U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is reminding travelers to have a valid passport or other approved travel document for any travel planned during the upcoming Fourth of July and Canada Day holidays and the Summer Olympics in London. Travelers should also be familiar with the CBP travel checklist.
One of the best ways to ensure smooth and easy entry into the U.S. is to sign up for one of the Trusted Traveler Programs, which expedite entry for pre-approved, low-risk frequent international travelers, CBP says.
CBP's Travel Checklist
• Have all the required travel documents for the country you are visiting, as well as identification for re-entry to the United States. Passport books are required for all international travel by air. Other options such as the U.S. passport card, trusted traveler cards, border crossing card and permanent resident card can be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land or sea ports of entry.
• Visit the Department of State’s website for more information about traveling for the Summer Olympic 2012 or to learn about the entry requirements for any other destination. www.travel.state.gov
• For citizens of Visa Waiver Program countries traveling to the U.S., make sure that you have an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) before boarding. For those traveling on a visa, have a completed I-94 form when approaching CBP processing.
• Have a completed Customs Declaration form (6059b) upon reaching CBP processing. Declare everything you are bringing from abroad, even if you bought it in a duty-free shop. Know that things bought abroad for personal use or as gifts may be eligible for duty exemptions. If you are bringing them back for resale, they are not.
• Know the difference between prohibited merchandise (which is forbidden by law to enter the U.S.) and restricted merchandise (items needing special permit to be allowed into the U.S.). For more information, please visit the Restricted/Prohibited section of the CBP website.
• Do not attempt to bring fruits, meats, dairy/poultry products and/or firewood into the United States without first checking whether they are permitted. For more information, please visit the Bringing Agricultural Products Into the United States section of the CBP website.
• Build additional time into trips during busy travel seasons and understand that CBP must conduct a thorough inspection of the nearly one million travelers entering the country each day.
• Understand that CBP officers can inspect you and your personal belongings without a warrant. This may include your luggage, vehicle, and personal searches and is meant to enforce our laws as well as protect legitimate travelers.
• Monitor border wait times for various ports of entry. Travelers are encouraged to plan their trips during periods of lighter traffic or to use an alternate, less heavily traveled port of entry. For more information, travelers can find up to date wait time information on the CBP website.
• If you are a frequent international traveler and haven’t already become a member of a Trusted Traveler Program, sign up now. For more information, visit the Trusted Traveler section of the CBP website.