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Thursday, 30 August 2018 07:41

Six tips for a smooth border-crossing this Labour Day weekend

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Heading south this long weekend? Don’t want to get held up on your way home? Labour Day falls on September 3 this year, and in that spirit, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has narrowed down six tips to make Saskatchewanians’ return trip to Canada a smooth as possible:

1.       Consider crossing in the morning
Arriving at the border in the morning, rather than in the afternoon or evening, gives you the best chance of avoiding lineups. In Saskatchewan, the CBSA recommends using the North Portal border crossing during peak travel times, as it is open 24-7 and has the greatest capacity to process large volumes of traffic. Visit the CBSA website or download the CanBorder App to monitor wait times.
2.       Keep your ID handy
Don’t you hate that sinking feeling of not being able to find your passport? Here’s a tip: Have it out and ready well before you arrive at the border. Don’t have a passport? Check our website for a list of other valid travel documents.
3.       Do your homework
Not sure whether an item is allowed into Canada? Save the hassle by checking before you buy it. Still not sure? Call our Border Information Service at 1-800-461-9999 (toll-free within Canada) and just ask. Keep your personal exemptions in mind, and remember to save and tally all your receipts – an officer may ask to see them.
4.       Don’t sweat it
Making a full declaration is easy. We know that most returning Saskatchewanians want to follow the rules, and honesty truly is the best policy. When you declare any purchases or goods you’ve acquired while in the U.S. at the first opportunity, you eliminate the risk of penalties and charges. Say no to smuggling and make a full and accurate declaration.
5.       Don’t take it personally
Being sent inside for further examination is no reason to panic. In fact, it’s a completely normal part of the border-crossing experience, and does not mean you have done anything wrong. You could be referred for further examination for any number of reasons, even for a random check.
6.       Cannabis. Don’t bring it in. Don’t take it out.
Despite the fact that cannabis (marijuana) will become legal and regulated in Canada in the near future, it will remain illegal to take cannabis across Canada’s national borders, whether you are entering or leaving Canada. For more information, consult cannabis (marijuana) legalization.
Quick Fact
Last Labour Day weekend, CBSA officers in southern Saskatchewan processed nearly 7,000 travellers.

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