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U.S. Customs and Border Protection Advise Travelers To Prepare For a Busy Holiday Weekend

U.S. Customs & Border Protection /

Buffalo, N.Y.- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Field Operations reminds travelers planning cross border trips this holiday weekend to make sure they have the proper documents and to plan for a possible increase in traffic. CBP officials want to inform the traveling public that there are a number of steps that can be taken to facilitate their arrival into the United States.

Travelers should check traffic conditions at the four border crossings within the Buffalo/Niagara region and select the crossing that is least congested. Travelers can easily obtain current border traffic conditions by calling the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission’s toll free number at (800) 715-6722 by visiting any of the following websites: ( ) ( CBSA ) ( Nittec ) ( Peace Bridge ) ( Niagara Falls bridge )

Travelers should familiarize themselves with the “Know Before You Go” section of the CBP website and consult the border wait times page ( Know Before You Go ) ( CBP Wait Times ) . Wait time information is updated hourly and is useful in identifying periods of light traffic/short waits. Travelers should have their approved travel documents available for inspection and be prepared to declare all items acquired outside or being imported into the U.S.

In compliance with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative all travelers, including U.S. and Canadian citizens, entering the U.S. via land and sea arrival, need to present an approved travel document. These approved documents include a valid Passport, U.S. Passport Card, Trusted Traveler card (NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST) or an Enhanced Driver’s License. Children under the age of 16 can present an original or copy of their birth certificate. Please visit the WHTI website for additional information. ( Get You Home )

CBP strongly encourages travelers to obtain a radio frequency identification enabled travel document such as a U.S. Passport Card, Enhanced Driver’s License/Enhanced Identification Card or Trusted Traveler Program card (NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST/EXPRES) to expedite their entry and make crossing the border more efficient.

WHTI compliant, RFID enabled documents help reduce the time it takes to process travelers at the border. No personal identification information is stored on the RFID chip embedded in the cards – only a series of ones and zeros that points to information in a secure CBP database.

CBP also reminds U.S. lawful permanent residents that the I-551 form (green card) is acceptable for land and sea travel into the U.S.

Cross-border travelers are encouraged to participate in the NEXUS program, which allows pre-screened, low-risk travelers to proceed with little or no delay into the United States and Canada. Application forms are available on the Canada Border Services Agency website at ( CBSA ) and travelers can apply online at ( ) . Additionally, NEXUS information is available toll-free at (866)-NEXUS 26 (866)-639-8726 or online at ( Nexus Niagara)

WHTI is the joint Department of State-Department of Homeland Security plan that implemented a key 9/11 Commission recommendation to establish document requirements for travelers entering the United States, who were previously exempt, including citizens of the U.S., Canada and Bermuda.



CBP Makes Move to ACE for Sea and Rail Manifest

AMS to be Phased out in Six Months for Sea and Rail Manifest

U.S. Customs & Border Protection /

Washington — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) today (March 30,2012) announced a Federal Register notice that will implement the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) after a six month transition period. ACE will be the only CBP-approved electronic data interchange system for filing required advance ocean and rail cargo information to the agency. The notice posted to the federal register yesterday.

"This achievement is a result of the dedicated teamwork between CBP, the private sector, and participating government partners,” said CBP Acting Commissioner, David V. Aguilar. “ACE is part of the CBP modernization process that is essential to facilitating trade and security, speeding the flow of commerce into the country."

Although the present Automated Manifest System will continue to operate during the transition period and may still be used in the normal course of business for other purposes, it will no longer be available for purposes related to transmitting to CBP required advance ocean and rail cargo information.

ACE is a multi-year project to modernize the business processes essential to securing U.S. borders, speeding the flow of legitimate shipments, and targeting illicit goods. ACE is a key part of CBP’s layered defense to facilitate trade and border security. CBP will continue to work with the affected trade community to ensure a complete and efficient transition to ACE.



