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Expect Increased Border Wait Times During Busy Easter Holidays

Release Date: 
April 11, 2017

BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection is expecting an increase in border traffic over the busy Easter break, and is reminding travelers planning trips across the border to anticipate delays and prepare accordingly. Vehicles in line at Lewiston POE

Travelers bringing live plants, common gifts during the Easter holiday season, are reminded to declare them and to expect additional screening by CBP agriculture specialists.

“This is a good time of year to educate the traveling public about what they can and cannot bring into the U.S.,” said Acting Port Director Cary Frieling. “The Easter holiday brings a lot more travelers to the border - our agriculture specialists are on the lookout to prevent harmful pests and diseases from becoming established in the U.S.”

For more information regarding CBP’s agriculture mission, click on the following link.

Travelers looking for ways to improve 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. Peak travel times generally tend to be between the hours of 09:00 and 5:00. 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 https://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: 
April 24, 2017