BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is expecting an increase in border traffic for the upcoming holiday season and is reminding travelers who are planning trips across all New York State land border crossings to anticipate some delays due to increased traffic and plan accordingly.
“With our traffic numbers beginning to return to normal levels, we do anticipate seeing some increases during this holiday season,” said Acting Director, Buffalo Field Office Sharon Swiatek. “CBP plans and staffs accordingly to make sure that travelers can reach their destinations in a timely manner while still focusing on border security.”
Holiday travelers looking for ways to improve their travel experience should consider the following tips:
- Utilize the appropriate travel document. Passports, U.S. Passport Cards, Enhanced Driver’s Licenses are a few of the approved documents. Obtain more information here: Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
- Check border wait times. Plan ahead. Give yourself extra time. Check traffic conditions at the border crossings within your region and select the crossing that is least congested. Travelers can download CBP’s Border Wait Time “app” to their mobile devices to check crossing traffic conditions. Travelers can also obtain traffic conditions at www.cbp.gov/travel/advisories-wait-times.
- If possible, travel during non-peak travel times. Peak travel times generally tend to be between the hours of 10:00am and 6:00pm. If you are able, leaving the night before is one way to avoid peak traffic delays.
- Prepare for the inspection process before arriving at the inspection booth. Have your travel documents in hand, roll down the vehicle windows and remove hats and sunglasses before entering the inspection area.
- Travelers are encouraged to visit the “Know Before You Go” section of the CBP web site. To avoid fines and penalties associated with the importation of restricted or prohibited items, become educated prior to traveling, this includes agriculture products. Please visit http://www.cbp.gov/travel. And remember, marijuana remains illegal in the United States federally. Do not cross the border with any marijuana or marijuana products.
- Declare your goods. Travelers should declare all items being brought from abroad that will remain in the U.S. This includes gifts and Duty Free purchases.
- Food and plants. There are numerous agricultural restrictions on fruits, meats, and plants. Before bringing these items, check the CBP website on bringing agricultural products into the U.S. If you decide to take your chances and bring it with you, be certain to declare it, and be willing to surrender it if it turns out to be prohibited.
Be sure to visit CBP.gov to help you travel smart when traveling internationally.
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