Nogales CBP Officers Seize Pot Shipment
Drugs Hidden in Load of Cucumbers

U.S. Customs & Border Protection /

Nogales, Ariz. — Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Tucson Field Office seized more than 1,800 pounds of marijuana Wednesday night. The marijuana, hidden in a shipment of cucumbers, was worth more than $900,000.

Nogales CBP officers referred a 27-year-old male Mexican national for a non-intrusive X-ray inspection of his tractor-trailer when he attempted to enter the United States through the Mariposa Commercial Port. The X-ray operator noticed an anomaly in the shipment of cucumbers, which led to a physical inspection and the discovery of 224 bundles of marijuana co-mingled with the produce. The drugs and tractor-trailer were processed for seizure. The driver was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Individuals arrested may be charged by complaint, the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity, which raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

CBP's Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation’s ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.



CBP Trade Newsletter

U.S. Customs & Border Protection /



Don’t Be Fooled by Too Good to Be True Websites

U.S. Department of Homeland Security /

While the tricks and jokes exchanged online are often innocent and fun, there are individuals lurking online who want to trick you into handing over your personal information.

Cybercriminals often rely on social engineering to trick people into installing malware with scams for free products, offers for pirated entertainment, or “never before seen” footage or photos that spark a fan’s curiosity. Clicking on one of these links makes it easy for criminals to steal your identity and passwords.

According to a recent report, the fan craze created by the film The Hunger Games has created the perfect opportunity for devious cybercriminals to take advantage of Internet users. While clicking on a link may seem innocent enough, it can actually infect your computer, phone, or tablet without you even knowing what happened.

Protect yourself and help stop the spread of malware by following these simple tips:

  • Be extremely cautious when accessing or downloading content; if something is too good to be true, then it probably is.
  • Do not trust a site if it doesn’t appear legitimate or you don’t know where the online content is coming from.
  • Protect your computer by installing and keeping your anti-virus software up-to-date.

If your computer has been infected, follow these important steps:

  • If you are at work and have access to an IT department, contact them immediately.
  • If you are on your home computer or a laptop, disconnect from the Internet.
  • If the anti-virus software can’t locate or remove the infection, you may need to reinstall your operating system.

Visit for more information, tips and resources on malware, spyware, and phishing.


Obama Administration Takes Action to Address Tobacco Epidemic
FDA takes two significant actions

U.S. Food & Drug Adminstration /

Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released two separate draft guidance documents to help fight the tobacco epidemic and stop children from using tobacco. The draft guidance documents implement provisions of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act that will ultimately provide the public with previously unknown information about the chemicals in tobacco products and help prevent misleading marketing about the risks associated with tobacco products.

The first document provides guidance on how companies will comply with the requirement to report on the quantities of potentially harmful chemicals in tobacco products. The second document provides guidance to companies that seek to advertise or market a tobacco product as less harmful or associated with reducing the risk of tobacco-related disease.

"Today’s actions represent critical steps forward on providing Americans with the facts about the dangers of tobacco use and to stop children from smoking," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "We will continue to do everything we can to help smokers quit and prevent kids from starting this deadly addiction."

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act requires tobacco product manufacturers and importers to report quantities of harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) found in tobacco products or tobacco smoke by brand and sub-brand. HPHCs are chemicals or chemical compounds in a tobacco product or tobacco smoke that cause, or could cause, harm to smokers or non-smokers. All HPHCs included on the list cause or may cause serious health problems including cancer, lung disease, and addiction to tobacco products.

While there are more than 7,000 chemicals in tobacco and tobacco smoke, FDA has today established a list of 93 HPHCs that tobacco companies will be required to report for every regulated tobacco product sold in the United States. The FDA recognizes that industry may be unable to meet the deadline due to current testing limitations. In recognition of this, the draft guidance released today identifies 20 HPHCs that are representative of the full list and for which testing methods are well established and widely available.

