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Old July 16th, 2010, 06:56 PM   #3301
Penn's Woods
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArthurK View Post
An original way to cross the border is through the underground mining systems on the Dutch-Belgian border, south of Maastricht. The mining systems are across the border, which made it a popular smuggling route. This mining area was also very useful in WO-II for hiding the most precious art of the Dutch museums for the nazis.

The importance of this underground route vanished by the introduction of the Benelux Economic Union in 1960, which ended the border controls between the Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg. This Benelux-treaty was the model for the Schengen Treaty in 1985.

The Benelux Treaty explains why the Dutch-Belgian border is so boring: the structural border checks were already dissolved in 1960, not just by the Schengen Treaty. If the European Union would be dissolved (highly unlikely of cource, at least for now), we would still have the Benelux Union for Benelux relations.
As an European, I was surprised by the intensive border checks between the USA and Canada. I once crossed the border by train enroute from New York City to Montreal. First it was stopped in the middle of nowhere at a siding on the US-side of the border, with checks by US Border Police. Then they moved a few kilometers further to another siding where Canadian Border Police entered the train and checked everybody. Those inspections can take an hour. Unbelievable between two allied countries, especially if you notice Canada has only landborders with the USA.
I have crossed the US/Canada border many times (only by car) and never been checked by the country I was leaving. Didn't even know that there were outbound customs facilities, if you can call it that - just posts for the country you're entering. Before 9/11 it was pretty relaxed, and until about 2005 Americans and Canadians didn't need passports to cross.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 08:13 PM   #3302
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
I have crossed the US/Canada border many times (only by car) and never been checked by the country I was leaving. Didn't even know that there were outbound customs facilities, if you can call it that - just posts for the country you're entering. Before 9/11 it was pretty relaxed, and until about 2005 Americans and Canadians didn't need passports to cross.
You didn't need a passport until June 1st 2009 when crossing by car
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Old July 16th, 2010, 08:34 PM   #3303
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You didn't need a passport until June 1st 2009 when crossing by car
You sure? I think I needed one for my 2006 trip.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 08:46 PM   #3304
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Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
You sure? I think I needed one for my 2006 trip.
I am positive. I went over a week before the new rules went in effect with out one and the border guard reminded me that new rules went in effect the next week, and handed me a brochure. For flights it was earlier and I'm not sure what it was for trains and boats.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western...vel_Initiative

Last edited by Bartolo; July 16th, 2010 at 08:47 PM. Reason: Added link to WHTI
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Old July 16th, 2010, 08:51 PM   #3305
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I am positive. I went over a week before the new rules went in effect with out one and the border guard reminded me that new rules went in effect the next week, and handed me a brochure. For flights it was earlier and I'm not sure what it was for trains and boats.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western...vel_Initiative
OK. Maybe I'd heard it was for flights and assumed it was true for roads as well.
Related question, that a Canadian may or may not know the answer to: The first time I went to Canada on my own (1988) I read somewhere that Americans were required (or at least very strongly encouraged) to get something called a Canadian Interprovincial...[don't remember the whole name]. It was a card that would prove to Canadian authorities that you had insurance, because they wouldn't accept an American insurance card. You got it from your insurance agent.... It occurred to me some time after my last trip that I'd forgotten about that my last two trips, so I'm wondering if it's still a requirement. (I realize I could just ask GEICO!)
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Old July 16th, 2010, 09:07 PM   #3306
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Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
OK. Maybe I'd heard it was for flights and assumed it was true for roads as well.
Related question, that a Canadian may or may not know the answer to: The first time I went to Canada on my own (1988) I read somewhere that Americans were required (or at least very strongly encouraged) to get something called a Canadian Interprovincial...[don't remember the whole name]. It was a card that would prove to Canadian authorities that you had insurance, because they wouldn't accept an American insurance card. You got it from your insurance agent.... It occurred to me some time after my last trip that I'd forgotten about that my last two trips, so I'm wondering if it's still a requirement. (I realize I could just ask GEICO!)
From what I gather no. But If you do plan on coming here, it would be best to call your insurance company, and maybe even customs.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 10:08 PM   #3307
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That is for auto insurance, BTW. I asked my agent about that not long ago and he said that a 'Canada Card' is no longer needed when driving a USA car into Canada. I would ask to make sure.

Mexico - OTOH, you have to have an automobile policy from a Mexican insurance company to be covered in Mexico - they are usually available in border towns on the USA side.

