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Berlin U.S. consulate entry, security procedures

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Dear Toytowners,

 

I am looking for current advice on options for storage of forbidden electronic devices and "large" bags in the area of the Clayallee U.S. consulate.  Recent experiences would be appreciated. 

 

If appropriate, I would also welcome redirection to another thread with this info.  Thanks.  

 

I know about the consulate security procedures posted here: https://de.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/security-notice/

 

What I don't know about is a place more convenient than Berlin Hbf for storage.

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I was just at the U.S. consulate in December of last year. As an American citizen, you can use the tiny lockers they have at security.  You can pack everything in the locker, and they give you a little tag with a number.  This is not the case for non-citizens, The non-American girl behind me was super pissed that she had to leave her phone at the bakery down the street.

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Thanks to both Santitas and El Jeffo for their input.  Checking the Google aerial view, yeah I see there is a whole shopping center across the street now.  I remember when a circus was keeping elephants there a few years ago...   Seems that a left-luggage facility might make some easy revenue for one of those nearby businesses. 

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Umm, before I answer, I want to know what "forbidden electronic devices" and what do you intend to do with them?  What's in the large bags?  

 

Have you recently travelled to Syria?  

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9 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

I don't even take my phone when I have to go to the Consulate.

Some people would show withdrawal symptoms arousing attention at security :).

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2 hours ago, BradinBayern said:

I want to know what "forbidden electronic devices"

Basically, any electronic devices - mobile phones (both smart and dumb), tablet PCs, handhelds, etc. I'm not sure, but I think they even make you take off digital watches.

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7 hours ago, fraufruit said:

Leave everything at home? I don't even take my phone when I have to go to the Consulate.

That works if you live in the same city as a consulate, but if someone is traveling from farther away leaving phones or other electronics may be more difficult. They may be necessary for navigation or work, or simply nice to have when traveling. Or someone may be staying overnight and not have a hotel to leave things at all the time.

 

4 hours ago, El Jeffo said:

Basically, any electronic devices - mobile phones (both smart and dumb), tablet PCs, handhelds, etc. I'm not sure, but I think they even make you take off digital watches.

They let you keep digital watches. But nothing else.

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 In the Dutch consulate I was allowed to bring laptop and two phones, but it had to be switched off completely. Later, I renewed my passport in the Netherlands and nobody gave a damn.

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There used to an occasional  networking evening at the British Consulate in Hamburg..I used to go , exchange business cards, drink wine, eat cheese etc and it was always fun and relaxing..no body checks, weapons searching etc..but one evening ( can´t remember what had happened somewhere in the world but maybe in the aftermath 9/11 ), there was a police van at the entrance to the pathway leading up to the Consulate.

 

Anyway, went in and, at some stage,  I thought the police guys might be hungry and thirsty and went out to ask them in the van .." how many of you are there around the building? ":lol: ( genuine friendly question cos I would never bomb a building or want to kill innocent strangers ) and, I must admit, looking back--I can understand their reaction!!! One asked " why do you want to know? "

 

It worked out ok..I took out a tray of goodies and all was well!:P

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On 2/1/2018, 1:28:52, fraufruit said:

Leave everything at home?

 

sensible enough if one lived in Berlin, but getting to and from the consulate is an all day project for me, maybe longer. 

 

On 2/1/2018, 1:13:27, BradinBayern said:

I want to know what "forbidden electronic devices"

 

see https://de.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/security-notice/

"Electronic devices, such as mobile phones, Ipods, Ipads, fitbits, USB sticks, cameras, video cameras, tan generators or code keys"

 

 

Additional information for readers:  The consulate has advised me "There are ... a small number of small lockers available for U.S. citizens to leave a cell phone".  As described by Santitas, sounds like non-U.S. citizens are out of luck on even the cell phone-sized lockers.

 

The consulate also has a new procedure as of March 1, 2018 for getting passports.  Rather than a self-addressed-stamped envelope, applicants are to provide a "DHL envelope".  Upon inquiry, the consulate has advised me that "DHL envelope" means " DHL PrePaid National Express Easy envelope". 

 

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Follow up info for TT community subsequent to April 5, 2018 visit to Clayallee 170 consulate. 

(1) since my last visit there in 2013, lots of businesses have been added directly across the street.  These include a Post Filiale, a bakery/cafe, and an Edeka. 

