(Thursday, November 18, 2010)
Miami – U.S. Customs and Border Protection reminds air travelers to make sure they have their proper documents and to anticipate possible heavy traffic in air travel during the observance of Thanksgiving holiday in the United States on Nov. 25.
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, implemented on June 1, 2009 requires U.S. and Canadian citizens, 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-approved travel documents include a passport, U. S. passport card, enhanced driver’s licenses or a Trusted Traveler Program card (NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST). For more information, please visit the WHTI website. ( www.getyouhome.gov ) . WHTI document requirements for air travel have been in effect since January 2007.
CBP reminds travelers that Global Entry kiosks are available to the traveling public. Global Entry allows pre-approved members an alternative to regular passport processing lines. At the kiosk, Global Entry members insert their passport or lawful permanent resident card into a document reader, provide digital fingerprints for comparison with fingerprints on file, answer customs declaration questions on the kiosk’s touch-screen, and then present a transaction receipt to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers before leaving the inspection area.
Global Entry expedites the customs and security process for trusted air travelers while helping CBP ensure the safety of all airline passengers. Expanding this vital program allows us to improve customer service at airports and concentrate our resources on higher-risk travelers. For more information on Global Entry and how to register please visit the Global Entry website. ( Global Entry ) Additionally, CBP offers the following travel tips:
- Tip #1 – To avoid fines and penalties associated with importing prohibited items, travelers should familiarize themselves with the “Know Before You Go” section off the CBP website. ( Know Before You Go )
- Tip #2 – Be prepared to declare all items acquired abroad. Travelers should prepare for the inspection process before arriving at the inspection booth and have their approved travel documents available for the inspection.
- Tip #3 –Monitor border wait times for various ports of entry. Travelers should consult the CBP website site for hourly updates when planning trips and identifying periods of light use/short waits. During periods of heavy travel, border crossers may wish to consider alternative, less heavily traveled entry routes.
- Tip #4 – Build extra time into the trip in the event of crossing during periods of exceptionally heavy traffic.
- Tip #5 – Know the difference between goods for personal use versus commercial use. For more details visit the following website. ( Travel )
- Tip #6 –Do not attempt to bring fruits, meats, dairy/poultry products and firewood into the U.S. from Canada without first checking whether they are permitted.
- Tip # 7 – During the holiday travel season, international travelers should continue to expect a thorough inspection process when entering the U.S. Understand that 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.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.