CBP Offers Holiday Tips and Easter Egg Regulations
EL PASO, Texas – With the Easter festivities right around the corner, CBP is reminding the traveling public that cascarones (confetti-filled eggshells) are restricted to quantities of 12 per passenger and the shells may be decorated, etched, or painted but they must be clean, dry, and free of any egg residue.
CBP agriculture specialists continue to fulfill CBP’s agriculture mission by excluding harmful pests and diseases from becoming established in the U.S. For more information regarding CBP’s agriculture mission, click on the following link.
“This is a good time of year to educate members of the traveling public about what is allowed and what is prohibited from bringing into the United States,” said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso Director of Field Operations.
Cascarones are a restricted commodity by CBP in order to prevent further spread of Newcastle Disease and Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) through contaminated eggshells. Newcastle Disease is a highly contagious, fatal viral disease that affects a substantial number of bird species, attacking respiratory, nervous and digestive systems. Mortality is up to 90 percent of exposed birds. HPAI is also a viral disease that can cause exceptionally high mortality.
CBP would like to remind the public that fresh eggs, raw chicken, and live birds or poultry continue to be prohibited from Mexico as Mexico is affected with Newcastle Disease and Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). Attempting to bring in these or other prohibited agricultural items would lead to traveler delays and may result in a fine ranging from $300 to $1000.
El Paso area CBP officials are anticipating an increase in applications by Mexican travelers for the required I-94 permit during the Easter holiday season. Mexican border crossing card holders who plan to visit the U.S. for more than 30-days and or plan to travel beyond the immediate border area are urged to obtain the essential document early instead of waiting until the day of travel.
“Securing the I-94 early can save time and help you avoid potential delays,” said Mancha.
For a faster more convenient method to apply for an I-94 travelers may utilize the online I-94 application process by visiting this I-94 website. This can be completed up to seven days prior to their entry. In order to finalize the I-94 issuance, a traveler must present themselves at a land port of entry within seven days of their application and be interviewed by a CBP officer. All traveling family members need to be present during the I-94 application process.
CBP is also reminding travelers on SENTRI, a land border management process that provides expedited CBP processing for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. Applicants must voluntarily undergo a thorough biographical background check against criminal, law enforcement, customs, immigration, and terrorist indices; a 10-fingerprint law enforcement check; and a personal interview with a CBP Officer.
Once an applicant is approved they are issued a Radio Frequency Identification Card that will identify their record and status in the CBP database upon arrival at the U.S. port of entry. SENTRI users have access to specific, dedicated primary lanes into the United States including three locations at the El Paso port of entry.
Those interested in joining the SENTRI program can do so by visiting the travel page on the CBP website: http://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/sentri. The membership fee is $122.25. The program will give members access to SENTRI facilities for five years.
“We like to remind travelers that SENTRI enrollment cost averages only seven cents per day. In return travelers can expect an expedited entry and in turn save considerable time crossing the border,” said Mancha. “We also remind users that SENTRI is not a free pass into the United States. We trust but we verify that all entry requirements are met.”
In addition to the quick crossings associated with SENTRI membership, the SENTRI card meets the requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative for proper documents for U.S. citizens who cross the border by land or sea, which went into effect June 1, 2009. The SENTRI card can be used at any land border crossing in lieu of a U.S. passport or U.S. passcard.
Members of the traveling public can monitor Border Wait Times via this link or also obtain the BWT app on their smartphone via Apple App Store and Google Play so that they can observe the wait times and make an informed decision on which bridge to use. These wait times are updated hourly. Travelers can also observe current traffic conditions at the Paso Del Norte, Stanton and Ysleta bridges on the city of El Paso 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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.