(2) the very nearby Alliierten Museum is free, and interesting for children that can read and for adults

(3) the consulate is under construction at the moment and the entrance temporarily 100 meters or so from where it was before

(4) one of our children had a see-through sports bottle that had had water in it, which was poured out before entering the consulate, but the security officers didn't like that there were still drops of water (their words) in the bottle so in the end the bottle and our cell phones were left in the child's backpack which the security officers placed in a corner of the guard hut on the floor underneath the tiny lockers that U.S. citizens usually can use to put cell phones into.  So in the end, we could have brought a laptop or Kindle or whatever and left it in the child's backpack.  Though that is not the official procedure.

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I wonder if consulates each have their own personalities.  We've been twice in 9 months,  buying properties back in the US and requiring US notarial service.

 

Amsterdam...for such a laid back city, they were super strict.  Woman walked in with a laptop...she lost her appointment for the day.  No chance to go leave it somewhere.  She left in tears. I had an EMPTY shopping bag in my purse and they took it from me until I left.  For the life of me I can't figure out what damage I could have done with an empty shopping bag.

 

H and I intended to be each other's witnesses,  they said no,  that wasn't legit as we were both in on the transaction.  SO? Wouldn't allow us to use people in the waiting room as witnesses,  either.  We signed without witnesses and our attorney made it work somehow.

 

Second time,  we put the property in my name only so my H could be the witness.  Went to Frankfurt.  Although still strict security,  they were far friendlier and directed folks who didn't read the directions and brought their electronics to a local coffee shop and a hotel which would hold your things for you for a couple of Euro.  Gave us a DHL envelope to send the papers on,  said we could be each other's witnesses,  and gave us a map to the DHL office.  

 

When we go home in May we'll give our attorney limited Power of Attorney to avoid the trips from Essen.

 

 

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On 2/1/2018, 1:28:52, fraufruit said:

Leave everything at home? I don't even take my phone when I have to go to the Consulate.

That is a disaster if you're a topographical idiot like me. I arrived a hotel the day before, went twice to the Consulate, first with the phone and then without. Next day successfully arrived at the Consulate exactly on time. Without my phone. That was an achievement.

 

No, I am not attention deficit or something. In pre digital era I used a compass and a paper map. I just didn't have a paper map of Munich, that's why I was nervous without my phone.

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More follow up on April 5, 2018 U.S. consulate visit.

New passport delivered by DHL on morning of April 13, 2018.   No rush or express service was requested, they're just fast.

 

On 4/6/2018, 11:04:00, DoubleDTown said:

Follow up info for TT community subsequent to April 5, 2018 visit to Clayallee 170 consulate. 

(1) since my last visit there in 2013, lots of businesses have been added directly across the street.  These include a Post Filiale, a bakery/cafe, and an Edeka. 

(2) the very nearby Alliierten Museum is free, and interesting for children that can read and for adults

(3) the consulate is under construction at the moment and the entrance temporarily 100 meters or so from where it was before

(4) one of our children had a see-through sports bottle that had had water in it, which was poured out before entering the consulate, but the security officers didn't like that there were still drops of water (their words) in the bottle so in the end the bottle and our cell phones were left in the child's backpack which the security officers placed in a corner of the guard hut on the floor underneath the tiny lockers that U.S. citizens usually can use to put cell phones into.  So in the end, we could have brought a laptop or Kindle or whatever and left it in the child's backpack.  Though that is not the official procedure.

 

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So as a non US citizen of the EU (now with both UK and DE citizenship) I'll be 

going to the  Clayallee U.S. consulate in Berlin in the next few weeks.

 

Still not sure where I can leave my belongings (phone, electronic car key, bag itself)...

Above posts from 2018 suggest trying all nearby bakeries, a few I note on Google maps.

 

Is this still the case - simply try local shops and offer them a few Euros to hold my stuff ?

 

I'll need the phone/maps to navigate the bus/train/tram.

 

Colleague informed me that on visiting a different US embassy, his

electronic door locking key fob fell under the  "forbidden electronic devices"

 

Recent storage experiences would be appreciated. 

 

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For future reference, the Konditor/Cake shop across the road from the consulate is so switched on to the needs of the visiting public that they hold bags for you - even going so far as issuing numbered cloakroom tickets.

 

Cake / ice cream fills the waiting time very well too.

 

The museum nearby is closed on Mondays and for the rest of the week opens at 10:00 am.

 

 

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