SAN DIEGO – U.S. Customs and Border Protection encourages travelers to plan ahead for the upcoming Spring Break and Holy Week, by following traveler tips provided by CBP for ease of travel across the border into the United States.
“We strongly encourage international travelers to make the necessary arrangements and be prepared to show their valid travel documents when entering the United States,” said Sidney Aki, CBP Director of Field Operations for the San Diego Field Office. “This will improve wait times for everyone and help facilitate their entry as the busy Easter holiday travel period begins.”
U.S. citizens are reminded to bring a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document, such as a valid U.S. passport, Trusted Traveler Program card, Enhanced Driver’s License, or Enhanced Tribal Card, when re-entering the United States and should be prepared to present a WHTI-compliant document if requested by a CBP Officer during a border inspection.
Non-immigrant visa passport holders seeking to travel to the U.S. interior in need of an I-94 can apply and pay for an electronic I-94 online through the CBP One™ mobile application to better facilitate international travel into the United States.
Members of the traveling public can monitor Border Wait Times via this link or also obtain the BWT app on their smartphone via Apple App Store and Google Play so that they can make an informed decision of their travels. Wait times are updated on an hourly basis.
For a more seamless admission process, travelers are strongly encouraged to follow the tips listed below:
• CBP recommends that those who can decide when to cross choose off-peak hours for their travel times:
o Peak hours are Monday-Friday 4 a.m.-9 a.m. & Saturday-Sunday 2 p.m.-12 a.m.
• Please line up in the proper lanes (SENTRI, Ready Lane, and All Traffic). Traffic at our local ports of entry is segmented into three different lanes and travelers should be prepared to have the correct documentation for the corresponding lane.
• Have all the required travel documents for the country you are visiting, as well as identification for re-entry into the United States. Passports are required for air travel. Visit www.travel.state.gov for country-specific information.
• Declare everything you bring from abroad, even if you bought it in a duty-free shop.
• Be cautious when buying something from street vendors. The merchandise may be counterfeit and/or unsafe and you may have to surrender it upon inspection at the Port of Entry.
• Items bought abroad for personal use or as gifts are eligible for duty exemptions. If you bring them back for resale, they are not eligible for duty exemption.
• Please be aware of U.S. prohibited merchandise, such as ivory, tortoiseshell products and counterfeit items. Bringing prohibited merchandise is against the law and can result in penalties up to $10,000. For more information on prohibited and restricted items, please visit: Know Before You Go guide at the following link.
• Many foreign-made medications are not approved for United States use and are not permitted in the country. When traveling, bring only medication you will need. Make sure the medication is in the original container.
• Before bringing food to the United States, please check the list of prohibited items. All live animals, birds and bird products may be restricted, quarantined, or require certification.
• CBP encourages travelers to declare ALL agricultural items to a CBP officer upon arrival. Do not attempt to bring fruits, meats, dairy/poultry and/or firewood into the United States without first checking they are permitted. For more information, please visit: Bringing Agricultural Products Into the United States | U.S. Customs and Border Protection (cbp.gov)
CBP is reminding travelers that, although medical marijuana is legal in many states within the U.S., the sale, possession, production, and distribution of marijuana remains illegal under U.S. federal law. Consequently, crossing with a valid medical marijuana prescription is prohibited and could potentially result in fines, apprehension, or both.
Travelers should familiarize themselves with the Prohibited and Restricted Items | U.S. Customs and Border Protection (cbp.gov) CBP website to avoid fines and penalties associated with the importation of prohibited items. Know Before You Go brochures are also available at any port.
Understand that everyone who applies for entry into the U.S. is subject to inspection. CBP officers may conduct a search of your person, your luggage and vehicle in order to enforce our laws as well as protect other travelers.
If you are a frequent international traveler and have not already become a member of a trusted traveler program, sign up now. For more information, please visit: Official Trusted Traveler Program Website | Department of Homeland Security (dhs.gov)
Follow the Director of CBP’s San Diego Field Office on Twitter at @DFOSanDiegoCA for breaking news, current events, human interest stories and photos.