Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

CBP cutting border station hours in Montana

Will mean Canadian, U.S. sides run at different hours

 

March 12, 2019



After nearly two decades of an international committee comprising members from Montana and Alberta trying to get the hours and status ugraded at the Port of Wildhorse north of Havre on the Canadian border, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced it is going the other direction on other ports.

CBP said in a release Friday that the agency will adjust the hours of operation at the Ports of Raymond, Opheim, Scobey, and Morgan beginning April 14.

“Very low traffic volumes during these proposed reduced hours along with fiscal responsibility with taxpayer money are a determining factor for the adjustment of hours at CBP ports of entry,” Area Port Director Daniel Escobedo said in the release.

The Port of Wildhorse, which has hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the winter and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the summer, is not listed in the changes.

The Wild Horse Border Committee has argued that the lack of traffic at that port is due to the short hours and the fact it is a permit port, requiring truckers to have permits to transport items across the border. The committee has pushed to get the port upgraded to commercial status and have extended hours or 24-hour-a-day operations, giving a straight shot to Medicine Hat including oil fields there and to the oil tar sands at Fort MacMurray as well as making it convenient for people who travel between Alberta and Montana for business and pleasure.

The release said CPB identified Ports of Raymond, Opheim, Scobey, and Morgan for modification of operational hours to realign resources to historical and existing traffic volumes and workload. This adjustment will allow CBP to properly align staffing with workload, maintain the CBP inspection and enforcement missions and redirect valuable resources to ports with greater commercial and passenger volumes, the release said.

It said the hours now in place at the four ports coincide with the Canadian ports on the northern side of the border.

Luke Reimer, communications officer for Canada Border Services Agency, Prairie Region, said CBSA is aware of CPB’s plan to reduce hours at its four Montana ports.

“(Canadian Border Services) Agency can confirm that at this time it will not be changing its hours of operation at the corresponding Canadian ports of entry of Regway, Coronach, Monchy, or West Poplar River,” Reimer said. “The CBSA is committed to maintaining the security of the Canadian border. To do this, we need to manage our resources so that we have the services we need, when and where we need them.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection listed the change in hours and said it will hold informational town hall meetings about the new hours at the U.S. ports. The town hall meetings will be advertised as soon as dates and times are established.

The current hours of operation for the Port of Raymond are 24 hours a day, which coincides with the hours of operation at the adjacent Canadian Port of Regway, Minton, Saskatchewan.  Effective April 14, 2019, the new hours of operation at Raymond will be 6 a.m. to midnight.  Travelers wishing to cross into the United States between midnight and 6 a.m. may cross at Portal, North Dakota, a 24-hour port of entry (108 miles east of Raymond). People crossing into Canada during these hours will not be affected.

The hours of operation for the Port of Opheim are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sept. 15 to May 31 and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. June 1 to Sept. 14. These hours coincide with the hours of operation at the adjacent Canadian Port of West Poplar River, Rockglen, Saskatchewan. Effective April 14, the new hours of operation at Opheim will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., year-round. Travelers who want to cross into the United States between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight may cross at Raymond, 95 miles east of Opheim, via Montana Highway 5 and Montana Highway 248.

  The hours of operation for the Port of Scobey are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sept. 15 to May 31 and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. June 1 to Sept. 14. These hours coincide with the hours of operation at the adjacent Canadian Port of Coronach, Saskatchewan. Effective April 14, the new hours of operation at Scobey will be 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., year-round. Travelers wishing to cross into the United States between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight may cross at Raymond, 53 miles east of Scobey via Montana Highway 5 and Montana Highway 16.

  The hours of operation for the Port of Morgan are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sept. 15 to May 31 and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., June 1 to Sept. 14.  These hours coincide with the hours of operation at the adjacent Canadian Port of Monchy, Val Marie, Saskatchewan. Effective April 14, the new hours of operation at Morgan will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., year-round. Travelers wishing to cross into the United States between the hours 6 and 9 p.m. June 1 to Sept. 14 may cross at Turner, 130 miles west of Morgan via U.S. Highway 2 and 63 miles via Highway 8 and Highway 37 in Canada.

Anyone wishing to comment on the adjustment of hours can do so via email at: [email protected]

 

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