THE ENCYCLOPEDIA GALACTICA
CUSTOMS EXEMPTION CERTIFICATES
The increase in interplanetary traffic over the last few years, and the resulting requirements for enforcement of customs regulations, have caused the Galactic Administration to look again at the whole issue.
In the course of the review it became obvious that the policy of random stopping and searching was resulting in ever-diminishing returns, and that a more focussed enforcement policy was required. It was decided, therefore, to introduce a system of certifying trusted carriers, thus allowing scarce resources to concentrate on those not certified.
To this end a system was set up whereby carriers can apply for an exemption certificate. If granted, the certificate is hard coded into the carrier's transponder signal so that customs enforcement vessels know to ignore the ship. The certificate lasts for a month (31 days), and then the carrier must be re-certified.
Perhaps inevitably, the scheme has been seized on by customs officials as a way of supplementing their meagre salaries. It is, theoretically, possible to get a certificate without paying a bribe, but the author of this entry has been unable to trace anyone who has succeeded in doing so!
Those wishing to apply for a certificate of exemption should go to the main customs shed in Earth Starport and talk to the manager.