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Old 31-03-2005, 03:52   #1
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Easier US return?

From “Trade Only Today” ~ 3/30/2005

Industry cheers bill to ease Bahamas return - by JoAnn W. Goddard

Florida marine industry leaders resoundingly support legislation introduced by a U.S. congressman that would ease the process of re-entering the country from international waters.

Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., yesterday announced the Recreational Boaters Streamlined Inspection Act, which would allow boaters to check-in with immigration authorities by using a videophone.

“We couldn’t be happier,” Alison Pruitt, executive director of the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County, said today. “We’re thrilled.”

Before the 9/11 attacks, boaters could call authorities to clear customs but with beefed-up homeland security restrictions since then, boaters now are required to check in at the nearest customs office within 24 hours. Customs offices are often closed on weekends and have limited hours during the week. Pruitt says the waiting time during office hours can be lengthy.

Boaters have been so frustrated with the red tape that they have stopped traveling outside U.S. waters, or they have failed to report to authorities upon return. Boaters in South Florida, who frequently travel to the Bahamas for weekend or overnight trips, were particularly affected, said Pruitt. “What used to be a pretty straightforward weekend trip became difficult,” she said.

Under the legislation, boaters could check in with customs officials 24 hours a day using videophones at 13 points of entry from Key West to the Sebastian Inlet. The phones would be installed at kiosks at the entrance to ports.

JoAnn W. Goddard
j.goddard@tradeonlytoday.com
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Old 05-04-2005, 17:59   #2
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New U.S. Entry Requirements:

New Requirements for Travelers Between the United States and the Western Hemisphere (American & Foreign).

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html

Travelers to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico and Canada will be required to have a passport or other secure, accepted document to enter or re-enter the United States. This is a change from prior travel requirements and will affect all United States citizens entering the United States from countries within the Western Hemisphere who do not currently possess valid passports. This new requirement will also affect certain foreign nationals who currently are not required to present a passport to travel to the United States. Most Canadian citizens, citizens of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda, and to a lesser degree, Mexican citizens will be affected by the implementation of this requirement

The travel initiative requirements will be rolled out in phases, providing as much advance notice as possible to the affected public to enable them to meet the terms of the new guidelines. The proposed implementation timeline is as follows:

* December 31, 2005 – Passport or other accepted document required for all travel (air/sea) to or from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Central and South America.
* December 31, 2006 – Passport or other accepted document required for all air and sea travel to or from Mexico and Canada.
* December 31, 2007 – Passport or other accepted document required for all air, sea and land border crossings.

Frequently Asked Questions about the New Travel Initiative Requirements (FAQs)
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2225.html
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