07 March 2017

US CBP releases statistics about electronic device searches

CBP explains how many searches are made of electronic devices from international travellers entering the US.

US CBP releases statistics about electronic device searches. The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) searches the electronic devices of less than one hundredth of 1% of all international travellers arriving.


US Customs and Border Protection announced that they checked the electronic devices of only 14.993 entering international travellers in the first months of 2017 (fiscal year 2017). This amounts to 0.008% of 189.6 million travellers arriving in the US. The CBP continues to process more than one million travellers a day arriving in the US.


Of more than 383.2 million international travellers who have been processed by the CBP in fiscal year 2015, still 0.002% (8,503) electronic devices had been searched. In fiscal year 2016 this increased. Of the 390.6 million travellers 0.005% (19,033 devices) were checked, which means a substantial increase.


This increase in electronic device searches is driven by the CBP mission to protect the American people and enforce the laws of the US in this digital era. CBP has adapted its actions to address current threats. The CBP searches have led to finding evidence of terrorist activities, child pornography, export control violations, intellectual property rights violations and Visa fraud.


The searches still remain constant in fiscal year 2017 so far. Below is a comparison for the first six months of 2016 and 2017.

International Travellers processed:


October 31.239,053 November 30.350,596 December 32.717,813 January 31.215,009 February 28.209,735 March 32.643,912 Total 186.376,118

International travellers processed with electronic device search:


October 857 November 1.208 December 1.486 January 1.653 February 1.470 March 1.709

Total 8,383

* February 2016 was a leap year