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Holiday border crossing tips

An increase is expected this week in border traffic with the United States and Canada celebrating their independence days — Canada Day on July 1 and the fourth of July of the U.S..

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is reminding travelers planning trips across the border to anticipate delays and prepare accordingly.

CBP’s overall strategy is to maximize existing resources, identify staffing needs and explore funding sources to support staffing needs. CBP also encourages travelers to be familiar with U.S. rules and regulations.

Travelers looking for ways to improve their travel experience should consider:

• Having the appropriate travel documents such as passports or enhanced driver’s licenses. See www.getyouhome.gov.

• Join NEXUS which allows pre-screened, low-risk travelers to proceed with little or no delay into the U.S. and Canada. Application forms are available on the Canada Border Services Agency website at www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca and travelers can apply online at www.cbp.gov.  Additionally, NEXUS information is available toll-free at 1-866-NEXUS 26 (1-866-639-8726).

• Check border wait times. Plan ahead. Give yourself extra time. Travelers can download CBP’s Border Wait Time “APP” to their mobile devices for real time border crossing traffic conditions. It is available in Google Play and Apple stores. Travelers can also obtain current border traffic conditions at www.cbp.gov/travel/advisories-wait-times.

• Visit the “Know Before You Go” section of the CBP web site (www.cbp.gov). To avoid fines and penalties associated with the importation of restricted or prohibited items become educated prior to traveling; this includes agriculture products. Visit http://www.cbp.gov/travel.

• A new downloadable checklist is also available on the CBP website.