If you’re a US-based truck carrier who’s about to cross the border into Canada for a job, there aresome things you should know before doing so. When you cross into a different country, especially with produce, there are all sorts of rules you must comply with. As a result, here we offer you our 5 tips for carriers crossing the Canadian border.
1. Don’t have a DUI or other criminal record!
Carriers crossing the Canadian border could land themselves in hot water if they have a DUI or criminal record in the US. Although you may be able to get away with travelingbetween states with a past criminal record, you’ll find it difficult to cross international borders if you don’t have a squeaky clean past. If you have a checkered past, consider taking routes which stick to the US only.
2. Apply for a FAST card
Depending on the company you work for, you may be required by your employer to apply for a FAST card (Free and Secure Trade card) in order to expedite the border crossing process. Ensure that your FAST card and any other relevant paperwork are prepared before getting to the border crossing, as this will help to make the lives of carriers crossing the Canadian border much simpler. To get a FAST card, simply apply at a FAST center in the US.
3. Stay in contact with your Customs broker
A couple of hours before getting to the border, contact your Customs broker and get them to review your paperwork, making sure that it is all up to the Canadian requirements. Depending on your shipment, you may require a Customs inspection when you reach the border, so be sure to prepare for this ahead of time if necessary.
4. Do NOT have a weapon on you
All weapons are illegal in Canada, as they are in a vast number of countries, so be sure to leave any of your US-bought firearms safely locked away at home. Something as minor as pepper spray is still illegal in Canada, so don’t take any chances. Possessing a gun in Canada could land you in jail, so make no assumptions and take no chances.
5. Turn off all of your communications
While you’re at the Canadian border crossing, be sure to turn off your radios, communications, cell phones, and any other devices/systems which could distract you or the border officials from the process and slow things down. Being prepared and not listening to the radio in the background also makes you appear to be respectful and polite – something which will undoubtedly serve you well when trying to get into Canada!
Alas, carriers crossing the Canadian border mostly need to use common sense and decency in order to smooth the process. Don’t make inappropriate jokes with the border officials, don’t be blaring music while they try to talk to you, have a FAST card if possible, and have all your paperwork prepared in advance. Using these tips, carriers crossing the Canadian border will have a much quicker transition.