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Christmas Holiday Travel Reminder

Release Date: 
December 18, 2012

PEMBINA, N.D.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection is reminding travelers planning trips across the border this weekend into the United States to make sure they have their proper documents and to anticipate heavy traffic during this Christmas season.

All travelers, including U.S. and Canadian citizens, are reminded that the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) was implemented on June 1, 2009 requiring persons age 16 and older to present a valid, acceptable 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), or a Trusted Traveler Program card (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST).

Plan your trip; avoid peak travel times (typically between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.). Consult the CBP website to monitor border wait times at International Falls, Minnesota and Pembina, North Dakota, find out the operating hours for ports of entry in Minnesota and North Dakota, and review the "Know Before You Go" tip sheet.

During the winter driving season, travelers are encouraged to check weather and road conditions prior to travel. Current road conditions in Minnesota can be found at www.511mn.org. North Dakota weather and road conditions are found at www.dot.nd.gov.

Travelers arriving from Canada are reminded that several types of Canadian and U.S. origin fresh fruits and vegetables are prohibited from entering the United States. Prohibited fresh fruits and vegetables grown in Canada include: tomatoes, peppers, green onions, leeks, chives, and garlic with green tops. Oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit grown in the U.S. may not be brought into the U.S. from Canada. With few exceptions, fresh fruits and vegetables grown outside of the U.S. or Canada are also prohibited.

Recently, a small, destructive agricultural pest of spices, grains and packaged foods, Khapra beetle, has been found in rice from various countries. This has prompted the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to prohibit rice, soybeans, chickpeas, and safflower seeds grown in the following countries from entering the U.S. in passenger baggage: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar), Cyprus, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Upper Volta (Burkina Faso).

Remember to declare all fruits, vegetables, plants, meats, pets, or wood products to CBP officers and agriculture specialists at ports of entry. Failure to declare agriculture products or food items may result in the issuance of a fine of up to $1,000.

Do not attempt to bring fruits, meats and dairy/poultry products into the United States from Canada without first checking whether they are permitted. Review the "Know Before You Go" tip sheet for additional information concerning your trip into the United States.

The United States has been and continues to be a welcoming nation. U.S. Customs and Border Protection not only protects U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents in the country but also wants to ensure the safety of our international travelers who come to visit, study and conduct legitimate business in our country.

Our dual mission is to facilitate travel in the United States while we secure our borders, our people and our visitors from those that would do us harm like terrorists and terrorist weapons, criminals and contraband.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017