Press-Republican

Local News

April 16, 2014

Tips for crossing border during Holy Week

CHAMPLAIN — U.S. Customs and Border Protection is offering tips to travelers crossing the border with Canada in order to expedite travel during busy Holy Week.

Prepare for the inspection process before arriving at the inspection booth, a press release said.

Travelers should have their WHTI (Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative) or RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)-enabled documents in hand before reaching primary inspection. 

And they should declare all items acquired abroad.

Additionally, individuals should end cellphone conversations before arriving at the inspection booth. Travelers should also have their windows rolled down for inspection and remove any sunglasses and hats prior to entering the inspection area.

To avoid fines and penalties associated with the importation of restricted or prohibited items, including agricultural products, visit http://www.cbp.gov/travel before hitting the road.

There are numerous agricultural restrictions on fruits, meats and plants.

Allow for extra time and check border wait times in case of exceptionally heavy traffic. Travelers should check traffic conditions at the border crossings within their region and select the crossing that is least congested.

Find current border traffic conditions at www.cbp.gov.

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.

Find applications at www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca, and travelers can apply online at www.cbp.gov. Additionally, NEXUS information is available toll-free at 866-NEXUS 26 or (866) 639-8726.

For more information on what to expect at a port of entry, document requirements and prohibited or restricted items, travelers can visit www.GetYouHome.gov.

As a reminder, the ports of Cannons Corner, Jamieson Line and Churubusco have limited immigration processing capabilities. It is suggested that travelers requiring immigration document processing use an alternate port of entry.

A new downloadable checklist is also now available that can be accessed on your smartphone or device to help you travel smart when traveling internationally.

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