ROSEAU, Minn. — CBP recognizes the importance of cross-border travel to local and regional economic development and endeavors to facilitate it to the best of our ability. Border crossing data analyzed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection show that an adjustment of hours at the ports of Roseau and Lancaster, beginning Jan. 7, will have little impact on cross-border trade and travel.
“CBP is constantly evaluating workloads, hours of operation, staffing requirements and traffic volumes at ports of entry,” said Michele James, Director of Field Operations, Seattle Field Office. “Our analysis of traffic data from the past five fiscal years, shows that the ports of Roseau and Lancaster would be minimally impacted by an adjustment of hours. The decision to adjust the hours was made in the spirit of fiscal responsibility and the ability to more efficiently align our resources to meet the demands of ports of entry with higher traffic volumes, thus increasing border security.”
A thorough analysis of border crossing statistics by CBP from fiscal years 2013-2017, revealed that an adjustment of hours at the Lancaster and Roseau ports will have no significant impact on trade and the traveling public. In fact, the data show cargo and passenger vehicle traffic have been steadily declining at those two ports since FY 2013.
For Roseau there has been a 19 percent decrease in personal vehicles and a 37 percent decrease in commercial vehicles; and at Lancaster a 33 percent decrease has been seen in both commercial and personal vehicle crossings since FY 2013. The sharpest decline was experienced between fiscal years 2016 and 2017, particularly in commercial vehicles, which saw a drop of 23 percent at Roseau and 27 percent at Lancaster.
It’s important to note that there will be minimal impact, particularly to trade as CBP averages only three personal vehicles and less than 0.4 commercial vehicles crossing per hour at Lancaster between the hours of 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. The numbers for Roseau are even lower, with an average of 1.4 personal vehicles and less than 0.4 commercial vehicles crossing between 8 p.m. and midnight.
The close proximity of ports of entry that are open 24-hours a day was also a factor in CBP’s decision to adjust the hours at the ports of Lancaster and Roseau. The 24-hour Port of Pembina, North Dakota, is approximately 30 miles west of Lancaster and the 24-hour Port of Warroad, Minnesota, is approximately 21 miles east of Roseau. Access to these two ports will allow for travelers to continue to cross the border with the realignment of the hours of operations at the facilities.
Most importantly, access to hospitals and emergency services will not be impacted as CBP has protocols in place with emergency personnel (fire/rescue) to access the ports of entry during non-operational hours. The existing protocols will be extended to cover the adjusted hours. The ports already close for several hours at night and the system in place has worked very well for many years with no issues or concerns from emergency services personnel.
The current hours of operation for the Port of Lancaster are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Effective Jan. 7, 2018, the new hours of operation will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The current hours of operation for the Port of Roseau are 8 a.m. to midnight. Effective Jan. 7, 2018, the new hours of operation at Roseau will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
CBP has worked closely with Canada Border Services Agency and will continue to work closely with the local communities to reduce any negative impact where possible. CBP invites local questions or comments, that can be sent to Lancastermailbox@cbp.dhs.gov or Roseaucbp@cbp.dhs.gov.