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Veterans Day Travel Reminder

Release Date: 
November 2, 2011

Great Falls, Mont. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is reminding travelers planning trips across the border into Idaho or Montana to anticipate holiday traffic during the observance of Remembrance Day in Canada and Veterans Day in the United States on November 11. Originally dedicated as Armistice Day to commemorate the ending of the First World War, Veterans Day is now observed in honor of the sacrifices of all members of the armed forces in times of war.

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 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.) and consider alternate ports of entry. Consult the CBP website (click on Travel) to monitor border wait times at Sweetgrass, Montana, to find out the operating hours for ports of entry in Montana and Idaho, and review the "Know Before You Go" tip sheet.

As winter approaches, travelers are encouraged to check weather and road conditions prior to travel. Current road conditions in Idaho can be found at the Idaho Transportation Department website. Montana weather and road conditions are found at the Montana Department of Transportation website.

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, garlic with green tops, and home-grown potatoes. 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, the Khapra beetle, a small, destructive agricultural pest of spices, grains and packaged foods, has been found in rice from various countries. This has prompted the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to prohibit rice 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 at the CBP website 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 securing our borders, our people and our visitors from those that would do us harm, such as terrorists and their weapons, criminals and contraband.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017