Even though the summer is almost over, it is useful to remind those who still have vacation plans in Canada about the ‘Travel Tips’ for Americans and Canadians issued by the CBP. These tips include the following advice:

  • Travelers should familiarize themselves with the “Know Before You Go” section of the CBP website to avoid fines and penalties associated with the importation of prohibited items. “Know Before You Go” brochures also are available at border ports.
  • Travelers should prepare for the inspection process, including having all crossing documents available for the inspection, being ready to declare all items acquired abroad and ending all cellular phone conversations, before arriving at the CBP booth.
  • Travelers should consult the CBP website to monitor border wait times for various ports of entry, including Blaine and Sumas, Washington; Sweetgrass, Montana; and Pembina, North Dakota. CBP updates this information hourly and it may be useful in planning trips and identifying periods of light travel – which can translate into shorter wait times.
  • During periods of heavy travel, international border crossers may wish to consider less heavily traveled entry routes.
  • Travelers should plan to allot extra time in the event they cross during periods of exceptionally heavy traffic (e.g., Labor Day and the adjacent weekends).
  • Know the difference between goods for personal vs. commercial use.
  • Do not attempt to bring fruits, meats, dairy/poultry products and/or firewood into the United States from Canada without first checking whether they are permitted.
  • 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. International border crossers should continue to expect a thorough inspection process when they enter the United States from Canada, even during the summer vacation season. For additional information, please visit the following website: www.cbp.gov