Mike
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Old July 17th, 2010, 02:51 AM   #3308
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It is amazing how processes on US - Canada border go quite opposite to Europe.
Europe try to make life of people in border areas easier while especially USA try to complicate it as much as possible.
Here is interesting article:
http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/mag...order-town.asp
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Old July 17th, 2010, 05:02 AM   #3309
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Quote:
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It is amazing how processes on US - Canada border go quite opposite to Europe.
Europe try to make life of people in border areas easier while especially USA try to complicate it as much as possible.
Here is interesting article:
http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/mag...order-town.asp
Especially since, as I have mentioned before, the last time that shots were fired in anger across the Canada-USA border was nearly 200 years ago while many of those European countries have fought vicious wars against each other TWICE within the memories of some people who are still alive.



Mike
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Old July 17th, 2010, 05:15 AM   #3310
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One doesn't even need a full fledged passport to enter Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean islands. The State Department now has something called a passport card. It is sort of a "passport lite" that only allows an American to enter the countries listed above, but it only costs $45 USD and its the size of a US drivers license.


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Old July 17th, 2010, 05:35 AM   #3311
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Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post
Especially since, as I have mentioned before, the last time that shots were fired in anger across the Canada-USA border was nearly 200 years ago while many of those European countries have fought vicious wars against each other TWICE within the memories of some people who are still alive.



Mike
I know. I spend lots of time on French forums (to keep my French up) and...no. Not going there, here.
Ahem.
Re border security: it's regrettable that things have been tightened, but there is just enough danger in the world that I'm not quite prepared to dismiss it as paranoia. 9/11 did happen....
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Old July 17th, 2010, 05:37 AM   #3312
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Originally Posted by brewerfan386 View Post
One doesn't even need a full fledged passport to enter Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean islands. The State Department now has something called a passport card. It is sort of a "passport lite" that only allows an American to enter the countries listed above, but it only costs $45 USD and its the size of a US drivers license.


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I saw a reference to that in the link Bartolo posted earlier, but didn't have time to follow it up. This is the first I've heard of it. There was also talk of "enhanced" driver's licenses. And isn't there some sort of provision for people living in border areas who cross all the time?
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Old July 17th, 2010, 06:25 AM   #3313
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
I know. I spend lots of time on French forums (to keep my French up) and...no. Not going there, here.
Ahem.
Re border security: it's regrettable that things have been tightened, but there is just enough danger in the world that I'm not quite prepared to dismiss it as paranoia. 9/11 did happen....
AND - all 19 of those bad guys entered the USA legally at regular entry ports, although several had since become 'illegal' due to overstaying their visas.



I also believe that it would be far easier and more efficient to keep future bad guys off of the continent entirely rather than try to keep watch over those land borders that pass artificially through some of the most remote land on the planet. Have the 'big-shovel' security at the continental entry ports (airports and sea ports) and not worry about the rest - after all, aside from the southern border, North America is an island with relatively few of those 'ports'. If Mexico was inside of that 'perimeter', that southern land border would be quite short.

Mike

Last edited by mgk920; July 17th, 2010 at 06:30 AM.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 06:31 AM   #3314
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True....
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Old July 18th, 2010, 04:08 AM   #3315
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Quote:
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Re border security: it's regrettable that things have been tightened, but there is just enough danger in the world that I'm not quite prepared to dismiss it as paranoia. 9/11 did happen....
Even total Canadian border closure wouldn't stop 9/11 These guys flew legally into US.
It should be priority for US and Canada to establish common requirements on the outside borders rather than fortify thousand of miles of common border.

And anyway recent threats have more to do with US citizens than outsiders.
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Old July 18th, 2010, 01:24 PM   #3316
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Sure, but then they have to change the NAFTA agreement and make a custom union and single market like the EU.
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Old July 18th, 2010, 05:04 PM   #3317
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Sure, but then they have to change the NAFTA agreement and make a custom union and single market like the EU.
No they wouldn't. All they would have to do is have Canada and the US have similar outside border controls. Create an agreement for that, and maybe at internal land crossings have express lanes for just citizens of Canada and the US. One reason this would never happen though, is because of US gun laws.
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Old July 18th, 2010, 05:37 PM   #3318
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N336, the Netherlands: Speed limit= 60 km/h


B8, Germany, 100 m further. Speed limit = 100 km/h
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Old July 18th, 2010, 05:53 PM   #3319
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It's there: http://maps.google.ch/?ie=UTF8&ll=51...,0.004801&z=18
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Old July 18th, 2010, 08:58 PM   #3320
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It can be worse on the Dutch-German border: Here the max. speed is 10 km/h...
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