Customs and Border Protection has expanded a pilot program in which visitors to select fishing resorts near the Canadian border will be able to use tablets to report their arrival and videoconference with CBP officers at the International Falls
Port of Entry.
The program at three Crane Lake, Minn., resorts “addresses a pressing issue for a community that depends heavily on tourism,” CBP said, noting that “oftentimes fishing guides and their guests travel into Ontario, Canada, which prompts border security checks by U.S. Customs and Border Protection upon return,” and “the current system of utilizing the CBP officer located on Crane Lake does not provide 24-hour coverage to report an arrival.”
CBP began testing the remote reporting app Aug. 12 within the Northwest Angle, Minn. Crane Lake travelers can also report in via 4G/LTE or Wi-Fi devices, and frequent travelers can expedite the process by building a profile within the reporting app.
“From an officer standpoint, this is much-needed technology,” said International Falls Port Director Tony Jackson in the CBP statement. “Having that clarity in the video conference coupled with the traveler’s information from the app is strengthening border security in these remote areas while facilitating legitimate travel and trade.”
Remote reporting is currently available at Handberg Marine & Marina, Scott’s Resort Seaplane Base, and Voyagaire Lodge & Houseboats, and CBP expects to expand the program in the future.