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Easter Holiday Weekend Travel Advisory

Release Date: 
April 15, 2014

GREAT FALLS, Mont. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO), is reminding travelers planning trips across the border into Idaho or Montana to anticipate heavy traffic in the United States starting on April 18, for the Easter holiday weekend.

CBP encourages travelers to plan trips in advance and obtain a radio frequency identification (RFID)-enabled travel document such as an Enhanced Driver’s License/Enhanced Identification Card, U.S. Passport Card, or Trusted Traveler Program card (NEXUS, SENTRI, Global Entry, or FAST/EXPRES) to expedite their entry into the United States and make future border crossings more efficient.

Border traffic volumes are expected to increase significantly Friday, April 18, 2014; all travelers are reminded of a few simple steps they can employ to cross the border more efficiently during this Easter weekend.

1. Check out the new CBP informational website

The CBP site has been completely redesigned to help users quickly access the content they need. It also is optimized for access by smart phones and makes use of a new content delivery network that will improve access internationally.

2. Beat the border rush

Cross during off-peak times, such as before 6 a.m. or after 2 p.m.  Most lines at the border start building in the morning and carry on into early afternoon.

Monitor wait times for the port of Sweetgrass, Montana.  Information is updated hourly and is useful in planning trips and identifying periods of light use/short waits.

3. Keep travel documents handy

Make sure each passenger has the correct travel document accessible and ready to give to the CBP officer.

If you are a frequent international traveler and have not already become a member of a trusted traveler program, sign up now. For more information, please visit the Trusted Traveler section of the CBP website.

4. Know the contents of your vehicles and be prepared to declare all items

Travelers are required to declare all items being imported into the United States from Canada.  If you are not sure about what to declare, do not hesitate to ask the CBP officer.

Travelers should familiarize themselves with the “Know Before You Go.”

5. Know what food products can be imported

Many fruits, meats, dairy, and poultry products are prohibited from being imported into the United States from Canada.

For more information, please review the Prohibited and Restricted Items section of the “Know Before You Go."

6.  Changes to the exportation of all used self-propelled vehicles

New regulations require exporters of used self-propelled vehicles to file the Electronic Export Information (EEI) in the Automated Export System (AES) or AES/Direct 72 hours prior to export regardless of value or destination.

A free U.S. Census Bureau internet application is available that allows exporters to file electronic export information via the internet at aesdirect.census.gov.

7.  Monitor the weather and road conditions

Check current road conditions in Idaho and Montana.