaration gates at Narita International Airport available to foreign nationals visiting Japan.

The move came in response to the increasing number of foreign visitors ahead of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics next summer. Previously, only Japanese people were eligible to use the gates.

The authorities hope the expanded use of the smart gates will simplify customs procedures and help ease congestion at the airport in Chiba Prefecture.

The gates allow travelers to complete the customs declaration procedures on their smartphones using the Customs Declaration App. They can pass the gates after having their passports and a quick response code on their handsets scanned by a reader.

Before the introduction of the electronic gates, people needed to fill out a form to declare their belongings, such as alcoholic beverages and cigarettes.

Tokyo Customs will also introduce the electronic gates at other airports in areas under its jurisdiction while informing foreign visitors about the smart system in cooperation with airlines and travel agencies.

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