Detroit -U.S. Customs and Border Protection is reminding travelers planning trips across the border into the United States to make sure they have proper documents and to anticipate periods of heavy traffic in conjunction with the Labor Day holiday, which is Monday, September 5, 2011. There are a number of steps that can be taken to facilitate legitimate travel into the United States.
Holidays are always a busy time at our border crossings as travelers enjoy a little vacation time," said Acting Port Director Marty Raybon. "We want to work with our travelers so that they know how to be ready to cross so that we can facilitate their travel."
Tip #1 - Travelers are encouraged to prepare for cross border activity in advance and can obtain local border traffic conditions by visiting the travel section of the CBP Website. (CBP Website) Information is updated hourly and is useful in planning trips and identifying periods of light traffic/short waits. During periods of heavy travel, border crossers may wish to consider alternative times or routes.
Tip #2 - Travelers should obtain a "Know Before You Go" brochure (available on the above website), which contains valuable guidance, including duty exemptions and information regarding restricted and prohibited merchandise.Tip #3 - Travelers should have their approved crossing documents (discussed below) available for inspection prior to arrival into the U.S., and be prepared to declare all items acquired abroad.
Tip #4 - Do not attempt to bring fruits, meats, dairy/poultry products or firewood into the United States from Canada without first checking whether they are permitted.
In compliance with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) implemented June 1, 2009, all travelers, including U.S. and Canadian citizens, need to present an approved travel document to enter the U.S. by land and sea. These documents include a valid Passport, U.S. Passport Card, Trusted Traveler card (NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST) or an Enhanced Driver's License. Children under the age of 16 can present an original or copy of their birth certificate.
CBP strongly encourages travelers to obtain a radio frequency identification (RFID)-enabled travel document such as a U.S. Passport Card, Enhanced Driver's License/Enhanced Identification Card or Trusted Traveler Program card (NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST/EXPRES) to expedite their entry and make crossing the border more efficient.
Frequent cross-border travelers are encouraged to participate in the NEXUS program, which allows pre-screened, low-risk travelers to proceed with little or no delay into the United States and Canada. Travelers can apply online at www.cbp.gov. (CBP Website) Additionally, NEXUS information is available toll-free at (866) NEXUS- 26 or (866) 639-8726.