Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has been working with multiple agencies since the ferry service announcement last year, in preparation for May 1.
These include the Yarmouth Area Industrial Commission, the Province of Nova Scotia, US Customs and Border Protection, STM Quest and Nova Star Cruises, to ensure services and requirements are in place.
Jonathan Kini, CBSA superintendent for the Port of Yarmouth, says much of the work has been done with the YAIC and their hired engineers, (EastPoint Engineering) to bring the dated ferry terminal up to a state of readiness as a temporary facility, while ensuring health and safety standards are met and that the building meets the terms required as part of the Customs Act.
“Another portion we are looking at is to ensure we have the proper staffing levels to receive the ferry and process (traffic) effectively and efficiently,” he said.
The agency will be augmenting staff in Yarmouth with current CBSA staff located in Nova Scotia, and the Newfoundland/Labrador district.
Meanwhile, Kini has some tips for prospective visitors to the country.
“It benefits a traveller to be prepared. We would recommend that before you travel you visit our website.
“There’s a wealth of information on things that are allowed into the country. It gives you examples of your exceptions, depending on how long you were out of the country.”
Visitors are also recommended to travel with appropriate documentation, preferably a passport from their country of origin.
Kini also advises visitors to listen carefully to all questions asked by border service officers and to answer all questions truthfully.
Items should be declared and the reason for visiting the country should be specific.
Jonathan Kini, Canada Border Services Agency superintendent for the Port of Yarmouth.
CARLA ALLEN PHOTO