Walkers, cyclists a problem for Cornwall CBSA

The Cornwall customs facility, south of the intersection of Water Street and Brookdale Avenue, in September 2014. The CBSA said it's recently had trouble with cyclists and walkers failing to report to customs. Failing to report carries a $1,000 fine. (Photo/Federal Bridge Corp.)

CORNWALL – The Canada Border Services Agency has been dealing with a recent problem of walkers and cyclists failing to report to customs in Cornwall.

CBSA spokesman Chris Kealey told Cornwall Newswatch roughly a dozen people have been intercepted in the last two weeks. Kealey thinks just as many have got through the border without reporting.

“What we’re trying to do is get ahead of the game and try to get the word out there to remind people that they do have an obligation, regardless of what type of vehicle or if they’re walking, that they do have to report to the CBSA when they arrive,” Kealey said.

He couldn’t say whether the change in the makeup of the border crossing is causing a lapse in people following the rules.

“It’s hard to say. I think there’s a little bit of geography involved there. Just the way you have to turn into the (CBSA) facility as opposed what appears to be a straight line into the city (on Brookdale Avenue). Maybe that’s part of it, I don’t know,” a puzzled Kealey added.

“We have stopped people who failed to report and asked them why, and in many cases, they said ‘Oh, I had no idea that it was a requirement’,” he said.

There are plans to add some signs and painting on the sidewalk to tell people they have to report to customs. They border agency is also working with the RCMP to monitor traffic.

A CBSA vehicle has also been stationed at the mouth of the entrance to the customs area.

“Recently when we had one of those stints where we put an officer in a vehicle, out of 30 people who were on foot or on bicycle, all 30 ended up reporting,” he said.

“We’re hopeful that’s a good sign.”

Failing to report to customs is a $1,000 fine.

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