The holiday season is a busy time for travel. If your holiday travel plans involve going across the border to or from Canada, it’s important to know the regulations in order to avoid a holiday headache. News Source 8’s Angela Christoforos has some holiday travel tips…
It’s a busy travel time at the Houlton Border Crossing on both the U.S. and Canadian sides. And with the increase in holiday travel comes an increase in goods and gifts traveling across the border.
Andrew Seder, Customs and Border Protection Officer at the Port of Houlton said, “Make sure that they’re accessible because they may need to be searched as part of just the routine border process a lot of people like to wrap them ahead of time and sometimes we have to unwrap them unfortunately so just be aware of that.”
If you’re traveling with your pet- make sure you have vaccination records on hand and be prepared to fill out paper work if you’re bringing home a new pet. And when it comes to delivering holiday foods across the border, be aware of the restrictions.
CBP Agriculture Specialist Laura Barnard said, “Most of the time you can bring prepared dishes across the border there’s a lot of regulations on fresh fruits and vegetables you cannot bring any kind of citrus products into the U.S. We also regulate plants which could be a poinsettia, say you wanted to bring that as a gift for somebody you cannot bring potted plants across the border.”
Allow yourself about 30 minutes to cross the border to ensure enough time for the inspection process especially if you are traveling with items purchased outside of the country.
“Just make sure you declare things cause if you don’t declare them and we find them in your vehicles you can be charged up to $300 for the first time and $500 for the second violation,” said Barnard.
And as always when traveling across the border, make sure you have your passport.
You can find out more on the inspection process and what isn’t allowed across the border at the following links:
Canada Border Services Agency -> http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/menu-eng.html
U.S. Customs and Border Protection ->http://cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/kbyg/