Do’s and Don’ts of Border Crossings
Apr 17, 2012 By SFLCAuthor
Do’s and Don’ts of Border Crossing by Walt Temple Properties of Katy. With the recent tightening of border regulations, hopping into Canada or Mexico isn’t as easy as it used to be. Here’s what you need to know the next time you visit one of our neighbors to the north or south.
Don’t forget your documents. Even if you’re just taking a day trip across the border, all U.S. citizens 16 or older need a passport or other approved document for reentry to the country. You’re also required to bring a copy of birth certificates for children younger than 16. Learn more about required identification documents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Do register expensive belongings. CBP recommends registering items such as electronics and expensive jewelry at your nearest CBP office before going abroad—especially if the item was made in a foreign country. Registration ensures that you won’t be charged a duty fee for the item upon your return. Receipts, insurance policies and appraisals are other ways to demonstrate ownership.
Don’t pack the entire contents of your medicine bottle. If you need to travel with medication, take only as many doses as you’ll need for the span of the trip, and keep the medicine in its original container.
Do be aware of duty charges. Items purchased or received as gifts while you’re across the border are subject to duty fees when you reenter the U.S. In most circumstances, you’re allowed an exemption on items totaling up to $800 as long as they’re in your possession while traveling. Pack items you’ll have to declare separately, and keep sales slips handy to simplify the process.
Don’t bring back prohibited items. Certain articles are banned from being brought into the U.S., such as dangerous toys and most products containing meat. Others, such as various animals and some types of produce, also are restricted and require a special license or permit before being allowed in. CBP provides guidelines for prohibited and restricted items.
Do pack proof of your dog’s rabies vaccination. If you’re traveling with your pet, he must have been vaccinated for rabies 30 or more days prior to returning to the U.S. The certificate should display the administration and expiration dates, identify the dog and be signed by a veterinarian.