US Customs Update (Spring 2014)
US Border staff are hoping to keep wait times as short as possible BUT leave to cross the border with as much time as you can manage!
Reminder to have your required IDs in the hand of the driver.
All tomatoes and pepper (all types) are prohibited. NO citrus fruits and that includes US citrus products. Labeled bananas from Central and South America must be inspected so don't bring them! Most other fruit and meat have to have US markings and/or must be in season in Canada. Example of this are grapes in the spring aren't in season in Canada and are therefore prohibited. When in doubt don't bring it!
Border Entry Requirements for Riders and Teams
Due to the Radiation Portals (which scan all vehicles for the presence for of radioactive materials) at the U.S. Border anyone who has had medical tests and/or treatments involving radioactive material may face a short delay. Please call U.S. Customs at 907-767-5511 to see what information you might be able to provide to speed up your clearance. It is suggested that your leg 7 rider NOT fall into this category.
Due to increased border inspection requirements, all riders who cross the US-Canada border will be required to stop and show identification (a Passport, some exceptions noted below) to a US Customs Officer. This includes all leg 7 riders on solo, two, four and eight person teams.
Leg 7riders will have to stop at the US-Canada border. Once riders have entered the bike lane at Canadian customs, there is to be no passing.
Updated Information (As of March 21, 2011): Bike Riders will NOT have to go through the radiation portals but will get off their bikes at the portal, walk/jog to the Customs officer on the sidewalk (where bikes cleared last year) present their ID, get cleared and then ride off. There will be 2 to 3 volunteers slowing bikes down and stopping them at the radiation portals. At that spot the bikes have to go off the pavement and around the outside of the portal which is why they will then have to walk/jog their bike up to the Customs clearance spot.
All leg 7 riders must stop and show their Passport to the Customs Officer there.
A rider without ID at this point will not be allowed to proceed.
All other team members will stop at the border in their vehicles, present Passports, and clear customs in the usual manner.
Support Vehicles and Other Drivers at the Border Crossing
U.S. Customs has asked us to pass along this important advice. US Customs will have extra officers and 2 lanes to expedite border crossing. Drivers of vehicles MUST have ALL of the Passports for the passengers in their vehicle in their hand and ready to pass to the customs officer. Failure to follow this procedure will result in the vehicle being directed to a holding area and the occupants may experience lengthy delays in waiting for clearance.
U.S. Customs would also like to advise riders and support vehicles that most delays and long waiting times in the last few years have been caused by drivers and passengers who wait until they are stopped before looking for their ID papers.
Passports will be mandatory identification for anyone crossing the border, with limited exceptions for US residents - active Military, Landed Immigrants, and some other cases.
Please go to travel.state.gov and click on the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative in the middle of the page or call your closest US Customs and Border Protection Office if you need additional information or clarity about your personal situation.
These are the same ID requirements as for anyone crossing the border. If you have any questions, call US Customs at 907-767-5511 or Canada Customs at 907-767-5540.
Customs Hours of Operation
If you plan to cross the border at night be aware that US and Canada Customs may be closed. Hours are as follows:
Northbound from Haines - Canada Customs at Pleasant Camp - 8:00 a.m. to midnight (Pacific Time) all year
Southbound from Haines Junction - US Customs at Dalton Cache - 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (Alaska Time) all year .
Food, You and The Border
Update from US Customs (as of May 30, 2010): Do NOT to bring fruit/vegetables unless they are in original bags showing product of US. This includes bananas and oranges. Also dog food has to be in original packaging showing Made in the US
The following is from the US Agriculture Inspector:
- Sheep or goat meat of any sort (dried, raw, or cooked) is prohibited
- Dried, raw, or cooked chicken, beef, and pork products are enterable. This includes eggs and pet food.
- All whole fruits and vegetables are subject to inspection and must have proof of origin (i.e. packaging, labeling) to determine admissibility.
- Most sliced fruits are admissible following inspection. Fresh sliced citrus (e.g. grapefruits, lemons, limes, oranges) and peaches are prohibited.
- All items with proof of U.S. origin are admissible, except tomatoes and peppers.
- Commodity admissibility is subject to change depending on changes in exotic pest risk or disease status.
Minors Crossing the Border
Clarification provided by US Customs Port Director in April 2011.
There has been a question about special requirements for minors (youth under the legal age) crossing the border without a parent present. US customs has provided the following advice:
1.There is no requirement for a letter from parents and there should not be a problem for riders crossing the border without a parent.
2.Any rider that is age 16 and over will require a passport and will have to present it at the border, like any other rider.
3.If a 15 year old or younger is riding leg 7, he/she will need a passport OR birth certificate and a photo ID (may be a state issued ID or a school ID).
4.Under age riders who are crossing the border in a vehicle should have the same ID as listed in item 3.
5. It is recommended that the under age riders have a letter from their parents advising that the minors have permission from their parents to cross the border.