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But parts of the port could be designated as customs areas and surrounded by a customs border.In addition, the grounds of the port might be considered "extraterritorial": legally it is not territorially part of the nation. This is usually seen when the planetary government is part of a larger interstellar Federation or Union.The customs people put a tell-tale on the locker so that they know if it’s opened while we’re docked.Anything in there stays put and that’s all they care about. Commercial carriers generally operate on the honor system.A spaceport is a way to increase the volume of interplanetary or interstellar transport.They can be locate inside space stations but the focus here is on planetary ground stations.
Also keep in mind that if a planet is invaded, the spaceports are prime targets.One cargo ship drop off P&C at the High Port, P&C intended for the planet travels to the Low Port in shuttles, P&C in transit wait at the High Port for their connecting flight to show up.If the station services starships instead of interplanetary ships, it is often called a "starport".If the port can be captured (without being damaged), it will can be used to land large numbers of invading ground troops.