Buffalo, N.Y. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection reminds travelers planning trips across the border into the United States from Canada to have approved-travel documents this weekend in conjunction with the Easter holiday. CBP officials remind the traveling public that there are a number of steps that can be taken to facilitate their arrival into the United States.
Travelers are encouraged to prepare for cross border activity in advance. Travelers can obtain local border traffic conditions by visiting the CBP Web site at. Travelers can also obtain a "Know Before You Go" brochure, which is also available on the CBP Web site. This brochure contains valuable information including duty exemptions and restricted and prohibited merchandise.
Travelers should prepare for the inspection process before arriving at the inspection booth. Individuals should have their approved-travel documents available for inspection and they should be prepared to declare all items acquired outside the U.S.
In compliance with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), implemented June 1, 2009, all travelers, including U.S. and Canadian citizens, are required to present an approved-travel document that denotes both identity and citizenship. WHTI approved-travel documents include a valid Passport, U.S. Passport card, Trusted Traveler card (NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST) or an Enhanced Drivers License. Children under the age of 16 can present an original or copy of their birth certificate. Please visit the WHTI Web site for additional information.
CBP strongly encourages travelers to obtain a radio frequency identification (RFID)-enabled travel document such as a U.S. Passport Card, Enhanced Driver's License/Enhanced Identification Card or Trusted Traveler Program card (NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST/EXPRES) to expedite their entry and make crossing the border more efficient.
WHTI-compliant, RFID-enabled documents help reduce the time it takes to process travelers at the border. No personal identification information is stored on the RFID chip embedded in the cards - only a series of ones and zeros that points to information in a secure CBP database.
WHTI document requirements for air travel have been in effect since January 2007. Almost all travelers flying back to the United States need to present a passport or NEXUS card.
CBP also reminds U.S. lawful permanent residents that the I-551 form (green card) is acceptable for land and sea travel into the U.S.
Frequent cross-border travelers are encouraged to participate in the NEXUS program, which allows pre-screened, low risk travelers to proceed with little or no delay into the United States and Canada. Application forms are available on the Canada Border Services Agency Web site and travelers can apply on the CBP Web site. Additionally, NEXUS information is available toll-free at 1-866-NEXUS 26 (1-866-639-8726).
WHTI is the joint Department of State-Department of Homeland Security plan that implemented a key 9/11 Commission recommendation to establish document requirements for travelers entering the United States who were previously exempt, including citizens of the U.S., Canada and Bermuda.