CBP in Maine Reminds Travelers to Plan Ahead for Cross-Border Travel for CONGRÈS MONDIAL ACADIEN, More than 50,000 Additional Travelers Expected in the Area
MADAWASKA, Maine— U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials would like to proactively advise travelers of the possibility for increased traffic volumes associated with the 2014 World Acadian Congress (WAC) from Aug. 8 through Aug. 24, in the North West region of New Brunswick, the Témiscouata area of Quebec and the county of Aroostook in Maine. Approximately 50,000 visitors are expected to participate in WAC events, and this is the first time events will be held on both sides of an international border.
CBP is taking the necessary steps to ensure border security during WAC activities, including working closely with law enforcement at all levels, ensuring appropriate staff levels are in place at affected ports to process the increase in traffic as expeditiously as possible, and proactively reminding the traveling public and WAC participants to familiarize themselves with ‘Know Before You Go’ on CBP.gov for simple cross-border tips.
With an additional 50,000 travelers expected in the Maine, Quebec and New Brunswick in August, it will be even more important for travelers to have an approved Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative compliant travel document, monitor border wait times, build additional time into their trips and are encouraged to plan their trips during periods of lighter traffic or to use an alternate, less heavily traveled port of entry. Since hours do vary at the ports, travelers should check CBP for specific port information. Travelers can also find up to date Advisories and Wait Times on the CBP website.
Some other helpful cross-border tips is for all travelers to:
- Declare items acquired abroad, including duty-free shop purchases
- Research what items are permitted before Bringing Agricultural Products Into the United States (fruits, meats, dairy/poultry products and/or firewood)
- Be familiar with and learn about Prohibited and Restricted Items (forbidden by law to enter the U.S., and items needing special permit to be allowed in the U.S.)
Lastly, on Aug. 15, the international bridge between Madawaska, Maine and Edmundston, New Brunswick, Canada will be temporarily closed to all vehicular traffic for the Acadian National Day ‘Tintamarre’ international event. Only pedestrian (foot) traffic will be permitted between the hours of noon and 2 am, with all vehicular traffic being diverted to alternate ports. While CBP is accommodating for the higher levels in pedestrian traffic at this location due to the WAC, all entry requirements into the U.S. will remain in effect and enforced by CBP personnel at all the ports of entry in Maine.
The Fort Kent (Clair) port of entry is approximately 25 miles to the north on US-1 and open to all passenger and permitted commercial traffic. The Van Buren (St. Leonard) port of entry is approximately 25 miles to the south on US-1, and open 24/7 to all passenger and commercial traffic.
Due to limited parking in this area during the temporary bridge closure, shuttle buses will be available to WAC participants. For shuttle locations and an official program of events, as well as activity registration forms, please visit the Congrès mondial acadien website.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.