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CBP's Ten Tips For Cross-Border Holiday Travel

Release Date: 
December 20, 2017

ALEXANDRIA BAY, N.Y. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection is expecting an increase in border traffic for the remainder of the holiday season and is reminding travelers who are planning trips across the border to anticipate delays and prepare accordingly.  

Alexandria Bay Port of Entry
Alexandria Bay Port of Entry

“Last year we didn’t experience any significant delays around the year-end holiday season” said Port Director Timothy Walker. “CBP plans and staffs accordingly to make sure travelers can reach their destination timely while still maintaining border security.”

Holiday travelers looking for ways to improve their travel experience should consider the following tips:

  • Acquire the appropriate travel document. Passports, U.S. Passport Cards, Enhanced Driver’s Licenses are just a few of the approved documents. A list of all approved travel documents can be found at www.getyouhome.gov.
  • Join NEXUS. NEXUS allows pre-screened, low-risk travelers to proceed with little or no delay into the U.S. and Canada. Application forms are available on the Canada Border Services Agency website at www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca and travelers can apply online at www.cbp.gov. Additionally, NEXUS information is available toll-free at 1-866-NEXUS 26 (1-866-639-8726).
  • Check border wait times. Plan ahead. Give yourself extra time. Check traffic conditions at the border crossings within the region and select the crossing that is least congested. Travelers can download CBP’s Border Wait Time “APP” to their mobile devices for real time border crossing traffic conditions. The app is available in both Google Play and Apple stores. Travelers can also obtain current border traffic conditions at www.cbp.gov/travel/advisories-wait-times
  • If possible travel during non-peak travel times. If you are able, leave the night before to avoid peak traffic delays.
  • Prepare for the inspection process before arriving at the inspection booth. Have your travel documents in hand, roll down 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.
  • 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 back, 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.
Last modified: 
December 21, 2017
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