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Old 23rd Apr 2018, 06:58
  #17 (permalink)  
Andrewgr2
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Only occasionally above FL50
Age: 67
Posts: 126
I travelled into the US overland from Canada with a tour group of 12 people last autumn. Our Canadian tour leader was very experienced at taking people into the States. We all had picnic food with us. No problem provided it was 'processed'. Fruit is fine provided it is chopped up in a fruit salad. Tomatoes and meat - again no problem provided it has been sliced into a sandwich etc. Strange that the act of cutting something up makes it safe - but the border authorities were told about all our food and were perfectly happy. Shoes and wallets were never mentioned but they are certainly animal products.

It still took us over 2 hours because our tour leader had made sure we had applied for our ESTA and I94 forms in advance The latter form is normally completed at the border if arriving by air or sea but had just been introduced for advance completion online if arriving overland. Both forms ask where you are staying in the US. Two people had entered addresses which did not match on the two forms. They had a comma on one line of the address on one form which was missing on the other! The computer systems spotted the incompatibility and would not permit entry or editing of the forms. The entire staff of the border point got involved! After 2 hours the problem was resolved by deleting the ESTA and re-entering it to match the I94. Doesn't say much for pre release testing of the software.

I've been an infrequent visitor to the US over the years. I would always avoid a long distance route with a transfer in the US because my experience has invariably been one of difficulties at the border - even before 9/11.
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