By Tom Greenwood
Here’s a couple of tips if you’re contemplating crossing the U.S./Canada border this summer season: Pack your patience and don’t stuff your bra with tens of thousands of dollars in undeclared cash.
As usual when the temperature rises, so do the number of cross-border trips between us and those wonderful people on the other side of the Detroit River.
On Thursday, the dedicated folks from U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Canada Border Services Agency held a joint press conference on the U.S. side of the Detroit/Windsor Tunnel to offer tips to travelers.
“Traditionally, travel between the two countries starts to pick up about the time of the international fireworks, which is set for June 24,” said Paul Hammond, spokesman for the CBP. “Our best advice is to be prepared before you travel by checking for wait times at crossings, by visiting our ‘Before You Go’ section of our website at http://www.cbp.gov or follow us on Twitter @CBPGreatLakes.”
The same advice came from Paul Susko, acting chief of border operations for the CBSA.
“Anyone concerned about bringing alcohol and goods into Canada should check our ‘I Declare’ section on our website at www.cbp.gov. Additionally, many weapons are considered prohibited and are, therefore, not allowed into Canada. All travelers must declare any firearms and weapons in their possession, whether or not they have a permit to carry a weapon.”
Here are more tips offered to cross border travelers:
■ Check crossing times and camera views at www.dwtunnel.com.
■ If traveling with children younger than 16 years old who are not part of your immediate family, obtain and carry a parental note of permission regarding cross border travel. Include each child’s parents contact information and telephone number.
■ Empty your trunk of unnecessary items before you go. Additional items can add time to your crossing if agents decide to visually check your vehicle.
■ Turn off radios and cell phones when approaching inspection booths and officers.
■ Role down the driver and rear passenger windows, remove sunglasses and make eye contact with officers.
■ Declare all goods acquired while out of the country, including fruits, vegetables, plants and plant products, animals, birds, eggs, meat and meat products as well as items for personal use.
■ Be patient: Remember these folks work 24/7 to let the good people through and keep the bad people out.
■ Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
■ Fireworks may not be brought across either border.
As for bringing money in your bra, that’s a snarky reference to an arrest at the border last week when officers discovered that a woman and her daughter had stuffed nearly $60,000 in cash in their bras.
Any amounts over $10,000 in cash have to be declared.