FDA intends to focus reporting enforcement on these 20 HPHCs during 2012. FDA intends to make information about the amount of HPHCs in specific products available to the public in a consumer-friendly format by April 2013.

FDA also issued draft guidance today on submitting applications to sell modified risk tobacco products (MRTPs). Modified risk tobacco products are tobacco products that are sold, distributed, or marketed with a claim to reduce harm or the risk of tobacco-related disease.

The Tobacco Control Act establishes rigorous scientific criteria an applicant’s tobacco product must meet before FDA can allow the applicant to sell that product with a claim to reduce harm. The draft guidance describes scientific studies and analyses an applicant should submit to demonstrate its product will, or is expected to, significantly reduce harm or exposure to individuals, and benefit the health of the population as a whole.

"We are forging new territory to ensure that tobacco companies provide accurate information and do not mislead American consumers," said FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D. "We are committed to stopping such practices that may cause people to start or continue using tobacco products that could lead to preventable disease and death."

The draft guidance for MRTPs provides details for those who seek to market a tobacco product as modified or lower risk including how to organize and submit an MRTP application, what scientific studies and analyses should be submitted, and what information should be collected through post-market surveillance and studies.

The draft guidance document and a December 2011 report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) titled "Scientific Standards for Studies on Modified Risk Tobacco Products" are open for comments from the public until June 4, 2012. Before issuing the final guidance, FDA will consider these public comments, the IOM report and feedback from an FDA public workshop held in August 2011.



ICE Provides Quality Medical Care to Detainees

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) /

Providing quality health care to detainees in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) custody is an important and challenging task — one that Assistant Director for ICE Health Service Corps (IHSC) Dr. Jon Krohmer takes very seriously.

The ICE Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) ensures the safe and humane conditions of confinement for aliens detained in ICE custody. This includes the provision of reliable, consistent and appropriate health services. IHSC, which falls under ERO, is comprised of more than 900 Public Health Service-commissioned officers, federal civil servants and contract support staff. Their mission is straightforward: to serve as the medical authority for ICE on a wide range of medical issues, including the agency's comprehensive detainee health care program.

IHSC provides direct care to approximately 15,000 detainees housed at 21 IHSC-designated facilities throughout the nation. In addition, IHSC oversees the medical care provided to an additional 17,000 detainees at non-IHSC staffed detention facilities across the country. Whenever necessary, it authorizes and pays for off-site specialty and emergency care, consultations and case management.

"A detainee's health care begins the moment they walk through the facility's doors," said Dr. Krohmer. "Within the first 12 hours of their admission, all detainees undergo a preliminary health screening, which includes an evaluation of the individual's medical, dental and mental health status and within the next 14 days, a more detailed physical examination takes place."

Because so many of these detainees are either new arrivals in the country or haven't had access to health care in the past, Dr. Krohmer said it is not unusual for serious health problems to be diagnosed at these screenings.

"We're finding out about health issues that even they didn't even know about and in most cases are able to begin treatment," he said.

This continuity of care not only lasts during the individual's period of detention, but also throughout their removal to their country of origin. Before any detainee boards a plane to be removed from the United States, they must first undergo an evaluation to make sure they are fit to fly.

In order to continually upgrade the quality of medical services they deliver, IHSC not only actively complies with the Performance Based National Detention Standards, but is also instrumental in the standard's continuous upgrades and improvements. Dr. Krohmer said that over the last few years, IHSC has become much more involved in their development and revisions.

"My staff and I are aware that detainee health care is an ever-evolving issue and that just like in the general population, health care priorities are constantly changing," said Dr. Krohmer. "We are working to develop a more systematic approach to our health care system within the detention facilities."

For instance, ICE recently streamlined the treatment authorization request. This application — used to formally request a specialized medical procedure that falls outside the scope of what IHSC can provide — is now typically reviewed and approved within 24 hours.

Krohmer added that plans are underway to forge a more uniform health care system among the IHSC facilities, enabling them to work together more cohesively.

Learn more about the IHSC

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