International Falls, Minn. - 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 documents and to anticipate possible heavy traffic during the observance of Veterans Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in Canada on Nov. 11.
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 more efficiently.
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 document that denotes both identity and citizenship when entering the U.S. by land or sea. WHTI-approved travel documents include a passport, U. S. passport card, enhanced driver's licenses (EDLs) or a Trusted Traveler Program card (NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST).
Here are a few 'Travel Tips' that will assist travelers crossing the international 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.
Tip #6 -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.
Tip # 7 - 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.
CBP officials continually monitor traffic and border crossing times at area ports of entry. They plan 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.