CBP Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Reminder
Pembina, ND - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reminds travelers planning trips across the border into the United States to make sure they have their proper travel documents and to anticipate times of heavy traffic during Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season.
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), implemented on June 1, 2009 requires U.S. and Canadian citizens, age 16 and older to present a valid, acceptable travel document that denotes both identity and citizenship when entering the U.S. by land or sea. WHTI-compliant documents include a passport, U.S. passport card, enhanced driver's licenses (EDLs) - now produced by the states of New York, Michigan, Vermont and Washington; also the Provinces of Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia - or a Trusted Traveler Program card (NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST). For more information, please visit the WHTI Web site.
CBP also wants to remind U.S. lawful permanent residents that the I-551 form (green card) is acceptable for land and sea travel into the U.S.
Border traffic volumes are expected to be greatly increased during this holiday weekend and all travelers are reminded of a few simple steps they can employ to cross the border.
Tip #1 - Travelers should familiarize themselves with the "Know Before You Go" to avoid fines and penalties associated with the importation of prohibited items. "Know Before You Go" brochures are also available at border ports. For more information, please visit the "Know Before You Go" section of the CBP website.
Tip #2 - Travelers should prepare for the inspection process before arriving at the inspection booth. Individuals should have their crossing documents available for the inspection and they should be prepared to declare all items acquired abroad. In addition, individuals should end cellular phone conversations before arriving at the inspection booth.
Tip #3 - Members of the traveling public should consult the CBP website site to monitor border wait times for various ports of entry. Information is updated hourly and is useful in planning trips and identifying periods of light use/short waits.
Tip #4 - During periods of heavy travel, border crossers may wish to consider alternative, less heavily traveled entry routes.
Tip #5 - Travelers should plan to build extra time into their trips in the event they cross during periods of exceptionally heavy traffic (i.e. Thanksgiving and adjacent weekends).
Tip #6 - Know the difference between goods for personal use vs. commercial use.
Tip #7 - Do not attempt to bring fruits, meats, dairy/poultry products and firewood into the United States from Canada without first checking whether they are permitted. Travelers can check for restrictions on agricultural products by contacting a CBP Agricultural Specialist at (701) 825-6551 extension 324.
Tip # 8 - Understand that CBP officers have the authority to conduct enforcement examinations without a warrant, ranging from a single luggage examination up to and possibly including a personal search. Even during the holiday travel season, international border crossers should continue to expect a thorough inspection process when they enter the U.S. from Canada.
Tip # 9 - For information on weather or road conditions in North Dakota please visit the ND Department of Transportation Web site. For information on weather or road conditions in Minnesota please visit the MN Department of Transportation Web site.
CBP continually monitors traffic and border crossing times at area ports of entry. The agency plans to fully staff all inspection lanes during peak periods and to implement various traffic management operations to maintain the flow of traffic during periods of exceptionally heavy usage.
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.